Lockheed Starliner Headed to JFK's TWA Hotel Grounded by Flat Tire
History's going to have to wait a bit while the tire's getting changed: The classic Lockheed Starliner en route to New York-JFK's much-anticipated TWA Hotel had to make a pit stop outside Boston because of a flat tire Wednesday.
The four-engine, triple-tailed, dolphin-bodied jetliner, nicknamed "Connie" and stripped of its wings and tail, was photographed on the side of I-495 in Bolton, Massachusetts, where it waited while the massive flatbed truck carrying it received necessary repairs. The flat was fixed quickly, and the plane is now back on schedule, according to a source familiar with the development.
The rare aircraft, one of only 44 made in the late 1950s, left Auburn-Lewiston Airport (LEW) on Tuesday for its slow journey to New York City, where it will serve as a retro-themed cocktail lounge. It has spent the last few decades as a source of spare parts for a sister Starliner that's being restored to flying condition by Lufthansa.
According to Tyler Morse, the CEO of MCR and Morse Development, which is renovating the hotel, this particular Starliner has had a storied career, including as a drug-running vehicle in South America. It's one of four Starliners still in existence.