The Lockheed Constellation introduced long-distance, high-capacity, commercial passenger flight to the world. Featuring a distinctive tripletail design and dolphin-shaped fuselage, it was powered—appropriately—by four Wright R-3350 engines (3250 horsepower each) and cruised at speeds in excess of 300 miles per hour.
On April 17, 1944, a “Connie” piloted by Howard Hughes and TWA president Jack Frye, set a new transcontinental speed record, crossing the United States from Burbank, CA to Washington, D.C. in just 6 hours and 58 minutes, averaging 331 MPH.
Aviation had come a long way in the 40 years since the Wright brothers first flight. Planes were now capable of crossing the country in just hours.
On the return trip from D.C., April 26, 1944, the Constellation stopped at Wright Field near Dayton, Ohio to pick up one special passenger: Orville Wright.
During Wright’s 50-minute honor flight over Dayton, the Army pilot, Lt. Col. George A. Hatcher, let Orville have the controls one final time, albeit briefly. Orville was quick to point out the Constellation’s 126-feet and 2-inch wingspan was longer than his history-making first flight, which had traveled only 120 feet.
Orville’s first flight was only about 10 feet off the ground. His last, in the Constellation, was considerably higher: the Constellation was pressurized, with a service ceiling of 24,000 feet. And today, passenger aircraft routinely climb 35,000 to 40,000 feet. While the view from the higher altitudes is great, it does get chilly up there. Come to think of it, it’s starting to get chilly just about everywhere, and we’ve got just the answer. Check out The Wright Brothers® long-sleeve tees. They’re stylish and perfect for the season, and the chilly months ahead. When you order yours you’ll be first.