Super Constellation CF-TGE
Into Boeing's Plant II
About 9:00 PM, Tuesday 15 Sept 2009, Super Connie CF-TGE was moved into Boeing Plant II - the 2-40 Bldg Bay 2
I used to work there..... a long time ago.
Here's her Bay - ready, cleaned and waiting
Her Tip Tanks and Outboard Wing Panels are waiting for her arrival
So are her two new roommates - the Museum's B-29 and B-17 - undergoing maintenance and restoration.
|A Boeing Plant II Primer|
The ramp that Super Connie CF-TGE
is moved across, and the building she enters is one of the most
historic aviation sites in the world.
Here, in April 1944, are the 16 B-17 Flying Fortress bombers produced in this building - that day, and every day! Click here for a Personal Note about those B-17s.
October 1944, the first Boeing XC-97 rolled out of these doors - later
to become the C-97 transport, KC-97 Tanker, and B-377 commercial
Stratocruiser. (See the camouflage on the roof?)
WW II, the plant was completely camouflaged to look like a residential
area as protection against possible Japanese air attack.
In the late 1940s and early 1950s, myriad B-50 bombers and C-97 Transports are being produced in this factory.
On 12 Sept 1947, a radical new airplane - the Boeing B-47 six-jet
bomber Prototype is rolled out. This airplane is the direct
lineal matriarch for all the jet airplanes Boeing has produced since.
1952, in the darkness and wet of a Seattle night, the Prototype Boeing
B-52 8-engine Bomber is rolled out and across East Marginal
Way. She's shrouded in secrecy and covered by canvas and
tarps. This amazing airplane is still in front-line combat
to this day.
Here B-52s are being produced where the earlier airplanes once were assembled.
in 1966, the first Prototype Boeing twin-jet 737 was manufactured in
this building and rolled out of these doors on to this ramp. This
airplane (which I worked on - then, and which I still work on - now,)
is in the Museum's collection. She's the first of more than
8000 737s built or ordered since then.
And so, today - History meets History.
The Super Connie's location is truly aviation Hallowed Ground.
With those facts as a historical backdrop, CF-TGE moves down that same ramp. A
"glitch" develops immediately. The parking lot is supposed to be
empty at night. Well, it is -- except for one lone car in the
way. Investigation reveals it to belong to an employee on a
business trip. Well, the Connie is a BIG airplane, as I keep
saying. With a little careful and expert maneuvering, the
airplane is pushed right over the top of the interfering automobile!You can see it in the foreground in the above picture on the right, and just having cleared the RH MLG on the photo on the left.If you are reading this web page, and you recognize your car - well, this is what happened when you were gone!Past the errant car and down the rampSwinging into Bay 2An impressive sight - sort of like a Rollout - in reverse"Clear on the Left - Clear on the Right"Boy! She's Big !!!Boy! She's Beautiful !!!In her new homeTom Cathcart (MOF) and the proud Boeing move crewDoors closed - crew leavingAn unexpected sight in a Boeing factoryHer new "roommates"People who know me know that I think that airplanes are living things.
Airplanes are special. They fly.
I wonder what she's thinking?
After 55 years.
Being born - lovingly crafted and built - as only "airplane people" can understand.
trusting passengers - safely - to far corners of the world.
Guided in the sure hands of her aircrews.
Tended over by her maintainers.
The clouds dancing at her feet, while her mighty engines roared and sung her songs to the sky gods.
-- and then -- too soon -- not wanted any more.
Lying derelict in farm fields and woods for painful decades.
Slowly returning to the soil of Mother Earth.
A curiosity at a
rural antique barn.
A restaurant and bar in the big city.
Finally, nearly abandoned - to the elements, - and to some unknown cruel Fate.
To be taken apart and put back together again, - and again ....over and over. Trucked here and trucked there.
-- and then, ....to be loved once more.
To be tended over, and cared for, and lifted up to her former greatness.
With grace and beauty, like an especially elegant dowager, she retakes her place, as if by right.
seems as if the previous half century of neglect and
deterioration had never happened, as she reasserts her beauty and her
Truly born again.
Shortly, the lights click out.
Quiet and darkness settle over the huge factory bay.
Maybe the other airplanes next door will begin talking to her.
Maybe, the ghosts of all those airplanes past, will waft by her newly shiny skins.
Caress her sleek lines.
Admire her good looks.
endurance and magical good luck.
I wonder what she's thinking?
I hope she's a happy Lady tonight.
I hope Kelly is looking down, and I hope he's smiling too.
This one's for you too, Great One.
It's my payback for the pleasure you have brought me with creations such as this, from your hand.
I make sure my footsteps are the last ones she hears this night.
I softly click the door closed.
Riding the ferry home with my wife Dot, it's almost midnite.
I watch the lights of Seattle twinkle and shimmer on the swells.
It's been a very long day. Hundreds of miles driving and many ferry rides.
Overall, it's been a very long journey - in months and in years.
I close my eyes. I am tired, but much too pumped to ever sleep this night.
But I'll lie awake a
happy man, a very happy man.....
Continue on to Movement to Air Park
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in the Restoration and Preservation of this magnificent
Contribute to the Connie Restoration ! Click Here
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17 Sept 2009