This was one of our last minute let just do it trips. I was in Phoenix for a staff meeting and the highest peak in Arizona was just a short drive away near Flagstaff. George flew in Friday night and off we went from shirt sleeve warmth to long sleeve cool in the matter of a few hours. We woke early, well not real early, and headed for the trailhead at the local ski resort. It was a clear, cool and crisp day, just perfect for hiking and the winds at peak elevation were mild at best. We were told by a few regulars that it was our lucky day, as the winds could be fierce, so we enjoyed the view and headed back down for dinner.
As we drove to the Grand Canyon, we passed a parked Lockheed Constellation and since airplanes fascinate me, we had to stop and look over. Here is what I have lifted off the net in regards to this gem.
USAF Lockheed Constellation
Current registration - N422NA Delivered to USAF January 1949 as C-121A 48-613 ** Flew the Westover AFB-Rhein-Main route in support of the Berlin Airlift ** Converted to a VC-121A in 1950 ** Was the first VC-121A fitted with APS-10 weather radar ** Personal aircraft of General MacArthur from September 1950 to April 1951 and named "Bataan" ** Personal aircraft of General Ridgeway from 1952 to 1953 ** Transferred to HQ, Pacific Air Command as VIP transport from 1953 to late 1965 when it was declared surplus by the USAF ** Flown to Davis Monthan AFB in January 1966 for storage ** To NASA June 1966 for use by the Goddard Space Center, Greenbelt, MD as NASA422 ** NASA stripped out the VIP interior and installed instrumentation for use on the Apollo space program ** Registered N422NA June 1969 ** Retired by NASA late 1969 and flown to the US Army Aviation Museum at Fort Rucker on March 10, 1970 ** Declared surplus by the Army and sold to the Planes of Fame Museum on May 7, 1993 ** Made airworthy at Fort Rucker and ferried to Dothan, AL June 23, 1993 for additional restoration ** Flown to Addison, TX May 1994 for restoration of the interior ** Ferried Addison, TX - Avra Valley, AZ - Chino, CA December 3-6, 1994 and to The Planes of Fame Museum Annex in Valle, AZ early 1995 ** On display at the museum as 48-613 "Bataan" with interior restored to how it was during service with General MacArthur
May our paths & errands meet