By Larry Denning
Adapted from a story by Dave Albright
Photos by Skip Gatschet
Connie at the Movies
We visit the set of "The
the story of Howard Hughes,
San Bernardino, CA
Tuesday, the 21st of October, the Airline History Museum Lockheed
Constellation left the Kansas City Downtown Airport for
a flight to San
Bernardino, California. The Connie's job was to appear in scenes for
a new movie about the life of Howard Hughes. As of this writing, the
movie's title is "The Aviator". With a very well known director and a
cast of famous actors, our Connie will very likely be seen on
thousands of movie screens the world over, once this picture is released.
Several months ago, the
AHM was contacted by a firm specializing in providing aircraft to
motion picture producers for both static display and flying scenes.
They had heard about our Lockheed Constellation and wanted more
information about the current paint scheme and the availability of the
aircraft. They were very pleased to learn that the Connie not only had
a new paint job, but that it was in a very accurate former TWA livery.
They felt it would be perfect for the upcoming movie production.
A group of our AHM officers did a cost analysis on a round trip from
Kansas City to San Bernardino and came up with some figures. A period
of negotiations followed and it wasn't long before a deal was signed.
the flights out and back could each be over six hours of non-stop
it was decided that extra crew members would join the normal two pilot
and two engineer crew. Having three pilots, two Captains and one First
Officer, would allow the pilots to take a break during the long
flights. The addition of an extra Flight Engineer would not only help
out during flight time, but the extra engineer could be utilized
during any aircraft related activities required by the movie
production crew. The two Captains were Skip Gatschet and Joe Orr, and
they were assisted by First Officer Dave Albright. The Flight
Engineers were Tery McMaster, Foe Geldersma, and Dick Gooch.