A vintage commercial airplane will take a long, slow journey from Maine to New York where it will be turned into a cocktail lounge. This is a Lockheed Constellation, known as the “Connie,” departed Tuesday. The plane will make its way over the next several days to JFK in New York on a tow truck. It’s part of a massive, new 512-room hotel development at the former TWA terminal.
Once in New York, the L-1649A Starliner will serve as the cocktail lounge outside TWA Hotel, a hotel that promises to bring back “the magic of the Jet Age.” Hundreds of Constellations were produced by Lockheed in the 1940s and 1950s. But only 44 Starliners were built.
The plane flew for Trans World Airlines for three years before flying around the Alaskan wilderness as a bush pilot plane, said Tyler Morse, CEO of New York-based hotel owner and operator MCR and Morse Development. Morse’s company is building TWA Hotel.
By the 1970s, the plane had become a drug-running plane in South America. It was later abandoned in Honduras and brought to Florida in the 80s. An aircraft enthusiast had it flown out to Maine with hopes of restoring it, but ran out of money. A decade ago, German airline Lufthansa Technik bought it with the hopes of restoring one. This year, Lufthansa ended up dismantling that restoration project and announced it would move one of the planes to Germany to finish restoration work.
That trip to NYC hasn’t been very smooth. Press Herald reports that the truck carrying the fuselage from the 1958 TWA airliner got the flat tire while traveling on Interstate 495 near Boston.
VIDEO: Flatbed truck carrying an old TWA plane fuselage is on the side of 495 in Bolton because of a flat tire. Plane is being towed to JFK Airport to be part of a new cocktail bar pic.twitter.com/MnxFmBIAnt
— Jim Harrington (@jejharrington) October 10, 2018