Lockheed L-1249 Super Constellation
|L-1249 Super Constellation |
|Role||Experimental military transport|
|National origin||United States|
|Designer||Clarence "Kelly" Johnson|
|First flight||1 September 1954|
|Introduction||10 September 1954 (Navy) |
July, 1955 (Air Force)
|Primary user||United States Navy |
United States Air Force
|Produced||1954 and 1955 respectively|
|Developed from||C-121 Constellation |
L-1049 Super Constellation
The Lockheed L-1249 Super Constellation was a turbine powered version of the Lockheed Constellation aircraft family. Built in 1954 and 1955 respectively, the aircraft were used as prototypes for possible future turbo-powered Military transport aircraft for both the United States Air Force and United States Navy. Both aircraft saw very short lives and the airframes were later used to build L-1049 Super Constellations.
Design and development
On 18 August 1950, the United States Navy signed a contract for 11 military transport versions of the Lockheed L-1049. The aircraft was to be a convertable troop/cargo transport based on the model L-1049B (which was already being constructed as the PO-2W Warning Star). The R7O-1 would also feature round portholes in place of the rectangular ones on Air Force C-121C Constellations. The aircraft would enter service in the Navy's oldest transport squadron, based in Patuxent River, Maryland.
In November 1951, an idea came about to build a turbine powered version of the R7O-1. This new aircraft was designated L-1249A by Lockheed. In 1954, two R7O-1s (then designated R7V-1) were pulled off the assembly lines for conversion in to prototypes for the new L-1249A. The landing gear was strengthened along with the fuselage and wings of the aircraft. Extra fuel tanks were also added on the wingtips of the two aircraft, increasing the fuel capacity to 7,360 gallons. The wings were also shortened from 123 ft 9 in (37.719 m) to 117 ft 7 in (35.84 m). Last but not least, two Pratt & Whitney YT-34-P-12A turboprop engines, rated at 5,500 bhp (4,100 kW) each, were installed in place of the usual Wright R-3350 Duplex-Cyclone radial engines. The new aircraft was designated R7V-2, and first flew on 1 September 1954. The R7V-2 reached 412 mph (663.05 km/h) making it the fastest tranpsort aircraft in the world at the time. The two R7V-2 aircraft were delivered to the Navy on 10 September the same year.
- Originally designated R7O-2. Four converted R7V-1 aircraft (BuNos 131630-131631, 131660-131661) with a shorter wingspan and powered by four Pratt & Whitney YT-34-P12A turboprop engines. Used by the United States Navy.
- Two R7V-2 aircraft transferred to and used by the United States Air Force and powered by four T34-P-6 turboprops.
- Company designation for the R7V-2 and YC-121F.
- Planned airliner based on the L-1249A, with an L-1049E based fuselage and Pratt & Whitney PT2F-1 turboprops (civilian version of the YT-34). None built.
- The Characteristics Summary and the Standard Aircraft Characteristics of the R7V-2 from Alternate Wars.com
- Characteristics Summary for the YC-121F, available on alternatewars.com
- Lockheed Constellation Survivors - A website that explains information and whereabouts of surviving Constellations of all variants. The fates of the four L-1249 aircraft are mentioned in the Q&A section of the website.
- 1000 Aircraft Photos - Lockheed 1249A-94-75 YC-121F Constellation - A photograph of the second YC-121F delivered to the U.S. Air Force. Below the image is a small detailed summary on the L-1249A.
- Zoggavia - Lockheed 1951-1960 - A link which includes photographs and brief summaries of Lockheed aircraft from 1951 to 1960, including the YC-121F and R7V-2.
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