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An Expedition To Fly The Connie, Part I  
User currently offlineRpaillard From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (9 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 5538 times:

We all know in Europe and maybe worldwide that there is a conserved Super Constellation in Switzerland. I do encourage any enthusiast to join this fantastic project. All together, we can keep this fantastic bird in the sky forever: http://www.superconstellation.org

At a glance:
Friday, September 8:
- Fly in: BIQ-LYS-BSL (Air France)
- Connie flight: BSL-GVA, “Transjurane”

Saturday, September 9
- Transfer flight: GVA-FRA (Lufthansa)

Sunday, September 10
- Fly out: FRA-BSL (Lufthansa), BSL-ORY-BIQ (Air France)

As you can see, that’s an interesting routing for the enthusiast. Why such a route? What a question! Why make it simple and boring if you could make it rock and roll? You also have to consider the financial aspect. Well, Air France had nothing decent to offers for a BIQ-BSL, GVA-BIQ trip. You have the whole story.

Nothing special here. I flew a FOKKER 70 (F-GLIV) between BIQ and LYS. Typical AF’s domestic service. The flight was operated by Regional. Load factor was very low on that leg with around 20 pax onboard. Now, LYS-BSL. Well, except some delays to due traffic, nothing special to report. I flew a ATR 42 (F-GPYA) operated by Airlinair, on behalf on Air France. The load was also very low with around 18 pax. The view over the Alpes was just amazing


DALElite invited me to share some times and a lunch at the airport. I was delighted to see him one more time. He was also very interested by my Connie trip.

At 14:30, I proceed to the check-in desk #80 in hall 4. The whole SCFA’s crew was right there, with also maybe 15 pax. We took the opportunity to exchange and share our fellings before this fantastic flight. The security was cleared very fast. A bus took us to the apron. The fantastic bird was there, ready to make us happy Big grin We had the opportunity to review the plane while on the ground. It was just fantastic!







We received two “Super Constellation” towelette from the “assigned” Flight attendant and a customized Security Card. Safety briefing was quick and efficient. The whole SCFA staff is more than friendly, very open, too.

Ok, enough Bla-Bla-Bla, lets proceed with real aviation now:



I think everybody enjoyed the show! It was really nice for us to hear the sound of the props, feel the vibrations and see clouds of smoke!
We had to choose a seat for the take off, and fasten our seat belt. The plan lines up on the runway, waiting for clearance. It must be a show for the others inbounds flights! The take off was really smooth, as the plane seems to leave the ground at very low speed. I was also amazed by the vibration’s level: I found it very limited.

The flight was due to last 35 minutes. It was airborne more than 50! The weather was really good. We enjoyed beverages, candy and chocolate service!


Everybody onboard move from the back to the front, from the right to the left. You could also enjoy a cockpit visit and even jump seat for a little moment. It was just GREAT for me: First jump seat, on a Connie! A Senior Lady ask me to take some pictures for her, as her camera was broken. She gave me very good advices for mandatory’s “Classical Views”:





The “Lac Leman” overview was really nice. We saw it twice. The cruise was between 5000 and 1000 feet. Smooth and breathtaking. My friend ALPHAFloor offers me to shot our landing. He did it, and I would like to thanks him for that one more time!



The Connie was parked close to the main terminal. The bird will be on more time on duty the next day for a private flight. We learned that a DC3 is due to join the show. A big load of vintage for GVA: that rocks!


Everybody still flight on his small cloud after the landing. Everything was just PERFECT. We also received on Flight Certificate. I’m so proud to own this paper!

ALPHAFloor was at the terminal exit, ready to spend the rest of the day with me. He showed me the City. That was very kind. Thanks, one more time. Next, we shared a very good diner.

That’s the end of “Expedition to flight the Connie, Part I”. Want to see more? I will post “Expedition to flight the Connie, Part II” soon. You will discover some DC3’s pictures, more Connie’s picture and a report of my fancy fly-out route to BIQ, via FRA,BSL and ORY!

I really hope you enjoyed this part and that you will like the next one!


13 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineViveAF From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2001, 198 posts, RR: 8
Reply 1, posted (9 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 5512 times:

Wow Raphael - superb report on a fantastic trip !

So jealous here...

Can`t wait for the first-hand report when I see you next.

Salud !


User currently offlineAlphafloor From Chile, joined Jun 2004, 1277 posts, RR: 35
Reply 2, posted (9 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 5500 times:

Hey Raphael, the onboard pictures of the Connie are awesome !  bigthumbsup  Here are two pictures of your arrival in GVA :

It was nice to meet you again, can't wait to read the next part of your trip...

User currently offlineDALelite From Switzerland, joined Jun 2000, 1770 posts, RR: 22
Reply 3, posted (9 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 5480 times:

wow, your report is already online. fabulous report, great pics.
and it was a pleasure having lunch with you at BSL airport.
looking forward for your upcoming fra-bsl-ory report.

salut : markus

They loved to fly and it showed..
User currently offlineRJ100 From Switzerland, joined Nov 2000, 4138 posts, RR: 26
Reply 4, posted (9 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 5452 times:

Raphael, excellent report. Looking forward to see part two.


User currently offlineANCFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (9 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 5442 times:

What a fantastic trip - and trip report.

I have flown on a couple of classic propliners, including a Stratocruiser (  bigthumbsup  ) but never a Connie. It was always a dream of mine to fly on a Connie. . . .I think they are a very beautiful and graceful aircraft.

It appears the interior is not original issue . . . the seats certainly look like small, present day narrow coach type seating. The absense of the overhead hat racks is clear . . . wonder what the interior looked like before it was restored to flying?

Raphael, my friend, excellent report! Thank you for sharing it with us.

User currently offlineRyan h From Australia, joined Aug 2001, 1658 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (9 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 5430 times:

Although I have never been on a Consetllation, I have seen one fly and it is impressive, particularly when the engines start and there is smoke everywhere.

Great report. Nice to read something different from the regular airline stuff.

South Australian Spotter
User currently offline767747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 2131 posts, RR: 23
Reply 7, posted (9 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 5428 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Great report! What a flight to remember! I like the pictures of the engine start.


I love to fly!
User currently offlineRpaillard From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (9 years 8 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 5283 times:

Hi all,

First, thanks for the positive feedback on my post. Glad to see folks enjoyed the read and the pictures.

A big up to Alphafllor for the landing pictures. I do have a copy, but I decided to let you post it.

ANCFlyer, my Friend, you now have just a couple of options to fly the bird. As far as I know, there is still a frame in the US. I of course DO recommend you to find a way to flight it. Regarding the cabin layout, it's of course far from the genuine's ones. It's definitively NOT an issue with this bird. Seats were vacant 99% of the time during the flight Big grin

For all others fellow there, thanks for your input. This flight was an initiation for me. I'm 29. I know I'm lucky. It was a very special moment for me. I do encourage anybody to do his best to afford such experience.


User currently offlineRyan h From Australia, joined Aug 2001, 1658 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (9 years 8 months 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 5253 times:

ANCflyer, as Raphael said to get on a connie you either have to find the one in the US or the Swiss one or come to Australia.

South Australian Spotter
User currently offlineHAM From Germany, joined Jul 2005, 293 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 5198 times:

cool! nice trip and report. is it normal that there are flames when the engines start?

User currently offlineDALelite From Switzerland, joined Jun 2000, 1770 posts, RR: 22
Reply 11, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 5120 times:

raphael, the people gathering for the flight were very special. all different ages and off different social status. have you been able to figure out where these people came from and where to they did travel?

regards: markus

They loved to fly and it showed..
User currently offlineRpaillard From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 5044 times:


Some PAX were in fact lucky winners. GVA's airport hold a game and select randomly 4 or 5 (can't remember) staff to enjoy the flight. Apart that, there was enthusiasts like me, some from France, some from UK, some from Switzerland etc

But I have to say that we were delighted to exchange about aviation, old birds, and more widely aviation hobby. So we did not really introduce our-self.


User currently offlineLucky42 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 5002 times:

Man what a trip back in time...I am jealous!!

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