Manufacturer: Lockheed

Model: unknown

Name: Aldebaran

Type: Transport


Status: Demonstrator

Country: United States

Service: Commercial

Designation: none


Here is the Lockheed Aldebaran airliner of 1942. Don't go looking for it in your aviation books, you won't find it! Basically, I used a wartime photo of the Lockheed C-69, the military variant of the Constellation, as a starting point (see below right) — although nothing remains of the original aircraft except for two of the four engines and the wheel carriages!.

There's more to just removing two engines here...

  • Fuselage top bulge was straightened, bottom was straightened a bit too.
  • Wing was thinned and shortened.
  • Cockpit area (windows) was enlarged (the aircraft is supposed to be smaller than a Connie, so perhaps grafting a 1:48 Connie cockpit onto a 1:72 model might do the trick!?)
  • Tail was turned into a single-fin that was stretched.

The name Aldebaran is that of a constellation, keeping it in line with Lockheed's age-old practice of naming their aircraft after stars. The various elements from the montage (titles, captions, texts) were all snatched from various Lockheed ads of the same period. The layout itself was directly adapted from one of these ads.

Finally, I had to add some clouds from another picture to render the flawless sky of the original picture less dull...

My impression on doing this montage was that the Aldebaran would have been sort of a Lockheed L-188 Electra but 10 years ahead. My main regret here is to have left the undercarriages as they were. Quite obviously there are now too big and sturdy for this smaller aircraft and the mainframe is not a little too high above the ground I think.

Viewers' comments:
  • Very Cool! (CerebralPizza)
  • That's gorgeous! You had a good starting point! (comradeloganov)
  • Haven't you drawn the prototype while it was being used to develop the USN's requirement for a COD aircraft of the period? That version of the Aldebaran had the beefed up landing gear and had more ground clearance for those scary full-load carrier landings.........  Wink Wink (PR19_Kit)
  • I especially liked the  Lockheed Aldebaran concept  :) (apophenia)
  • Nice airliner! Thanks! Thumbs Up (Tophe)
  • I guess a twin "mini-Connie" would have been a viable alternative for the Convair CV-110/CV-240, and the flawed Martin 2-O-2. Question is, if such a plane had ever been built by Lockheed, would she have been a success, with TWA as its (obvious) launch-customer, or would she have gone the same way as the Boeing 419, a victim of the success of the (war-surplus) C-47s...? The irony about the Aldebaran - if it had ever been built - is that it probably wouldn't only have been rivaled by the DC-3, but even by a massive amount of war-surplus Hudsons and Lodestars! Another question was, would the Aldebaran have been based on the L-49 Constellation... or the L-44 Excalibur? Granted, work on the Excalibur - [link] - was shelved in favour of the Connie, but some design features could have made their way into the Aldebaran, such as perhaps the twin fin design (which would have been a logical feature, given Lockheed had used that on its Electra, Electra Junior, Super Electra and Lodestar designs, as well as on the original Excalibur concept). (kanyiko)
  • The twin engine Connie looks great, I might have a go and build that from a Heller 1/72. (McColm)
  • excellent! I do have a soft spot for Lockheed's civvie designs (so much better than their military stuff), so the Aldebaran just edges it for me (pyro-manic)
  • If only someone could realize Aldebaran in 3D. :) (ysi_maniac)

My comments: