The Faro Lockheed Constellation
Photo copyright Udo Haafke
For many years the distinctive three fin tail of a Lockheed Constellation could be seen from the main road into Faro Airport.
The Lockheed Constellation or 'Connie' was a four engine propellor driven airline conceived by Howard Hughes in the late 1930's and built by Lockheed between 1943 and 1958. Up until the advent of commercial jet aircraft the Constallation was the ultimate in performance and luxury. 856 aircraft were built, of which there are some 55 survivors.
The Faro aircraft was delivered to TAP in July 1955 and was named 'Vasco de Gama' in the 1960's. She was retired by TAP in September 1967, and flown to Miami. She changed hands a few times after that, and was notably used on the Biafran Airlift in 1968 under a false registration. She was afterwards back at Faro, and withdrawn from use and stored off runway. By 1977 she was derelict with the interior stripped out. In 1981 she was renovated as a restaurant, and remained in use as such until 1986 when dismantled. Finally burned by vandals in 1999 and removed to scrapyard in 2000.
Special thanks to Udo Haafke for kind permission to use this excellent photograph. Please view more of Udo's pictures at www.airliners.net