Home Book Reviews Book Review – Lockheed Constellation

Book Review – Lockheed Constellation

by Matt Falcus

A new book in the Historic Commercial Aircraft Series of books from Key Publishing is available now.

This edition looks at the Lockheed Constellation, one of the most iconic airliners that have ever graced our skies.


History of the Constellation

Its unusual curved fuselage and iconic triple-tail configuration gave the Lockheed Constellation an instantly memorable appearance.

Designed to specifications set forward by airline pioneer Howard Hughes for his TWA airline, it was created by Lockheed chief designer ‘Kelly’ Johnson.

First flying on 9 January 1943, the Constellation was a world beater from the start and promised to give Lockheed’s rivals Douglas a run for their money.

Yet America’s entry into World War II set back its civilian use and it was instead pressed into service as a military transport aircraft known as the C-69.

After the war the Constellation was allowed to thrive once again, attracting orders from around the world. But new developments such as the Super Constellation allowed it to stay competitive as more advanced airliners, including jets, were coming to the fore.


About the Book

This book has seven chapters and covers the story of the Constellation mainly through archive images. It is based on the Aeroplane Classic Airliner: Constellation which was previously released, but has now been updated in this book form.

The chapters look at the development of the Constellation, how it morphed into the C-69 military variant, the Super Constellations, and its use with airlines around the world.

The book is 96 pages and includes plenty of facts and statistics on the aircraft.

While more in-depth histories are available on the Lockheed Constellation, one of the beauties of these small books from Key Publishing are their good range of archive images.

The images are interesting, mostly in black and white, with some colour examples and period advertising material relating to the aircraft. The printing quality is excellent and the pictures sharp.


Where to Get the Book

Lockheed Constellation from Key Publishing is available now through Pen & Sword at this link:




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1 comment

Bill Mortensen March 26, 2023 - 7:14 pm

interesting! I wonder if there is a photo or reference to TCA’s (now Air Canada) Connies. In 1957 Connies were among the aircraft that brought Hungarian forestry student and professor refugees to Vancouver International airport now YVR enroute to the University of B.C., Forestry Academy. Working on a survey crew at the airport I always looked forward to the sight of those aircraft.


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