A vintage commercial airplane is set to undertake a long, slow journey from Maine to New York where it will be turned into a cocktail lounge.
The long trip ahead of the Lockheed Constellation, known as the "Connie," kicked off Monday at a send-off event Auburn-Lewiston Airport in Maine. The plane will depart Tuesday morning and make its way over the next several days to JFK in New York on a tow truck.
Once in New York, the L-1649A Starliner will serve as the cocktail lounge outside TWA Hotel, a hotel that promises to bring back "the magic of the Jet Age."
A spokeswoman for TWA Hotel says the plane, built in 1956 and in service starting in 1958, does not fly anymore.
Tyler Morse, CEO of New York-based hotel owner and operator MCR and Morse Development said the plane flew for Trans World Airlines for three years before flying around the Alaskan wilderness as a bush pilot plane.
By the 1970s, the plane had become a drug-running plane in South America. Morse said "It had giant cargo doors to fly pallets of marijuana around South America."
The plane was later abandoned in Honduras and brought to Florida in the 80s. An aircraft enthusiast had it flown out to Maine with hopes of restoring it, but ran out of money.
The rare airliner will end up inside the New York airport, next to terminal 5.