Constellation Variants

2078_NC90816_L049_TWA_1946_46930
2549_G_ALAL_L749_BOAC_42611
4574_VH_EAL_L1049_QANTAS_SINGAPORE_195812_45945_1
1042_LX_LGX_L1649_LUXAIR_LGW_1967_821_JG

Civil versions

L49/L049 The L-049 was the original commercial airliner produced, although first 22 Connies were begun as C-69 military transports and completed as airliners L049-51. The first flight took place on 9 January 1943. In total 88 L-049 were built, including conversions from earlier models and military versions. 

L49/L049-46 Certified 14 October 1946 with changes like: Direct fuel-injection 2,200 Wirght 745-C18BA-3 engines, redesigned electrical components, and from 2051 onward reinforced cargo compartment floor. All -51 aircraft were upgraded to -46 standard in 1946.

L49/L049 A to C Reinforcements to increase max take-off and landing weights.

L49/L049D Improved L049C version with modified forward fuselage, nose-wheel leg and inner wing reinforcements. Most earlier 049s received this upgrade. Conversions: 1963, 1964, 1967, 1969-1971, 1974-1980, 2021-2025, 2027, 2030, 2041-2044, 2051, 2064, 2065, 2068-2080, 2085-2088.

L49/l049E Based on L049D with further inner wing reinforcements to handle max. take-off weight of 44,452 (98.000 lbs) and landing weight of 38,328 kg (84,500 lbs). Conversions: 1971, 1975-2978, 2051, 2065. 

L049S Conversion of 1961 to stretched configuration to became the 1961S Super Constellation prototype in 1950. Lengthened by 5,5m (18 ft) to 34.54m (113,33ft).

L149 First use: Production versions were planned for Pan Am, but none were ever produced.
Second use: L-049 conversion to include extra wing fuel tanks for a longer range. Conversions: 1965, 19671968, 2032, 2037, 2038, 2050, 2052, 2055, 2057, 2067, 2083, 2084, 2030 was a hybrid aircaft with l749-type left wing only.

L249 First use: Company designation for the XB-30 bomber. Project cancelled in favor of the Boeing B-29. Redisgnated Model 51.
Second use: Designation for the three El Al longe range L049 models, 1965, 1967, and 1968.

L349 Company designation for the C-69B. None built.

L449 Various proposed civilian airliner projects with Wright or P&W engines.

L549 Lockheed designation for the C-69C. One built, number 1971.

L649 The first truly commercial version built. Four Wright 749-C18BD-1 engines with 2,500 hp (1,865 kW) each, seating for up to 81, first flight 19 October 1946. 14 built. Numbers 2519-24, 2629-35. All other aircraft were upgraded to L749 on the production line prior delivery.

L649A Upgraded L649 with reinforced landing gear and fuselage. Available from May 1949, numbers 2642, 2653, 2659, 2660, 2662, 2673. 

L749 6,145 US gal (23,640 L) of fuel providing the capability for non-stop transatlantic flights, first flight 14 March 1947. 131 L749 off all versions were built.

L749A Reinforced landing gear and fuselage

L749B Turbine powered. Project cancelled due to the absence of a suitable powerplant.

L849 Planned version of the L-749, which would have had Wright R-3350 TurboCompounds.

L949 Proposed Speedfreighter combi version of the L-849 with an 18 ft 4in fuselage stretch.

L1049 First production version, 24 built. An 18 ft 4 in (5.59 m) stretched version with a maximum capacity of 109 passengers, square windows; all 1049C and later models had Turbo-Compound engines. Some later models had optional tip tanks. First flight 14 July 1951. 579 built, including military versions.

L1049A Company designation for the WV-2, WV-3, EC-121D and RC-121D.

L1049B  Company designation for the R7V-1, RC-121C and VC-121E.

L1049C Civil variant of the 1049B for 110 passengers with four R-3350-87ТС18DA-1 Turbo-compound engines with 3,250 hp (2,425 kW) each, 48 built

L1049D Freight version of L-1049B with wing and fuselage modifications and a large cargo door, four built

L1049E Passenger variant of the 1049D, 28 built

L1049F Company designation for the C-121C.

L1049G Advanced variant with four R-3350-972ТС18DA-3 engines with higher METO power, ability to carry wingtip fuel tanks, 102 built

L1049H Passenger/freight convertible version of L-1049G with large cargo door, 53 built

L1049J Planned L-1049G with the wings of the R7V-2.

L1149 A planned Allison turboprop version of the L-1049G and L-1049H.

L1249A Company designation for the R7V-2 and YC-121F.

L1249B Planned turboprop passenger version of the R7V-2/YC-121F.

L1349 unidentified. Dominique Breffort's book claims no design with the L-1349 designation ever existed, possibly due to superstitious belief reasons.

L1449 Proposed turboprop version of the L-1049G with a stretched fuselage and new wing.

L1549 Planned stretched version of the L-1449.

L1649A Starliner Production version, R-3350-988TC18EA-2 Turbo Cyclone engines with 3,400 hp (2,536 kW) each. Long-range passenger aircraft designed to compete with Douglas DC-7C. The standard radome for the weather radar extends total length by 2 ft 7 in (0.78 m) over L-1049 without radome. New thin-section wing with a straight taper, and much larger fuel capacity giving a ferry range of over 6,880 mi (11,080 km), first flight 10 October 1956. 44, including the prototype, were built.

L1649B Planned turboprop version of the L-1649A.

L051 Original company designation for the XB-30 project.

L084 The XW2V-1 was a planned radar version of the WV-2 with the Starliner's wings for the US Navy. It would have included four Allison T56-A8 engines and missiles for protection against attackers. Considerably different from its predecessors, given the production designation Lockheed L-084.


1962_43_10310_C-69_L049_USAF_20100210_1

c/n 1962 43-10310 Lockheed C-69 Constellation of US Army Air Force at Burbank in 1944, Zoggavia collection.

Military versions

XB-30 Bomber version of the C-69. Was given model designation L-051 and later L-249.

XC-69 Designation for the prototype Constellation. One built. The C-69 was the original military transport version for the USAAF. All aircraft built during World War II were pressed into military service under this designation.

C-69 Original troop transport version. Almost all of this type were converted into L-049 airliners. 22 were built.

C-69A Proposed long range troop version of the C-69.

C-69B Proposed long range troop version of the C-69 designed to carry B-29 Superfortress engines to China. Was given model designation L-349.

C-69C-1 Only one aircraft was produced, number 1971.. Was given model designation L-549.

C-69D Proposed VIP transport version.

XC-69E Prototype XC-69 converted into an engine testbed. It was powered by 4 Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp engines.

ZC-69C Official designation for "obsolete" aircraft after end of WWII, numbers 1962-1970, 1974-1980.

Two VC-121E Constellations, named Columbine II and Columbine III, were used by president Dwight Eisenhower.

C-121A The C-121 was the military transport version of improved L-749 introduced in 1948. Reinforced floor, cargo door in port rear fuselage

VC-121A VIP transport aircraft, converted from the C-121A

VC-121B VIP transport for use by the President of the United States of America

C-121C R7V-1 with R-3350-34 engines with 3,400 hp (2,536 kW) each, based on L-1049

JC-121C Two C-121C and one TC-121C used as avionics testbeds

NC-121C One C-121C converted for permanent use as a testbed

RC-121C USAF long-range airborne radar analogous to Navy's WV-2

TC-121C Nine RC-121Cs Converted as AEW trainers, subsequently became EC-121C

VC-121C VIP version of C-121C. Total 4.

EC-121D Big Eye/College Eye/Disco early warning variant, originally designated RC-121D

NC-121D WV-2 converted to observe high speed objects in the atmosphere nicknamed the "Tripple Nipple"

RC-121D WV-2 with wingtip fuel tanks, later redesignated EC-121D

VC-121E VIP transport for use by the President of the United States of America

YC-121F Two prototype R7V-1 with Pratt & Whitney T34-P-6 turboprops with 6,000 shp (4,476 kW) each

C-121G 32 Navy R7V-1 delivered to USAF

TC-121G Designation given to 9 C-121G converted into trainers

VC-121G One C-121G given the role as a temporary VIP Transport

EC-121H 42 EC-121D with upgraded electronics

C-121J Redesignated Navy R7V-1

EC-121J 2 EC-121D with upgraded electronics

NC-121J 7 C-121J modified to send television broadcasts to troops in Vietnam

VC-121J 4 C-121J converted for VIP use. One served with the Blue Angels.

EC-121K Redesignated Navy WV-2 Warning Star

JC-121K One EC-121K used as an avionics testbed

NC-121K EC-121K used by the Navy

EC-121L Redesignated Navy WV-2E

EC-121M Redesignated Navy WV-2Q

WQC-121N Redesignated Navy WV-3

EC-121P EC-121K equipped for anti-submarine warfare

EC-121Q EC-121D with upgraded electronics

EC-121R "BatCat" EC-121K and EC-121P equipped to process signals from seismic instruments

NC-121S Electronic warfare and reconnaissance version

EC-121T Upgraded radar; One example is on display at Peterson Air and Space Museum

R7O-1 The original US Navy designation of the R7V-1 based on L-1049D, R-3350-91 engines with 3,250 hp (2,425 kW) each

R7V-1 Re-designation of the R7O-1. Later redesignated C-121J

R7V-1P One R7V-1 modified for Arctic use

R7V-2 Four prototypes with Pratt & Whitney YT34-P-12A turboprops of 4,140 shp (3,088 kW) each. Two were delivered as YC-121F prototype aircraft (see above).

PO-1W Two maritime patrol aircraft equipped with search radar based on L-749, later re-designated WV-1.

PO-2W Warning Star Long-range airborne radar aircraft, R-3350-34 or R-3350-42 engines with 3,400 hp (2,536 kW) each, based on L-1049, later re-designated WV-2.

WV-1 Re-designation of the PO-1W.

WV-2 Warning Star Re-designation of the PO-2W. Later re-designated EC-121K.

WV-2E Experimental version of WV-2 modified to carry a rotating radar dome similar to that of the Boeing E-3 Sentry. Later redesignated EC-121L.

WV-2Q WV-2 equipped for electronic warfare, later redesignated EC-121M.

WV-3 Eight aircraft equipped for weather reconnaissance. Later re-designated WQC-121N.

XW2V-1 The XW2V-1 was a planned radar version of the WV-2 with the Starliner's wings for the US Navy. It would have included four Allison T56-A8 engines and missiles for protection against attackers. Considerably different from its predecessors, given the production designation Lockheed L-084.


Anything to add or amend, or interested in receiving updates on content and new images? Please get in touch. We look forward to bringing the latest information and throwbacks in classic aviation to your inbox.