Aircraft By Type

Aircraft Make & Model:
Lockheed 749 Constellation
102,000 lb.
1,800 miles
327 mph
72 passengers
95 ft.
123 ft.
24 ft.
4 Wright 749C-18BD-1
HP or Thrust:
2,500 hp
No. flown by DL:
10 total (Models -49, -149, -649A, -749A)
Domestic and Caribbean service
First Delivery:
August 12, 1950 to Chicago and Southern (C&S) Air Lines as Lockheed 649A type
First Scheduled Service:
October 1950 with C&S; May 1, 1953 with Delta
Reason Aquired:
Acquired from merger with Chicago and Southern Air Lines.
Last Retirement:
July 1, 1958
Reason Disposed:
Replaced by the Douglas DC-7.

Narrative:  Lockheed Constellation 1953-1958

Technical Advances
At the instigation of Howard Hughes in 1939, Lockheed developed the graceful and powerful Constellation: a pressurized aircraft with nonstop transcontinental capability. The "Connie" was designated by Lockheed as the Model 49, and delivered to the U.S. Army Air Force at the end of World War II as military C-69s.

Model 649 was the first Connie intended solely for civilian service. The -649A added reinforced wing panels and heavier landing gear. It could carry 4,000 pounds more payload than the original -49 model.

Model 749, first delivered in June 1947, could carry 8,000 pounds over the -49, allowing 40 more passengers or several hundred miles of range. Model 749A could carry a payload of 107,000 pounds.

Speedpak Service
The speedpak, a removable container which incorporated an electronic winch, attached to the underside of the Constellation's fuselage. It could be raised or lowered in approximately one minute. Offered additional bag and cargo space easily accessible for loading. 

First Delta Connies
In the late 1940s, Delta considered the Lockheed Constellation, but decided instead to purchase the Douglas DC-6, which was similar in speed and range, but lower in cost and had a roomer cockpit that initially only required the customary two pilots (federal regulations later changed), while the Connie required three crew members–pilot, co-pilot and flight engineer.

Delta acquired its first Conniesfive Model 649As and one Model 749Afrom the merger with Chicago and Southern Air Lines, effective May 1, 1953. Delta converted the Model 649As to Model 749As, and by June 1954, had leased or sold all the former C&S Connies.

Delta Flies Models -49 & -149
In 1956, Delta purchased four early Connies from Pan Am to quickly launch new service from the southern U.S. to New York City. All were built as Model 49, but two had been upgraded to Model 149. These Connies were withdrawn from Delta service by July 1958, and sold to American Flyers in April 1960.

More Information 

  • lockheed_connie
  • Lockheed Constellation first public flight