Manufacturer: Lockheed

Model: 598

Name: Super Stardust

Type: VTOL transport


Status: Operational

Country: United States

Service: Commercial (TWA)

Designation: none


The Lockheed Stardust (Model 098) and Super Stardust (Model 598) were revolutionary VTOL passenger transports used by TWA in the mid-1960s and using technology developed for the Bell-Lockheed D-2064 assault transport project. These caused quite a commotion when they appeared and passengers mostly shied away from such revolutionary technology. Consequently, TWA reverted back to more traditional aircraft very soon.


I started from a Lockheed Constellation's fuselage. I completely redrew the strange T-tail. The cockpit was also reworked. Can't remember exactly where the ducted fans were taken from...

Viewers' comments:
  • Boy, I wish this were real!!! Sweet design!!! :) Retro, yet cool too!!! :) Sorry I haven't said "Hello" for a while. My life's been pretty hectic with getting out of the Navy and becoming a civilian again. (dinobatfan)
  • Cool, but it would need wings when flying horizontally. (ONI-Defense)
  • Model 98 Stardust is one of favorites. (finsrin)
  • The Stardust looks great, when my Super Connies arrive I might have a go and build my own version. (McColm)
  • I love the idea of a VTOL-capable airliner. Besides the coolness factor, that would (*maybe*) cause a trend towards smaller airports, and in greater numbers. (Why build an airport with a really long runway when you can just bring your plane in right downtown?) ...Buuut, I can see why folks in your alternate history would be wary of this bird... I'm no aircraft engineer, but the lack of any kind of wings is just... off-putting on a plane like this. Maybe it's just the length of the fuselage... (SomeRandomMinion)
  • Wow! This is so revolutionary I just don't understand how it works... What is providing lift during cruise level flight? Mind power of the crew? Wink (Tophe)

My comments:

The ducted fans tilt to push the aircraft forward, it's the system tested successfully on the X-22 prototype... So I believe it would work in the same way here, wouldn't it?

Anyway, the Super Stardust seemed like a good idea when I did it... Taking the fuselage of the most elegant 1950s airliner and turning it into a VTOL aircraft with ducted fans was a promising concept, but the result looks way too much like some retro-scifi design to my liking... :(