USA Northeast & Canada

Greenwood LakeAirport - 04oct09

Copyright Ruud Leeuw Photos © R.Leeuw

N9412H Constellation at Greenwood Lake

We headed for West Milford, NJ and located ths small airfield, Greenwood Lake Airport, quite easily. Searching out this Lockheed Constellation had been a wish of mine for a long time and finally I was in the area. It wasn't just because of the actual airplane, but also about that vanishing tradition of putting large aeroplanes with shopping malls, gasstations and restaurants.

N9412H at Greenwood Lake,NJ

Inside the Connie
Inside constellation N9412H
The Constellation is not used to accommodate restaurant guests, it merely draws attention to it. The building to which it is attached is the airport office and, for most part, the restaurant. One can walk in the cabin of the 'Connie' and check out the cockpit.

The cockpit of L.Constellation N9412H

Click for Large image <--Click this image for a large image (1065 x 710)

From Lockheed L.049 Constellation:
  • Final registration - N9412H
  • Delivered as Air France's first Constellation June 1946 as L.049 F-BAZA
  • To Hughes Tool Co February 1950 as N9412H
  • Transferred to TWA May 1950
  • To California Airmotive August 1959
  • To Las Vegas Hacienda September 1959
  • Leased to World Wide Airlines July 1962, Royal Air Burundi December 1962
  • Returned from lease June 1964 and stored at Oakland, CA
  • Leased to Edde Airlines 1963
  • To Trans World Insurance Brokers December 1964
  • To Las Vegas Hacienda April 1965 with lease to Edde Airlines continuing
  • To McCullough Properties Inc May 1966
  • To Mineral County Airlines June 1968 trading as Hawthorne Nevada Airlines and later Air Nevada
  • Stored at Long Beach, CA by September 1969
  • To Executive Party Club May 1970 and delivered to Burbank, CA same month
  • Stored at Burbank, CA
  • To Produce Custom Air in Jul 1972 and flown to Phoenix, AZ in March 1973
  • Stored at Buckeye, AZ in Air Nevada markings
  • Sold to Frank Lembo Enterprises May 1976 for $45,000 for use as a restaurant and lounge
  • Flown to Greenwood Lake Airport, West Milford, NJ (probably the winter 1976-77) where it landed on the airport's 2,700 foot runway (see video of landing)
  • Converted to a restaurant/lounge and opened for a short time in 1981
  • Used as a pilot's shop in the mid-1990's
  • Aircraft, along with airport, sold to the State of New Jersey in 2000
  • Interior refurbished and used as a flight school office in 2005



Silent forever
Looks like this Connie is going to be refuelled and depart, but these Wright R-3350 radials are silent forever.
The Wright R-3350 Duplex-Cyclone was one of the most powerful radial aircraft engines produced in the United States. It was a twin row, supercharged, air-cooled, radial engine with 18 cylinders. Power ranged from 2,200 to over 3,700 hp (1,640 to 2,760 kW), depending on the model. First developed prior to World War II, the R-3350's design required a long time to mature before finally being used to power the B-29 Superfortress. After the war, the engine had matured sufficiently to become a major civilian airliner design, notably in its Turbo-Compound forms.

this is the place
The place ...

Charles Rowsell posted on Facebook ('Aviation wrecks and relics', june 2020): "Well well well. Can I tell you stories about her.
I've put bags in and kicked bags out of her. Hauled the honey buckets in and out.
Helped my Dad install the first DME in her.
Went on the test flight with the FAA to certify the DME. Watched the FAA pilot climb out to the service ceiling (I believe 25K) then turn back to the FE and say "Cruise power". Red (the FE's nickname) looks at his chart, tooks at the gauges (the red handles to the turbochargers are 'against the wall') and answers "You've got it", somewhat sarcastically.
We then proceeded to do 45 degree turns as the Chuck Yeager wannabe brags about doing 60 degree turns 'in jets'.
The next trick was the straight in approach to SLC. Pulled all four back, then did (I believe) an almost a 30 degree dive to the runway!
I remember best looking at the copper mine passing by well below me and the limited view of the end of the runway through the open cockpit door.
For the final trick, our test pilot stops 1 & 2, pops the front cabin door, tosses down the rope (no slides back then) and does a hand-over-hand to the ground. He then beats feet into the terminal "to catch a flight back to LA."
My Uncle moves into the left seat with some kind words, questioning said pilots parenthood and his inability to grace his presence in a company cockpit ever again.
If you want to see #3 getting started, it's on You Tube. As is the final flight into Greenwood."

more to see than just the Constellation
The large propellor blades made it necessary to extand the undercarriage, the fuselage sits at considerable height.
Let's get a closer look at that AT-6 over there...

unidentified NA Harvard / Texan
Harvard Mk.II, N2956 (c/n 66-2689)

Inquiries into the identity of this aircraft brought the following opinion by Jack Cook on the WIX forum: "Looks like a Harvard IV with gear doors and a cut down exhaust dump. "

Having now the proper type identification made it proofed to be easier to search the internet and this brought me a photolink on Air-Britain's Photographic Images Collection, identifying it as N2956 (66-2689)!
The photo shows the N-number to be on the tailrudder and that is why I could not find it.

The FAA website N-inquiry provided the following details: North American AT-6C, registered 20Dec1991 to Ronald H. Gertsen of of Kinnelon,NJ. Aircraft serial 66-2689, manufactured 1941, engine P&W1340 series.

Air-Britain member Tony Broadhurst added to this:
"Have had a quick look at a) Warbirds Directory 2008 CD and b) 'Harvard!' (Fletcher and MacPhail) which appear to agree.
a) 66-2689 . Mk. II 2956 RCAF BOC 11.3.41: SOC 13.9.60
CF-SDK Gary L. Oates & Mike Malagies, Weston ONT 68
N2956 Frank J. Ciccolella, Tewksbury MA 69/86
Ronald H. Gertsen, Kinnelon NJ 20.12.91/08.
b) RCAF 2956. Taken on strength 11.03.41, Struck off Strength 13.09.60. Served 9 SFTS., 41 SFTS., 420 Squadron, Trenton - CADC, CF-SDK.
Perhaps worth adding that, as with the photo caption, the above data points the aircraft being a Harvard II rather than the post war Harvard IV."

See also this 2012 photo:

Inquiries to Greenwood Lake Airport by phone about this matter brought evasive response and emails were not replied to.

round engine
Engine Plate

Lockheed Constellation N9412H at Greenwood Lake
Another look at N9412H, from the ramp.
One of few remaining aeroplane restaurants
The restaurant can be seen on the right.
I had an excellent hamburger, sitting under that remarkable tailsection, in the sun. What more could I wish for?!


Piper Cub N7240H

Piper J3C-65 Cub N7240H (c/n 20530) was registered to No Flaps LLC (Newfoundland,NJ) on 11Sep2008.

2009 Greenwood Lake Airshow - Kirk Wicker & Piper J3 Cub

Piper Cub N7240H

The Piper J-3 Cub is a small, simple, light aircraft that was built between 1937 and 1947 by Piper Aircraft. With tandem (fore and aft) seating, it was intended for flight training but became one of the most popular and best-known light aircraft of all time. The Cub's simplicity, affordability and popularity invokes comparisons to the Ford Model T automobile.
The aircraft's standard yellow paint has come to be known as 'Cub Yellow' or 'Lock Haven Yellow'.
[Source: ]



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