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Australia Lockheed Constellation L749

2009 Proof Five Dollar reverse 2009 Proof Five Dollar obverse

2009 Proof Five Dollar

Reverse Designer:Wojciech Pietranik Obverse Designer:Ian Rank-Broadley Size:39mm Weight:36.31g Edge:Reeded Composition:99.9% Silver


Sales History


The five dollar coin of the Constellation L749 is part of the collection of coins under the heading 'Flying Through Time' which consists of five other designs. They were all struck in Sterling Silver. The reverse of this coin, designed by Wojciech Pietranik, includes two images of the Constellation L749 viewed from different angles. Included at the base of the design is the the legend 5 DOLLARS and it also has the legend around the inside edge of the coin of, AVIATION HISTORY - CONSTELLATION L749. The obverse features the Ian Rank-Broadley portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, crowned, facing right, with earrings and is surrounded by the legend ELIZABETH II AUSTRALIA 2009. This coin along with the other three to complete the set was originally boxed in pairs sets or they could be obtained by subscription to the ROYAL AUSTRALIAN MINT.

The Lockheed Constellation L749 had its first flight on the 9th January 1943. It had three accidents during its initial ten months of service and earned the unenviable reputation of being the best triple engined plane. It had the nickname of 'Connie' and was the plane of choice for U.S. President, Dwight D. Eisenhower. A total of 856 were made with four engines and a bold triple tail design. The Constellation was considered more successful as a military plane as the Air Force and the Navy took delivery of forty percent of its entire production. They were a pre-cursor to the AWACS that you see in service today. Howard Hughes made a deal with Lockheed that TWA would be the only buyer of Constellations for its first two years of production which upset airline companies, most notably American and United. The Constellation was a pressurized passenger aircraft. There was a story of one poor lady that was glued to a toilet seat when the valve that emptied the toilet into the unpressurized reservoir failed, becoming the cork that maintained cabin pressure. She was freed when the crew depressurized the airplane (History Net, 2009) .

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