The Penndel Airplane: Where is it Now?


This photo sparked a great discussion over on our Facebook page. It’s an old Bucks County landmark that many remember well; Jim Flannery’s Constellation Lounge on US Route 1 in Penndel. This old airplane, transformed into a restaurant, was a local landmark for many years. One reader recalled, the day of it’s grand opening, a tragic accident occurred involving a young model in a hot-air balloon. Despite its rough start, it thrived for years as a popular eatery and bar. “The Airplane” also served as a navigational beacon for locals. Come through Penndel, pass the airplane, then turn right.

But what ever happened to the airplane? Where is it now? I did a little digging and discovered the details here:

Penndel Airplane’s  New Home

14 thoughts on “The Penndel Airplane: Where is it Now?

  1. I remember Jim Flannery and the plane. Jim, my father “Jerry” and Ernie Bhuel were “Flying Buddies”, along with Harry Hollenback; the owner of Bucks County Sound near Pendel. The day of the grand opening, I was working for RCA Service Company in Langhorne. I needed some electrical tape and went to Pendel Hardware. The owner, some gentelman named Harrold told me there was a hot air baloon over at Flannerys and it was going to take off from the parking lot. I went over and noticed the overhead wires right away and thought it was a bad idea. I wanted to say something but I didn’t want to appear as some kind of trouble maker. The baloon didn’t have much room for any mistakes on lift-off.
    It started to rise and the wind seemed to take it straight into the wires and there was a bright flash and loud buzzing explosion.
    I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. The passengers in the basket fell out and I think they all got killed. Not sure. I smoked pot back then and thought it was all like some kind of bad dream. I tried to keep looking but I couldn’t. It was too much for the senses. Such a sad day for everyone.

    • Amazing ! I worked for Harry Hollenback when I was going to BCCC. And, years later, our band ” Backyard ” played at Flannery’s. Jim took us up in the plane and showed us around. My first thoughts were how small it was inside there .

  2. I just related my own recollections from that fateful day on the PhillyBurbs site discussing where the Constellation had been ‘reborn’. A sad day; we saw the balloon drift past the Our Lady of Grace school while we had our noses pressed to the glass. We didn’t realize what we had witnessed until later.

        • So tragic and I can only pray that you have learned to grieve and hopefully hold dear memories, we used to live in the building where the pawn shop is for about 2 years from like 84-85 when my parents split and I was 4 years old, the plane was my playground and I have a few memories, I lost my Mom 4 years ago at 51 and that is still difficult, I also hope that whoever was responsible for the safety of that was held financially responsible and your were compensated although it doesn’t begin to fix the loss of a human life/lives.

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