Bluegrass Airlines, November 2003


By Bill Von Sennet



(larger images on the screen shot page)


Lockheed Constellation L-1049G (no tanks) by Mike Stone

Download from


Connie Panel  by Hans-Joerg Naegele and Jan Visser

Download from Tom Gibson’s


Panel and aircraft.cfg update Oct 17,2003


This month we will be flying the TWA Lockheed Constellation between Los Angeles and New York.

The 1951 schedule has the “hottest” flights making a stop at Chicago both east and west bound.  I haven’t seen it yet but I understand that the November 1953 schedule has a non-stop Connie on the eastbound run.  The 1958 schedule has one non-stop westbound run by a Super G Constellation. It left NY Intl. (now JFK) at 12:15 and arrived in Los Angeles at 5:51am (8hrs and 36min)

The 1958 schedule has non-stop flights in both directions listed as Jetstream Service.   These were flown with Lockheed L-1649 Starliners, the last variant of the Constellation.

Until I receive a copy of the 1953 schedule we will use the times from the 1951 schedule.

Sky Chief (read dn)




Sky Chief (read up)



New York, NY LaGaurdia     (EST)





Chicago, Ill Midway            (CST)





Chicago, Ill CT Midway       (CST)





Los Angeles, CA                 (PST)



Due to the prevailing winds the westbound flight took 11 hours and 30 minutes, while the eastbound flight took only  9 hours and 40 minutes. (including stops)

The 1955 Schedule has non-stops in both directions.


Thanks to John Lawler of the Australian Div. for the scans above.


You can download copies of the 1951 and 1958 schedules from Kris  Crook’s Project Vintage AI page

Page down to the bottom and look for 1958 and 1951.  Tom Gibson from scanned them.


Keeping in mind that the GPS system did not exist in 1953 we will be using VOR’s for navigation.

FSNavigator Flight Plan.


FSNavigator Settings I used.  My flight differed slightly.  I took off at 815 am (1510 z) and landed at 334 pm (2034 z).  Elapsed time was 5 hrs and 24 minutes and fuel used was 19,217#.  For most of the trip I had a strong tailwind, up to 60 knots.  After the half way point the wind was more of a crosswind from the north.

The other flight I made was from Newark (KEWR) to Chicago’s Midway (KMDW).  This was before I found out that LaGaurdia was the airport to use for New York.  I left the gate at 1000 am (1400 z) and landed at 1214 pm (1714 z)  Elapsed time was 3 hours and 14 min and fuel used was 11,010#.


On both flights I loaded the aircraft with 23804# payload and 39300# of fuel for a max gross weight of 135,460#.


My power settings for climb were 40” m.a.p. and props full forward.  Cruise was with 30” m.a.p. and 2,000 rpm,

Mixture was adjusted throughout the climb for maximum fuel flow, usually around 800 gph.  At cruise the maximum fuel flow was about 690 gph, and I leaned it to about 600 gph.    Descent was with 15” m.a.p. and 1,500 rpm. Mixture was enriched throughout the descent.   As you level off for your approach, keep your airspeed up to 150 kts to prevent the autopilot from putting the aircraft into a stall.  Airspeed control during approach and landing is a little tricky. I flew the final descent at about 120 kts and came over the fence at 100 kts. With full flaps and about 4 degrees of up trim.

Our series of historic flights have demonstrated the advances in aviation that were made in a very short time.  In 1929 the trip from Los Angeles to New York required two days of flying in a Ford Tri-Motor and two nights riding on trains.  In parts of California and New Mexico the pilots had to find their way through canyons and valleys as they could not climb higher than the nearby peaks.  In the 22 years to 1951 aviation had become safer, much faster and an affordable way to travel.

Just to remind you that we are doing historic fights for our “Features of the Month” this year as it is the 100th anniversary of Powered Flight. (In honor of Wilbur and Orville Wright and their Kitty Hawk adventures in December of 1903)

Note: As more information becomes available this page will be updated.

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