In 1954 the Lockheed EC-121 Warning Star was introduced and operated until 1978. These
aircraft were used as airborne early warning radar surveillance to work in conjunction with the
DEW Line (Distant Early Warning) Line. The USAF used these aircraft in Vietnam as electronic
sensor monitors and to detect enemy aircraft activity as well as a few other operations. These
aircraft were the forerunners to today’s E-3 Sentry AWACS. The USAF aircrews used the
nickname “Connies”, a play on the word Constellation.

During the Vietnam War EC-121R Constellations were used to monitor enemy movements. On
June 4, 1969 EC-121R 67-21487 c/n 4480, former USN 143206, departed Korat RTAFB for an 8
hour on site orbit. Shortly after entering the orbit all 4 engines shut down without any warning and
the aircraft became a glider. Without pressure from the engines there were no hydraulics and the
pilot had to wrestle with manual controls to keep the aircraft from diving and/or rolling. Eventually
the engineer was able to restart the engines and they flew to the closest base at Da Nang, thus
becoming the “Da Nang Glider”. No explanation was ever reached as to why this occurred.

Specification for the Lockheed EC-121D or USN designation WV-2
Name – Warning Star
Crew – 6 x flight crew and 11 – 25 radar crew

Length – 116 ft 2 in  (35.4 m)
Wingspan – 126 ft 2 in  (38.45 m)
Height – 24 ft 9 in  (7.54 m)

Empty – 69,210 lb  (31,387 kg)
Maximum Take-off – 143,000 lb  (65,000 kg)

Power Plant - 4 x Wright R-3350-34 Turbo Compound 18-cylinder supercharged radial engines
developing 3,400 hp  (2,536 kW) each
Maximum Speed – 299 mpg  (260 kt, 481 km/h)
Cruise – 255 mph  (222 kt, 410 km/h)
Range – 4,250 mi  (3,700 nm, 6,843 km)
Service Ceiling – 25,000 ft  (7,620 m)
ROC – 8960 ft/min  (4.87 m/s)

EC-121R Constellation
67-21487, "Da Nang Glider"
553rd RW, USAF
Korat RTAFB Thailand, June 1969
If you arrived at this page
using a search engine or a
link from another site
please click on the home
button once during your
visit so my visitor counter
will add your visit.
Thank you.
1/200 scale die-cast metal with minimal use of plastic.
All markings are tampo (pad) applied, no decals to discolor or flake.
Free-spinning propellers.
Most models have rolling wheels.
Landing gear can be removed or added.
Model comes with a display stand.
A brief history of the aircraft type and the airline is supplied with each model.