Friday, May 03, 2013

Trans-Canada Air Lines: Air Canada Predecessor at Seattle's Museum of Flight



Tran-Canada Air Lines Super G at the Museum of Flight
Photo by Sue Frause

I finally made my debut at the Museum of Flight, located near Seattle's Boeing Field. What a wonderful collection, both inside and out. One of the 150 planes in the museum's Airpark is a Trans-Canada Airlines Lockheed 1049G Super Constellation. Simply known as the Super G, it was the most successful version of the Lockheed Super Constellations and one of the last great piston-engine airliners. 

This particular airplane was delivered to Trans-Canada Airlines in 1954. After a career flying passengers and later cargo, the aircraft was converted into a cocktail lounge and lunch delicatessen in Toronto. You can see more of its history at this Constellation Survivors Website.

Trans-Canada Airlines (TCA) flew from 1937-1965, founded on April 10, 1937 with $5 million and three airplanes: a tiny Stearman (crop dusting plane) and two Lockheed Electras. The latter is on view at the Western Canada Aviation Museum in Winnipeg. 

Phillip Gustav Johnson, who was President of Seattle's Boeing Airplane Company at the young age 31, was VP of Operations for Trans-Canada Airlines, headquartered in Montreal. Coincidentally, TCA's first flight in 1954 was between Vancouver and Seattle. TCA eventually morphed into Air Canada.


TCA airstairs at Museum of Flight's Restoration Center at Paine Field
Photo by Sue Frause