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The Lockheed Constellation ('Connie') is a propeller-driven, four-engined airliner built by Lockheed Corporation starting in 1943. The Constellation series was the first pressurized-cabin civil airliner series to go into widespread use. Its pressurized cabin enabled commercial passengers to fly well above most bad weather for the first time, thus significantly improving the general safety and ease of air travel. Several different models of the Constellation series were produced, although they all featured the distinctive triple-tail and dolphin-shaped fuselage. Most were powered by four 18-cylinder Wright R-3350 Duplex-Cyclones. In total, 856 were produced between 1943 and 1958 at Lockheed's plant in Burbank, California, and used as both a civil airliner and as a military and civilian cargo transport. Among their famous uses was during the Berlin and the Biafran airlifts. Three served as the presidential aircraft for Dwight D. Eisenhower, one of which is featured at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. Design and development = Initial studies =Lockheed had been working on the L-044 Excalibur, a four-engined, pressurized airliner, since 1937. In 1939, Transcontinental and Western Airlines (TWA), at the instigation of major stockholder Howard Hughes, requested a 40-passenger transcontinental airliner with a range of 3, 500 mi (5, 600 km)well beyond the capabilities of the Excalibur design. TWA's requirements led to the L-049 Constellation, designed by Lockheed engineers, including Kelly Johnson and Hall Hibbard.
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