Vintage TWA plane, soon to become bar, tours Times Square

TIMES SQUARE, Manhattan (WABC) -- Part of Times Square looks like a trip back in time this weekend.

The fuselage of a vintage TWA Lockheed Constellation airplane from 1958 is on display through Sunday evening.

It is stationed at the corner of Broadway and West 45th Street.

Soon the plane will serve as a cocktail lounge at the new TWA Hotel at the former TWA terminal JFK Airport. The hotel and the 'cocktail lounge in a cabin' are set to open on May 15.

The plane arrived in New York in November from Maine, where it was being restored.

It was trucked Friday night from Kennedy Airport to Times Square, where the same model plane was featured in an eight-story billboard in the late 1950s.

The Constellation, known as Connie, flew for TWA for three years before it was forced into retirement by the Boeing 707. It was later used as an Alaskan bush plane and then was used as a marijuana dropper by South American drug traffickers.

The plane was bought last year by MCR/MORSE Development, the developers of the soon-to-open TWA Hotel.

"We're trying to recreate the theater of the hotel and make it a special experience," said MCR CEO Tyler Morse.

The 512-room TWA Hotel will be the only hotel on the airport's grounds.

It is intended as an homage to the era when Eero Saarinen's gull-winged TWA Flight Center opened in 1962. The terminal closed in 2001 when TWA was acquired by American Airlines.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, who joined Morse at an event to welcome the vintage plane to Times Square, said the landmark TWA terminal is "going to be a vibrant hotel and conference space, and part of our city again."

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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