An aircraft considered by many to be one of the finest symbols of man’s conquest of the skies will receive a modern ‘guard of honour’ when it makes a rare appearance in the UK this summer.
The only flying Super Constellation in Europe, and one of only three flying ‘Connies’ in the world, will make its first appearance in the UK for eight years when it performs a special flypast at the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford on July 7-8.
The iconic Breitling Super Constellation Star of Switzerland, seen by many as the embodiment of the golden age of propeller planes, will be flanked by seven Czech-built L-39C Albatross jets, from the Breitling Jet Team, for a Diamond Jubilee tribute to the Queen.
Capable of crossing the Atlantic without any stop-overs, the Lockheed Super Constellation dominated civil aviation in the 1950s and set new standards in comfort and luxury.
Air Tattoo flying display commentator and Classic Aircraft magazine editor Ben Dunnell said: “There’s no doubt that the Breitling Super Constellation will be an absolute highlight of this summer’s Air Tattoo. The Connie is simply one of the most beautiful aircraft ever conceived and makes a majestic sight in the sky.
“There are few spectacles in aviation more evocative than that of a ‘Connie’ in the air, thanks in no small part to its wonderful shape and distinctive sound. Many will be delighted that it’s coming back to these shores after an eight year absence. Simply put, it’s everyone’s favourite big-pistoned airliner.”
Other Diamond Jubilee attractions taking place at the Air Tattoo include a repeat of the spectacular mass flypast of 27 Hawk jets in an ‘EIIR’ formation that flew over Windsor Castle in May. A number of colourful Diamond Jubilee-painted aircraft will also be displaying along with a static line-up of current and historic aircraft with ‘Royal’ connections.
The Royal International Air Tattoo is staged annually in support of the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust. This summer will see aircraft from more than 22 countries, including two that will be taking part in a UK airshow for the first time – South Korea and Colombia.
Tickets, priced from £39, are available from airtattoo.com or by calling 0800 107 1940. All accompanied under-16s go free. Free parking.