Even the most jaded New Yorkers were probably surprised to see a 116-foot-long airplane (sans wings) cruising through the streets of Manhattan yesterday; the aircraft that once flew for the now-defunct Trans World Airlines (TWA) will soon open as a hotel bar at the new TWA Hotel at John F. Kennedy International Airport in May.
On March 22, a police escort helped guide the fully restored 1958 Constellation “Connie” aircraft through the means streets of the Big Apple, the New York Post reports. The aircraft’s dramatic entry is being filmed for the upcoming documentary “The Rebirth of the TWA Flight Center” and will be parked near Times Square until Sunday.
In years past, the Connie plane flew into JFK (then called Idlewild Airport) while it was in service for TWA, according to Metropolitan Airport News. The aircraft broke the transcontinental speed record of the day and went on to serve as as Air Force One for President Dwight D. Eisenhower through the 1950s, according to the official web page of the TWA Hotel.
Connie was said to be “so special” to the airline that the carrier raised an eight-story billboard in the plane’s honor in Times Square in 1955. The fuselage will be parked near when the sign was hung.
Fast forward to the present, and the aircraft will again welcome travel enthusiasts aboard in just a few weeks. This time around, however, Connie will be outfitted as a retro-inspired cocktail lounge at the TWA Hotel, Reader’s Digest reports, and be parked right on the tarmac.
According to the outlet, the long-defunct TWA terminal has been renovated into an inn boasting 512 guest rooms, six restaurants and eight bars with unparalleled views of JFK runways and a 1960s décor throughout.
As of press time, rates for the hotel begin around $224 per night