Constellation jet gets a flat during journey to JFK

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BOLTON, Mass. — The tractor-trailer truck carrying the fuselage of a 1958 TWA  Constellation airliner from Maine to New York got a flat tire Wednesday.

The flat occurred on Interstate 495, according to reports. The truck was in the breakdown lane Wednesday afternoon.

Six trucks carrying the fuselage, tail and four engines are on a 328-mile journey to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City to become a cocktail lounge at the TWA Hotel complex. The convoy left the Auburn-Lewiston Municipal Airport in Auburn on Tuesday afternoon.

Trans World Airlines flew the plane for three years before it was used around the Alaskan wilderness as a bush pilot plane, Tyler Morse, CEO of New York-based hotel owner and operator of MCR and Morse Development, told WBZ-TV. The company is building the hotel at JFK.

In the 1970s, the plane was used to ship drugs in South America. “It had giant cargo doors to fly pallets of marijuana around South America,” Morse told WBZ-TV.

The plane is one of two Constellations once owned by Maurice Roundy and parked since the 1980s by the Auburn airport. The other Constellation there is packed up and waiting to head back to Germany after a decadelong effort by Lufthansa Technik to try to return it to flying shape.

The plane headed to JFK had been used as a parts example on that Lufthansa project.

A truck hauls the Lockheed Constellation “Connie” L-1649A Starliner from Maine to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.  (Photo courtesy of MCR/MORSE Development)

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