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Lufthansa Lockheed Super Star Restoration Project

Mon Feb 19, 2018 12:02 pm

Hi,

Don't know if this is the correct section for this, and please place correctly if not.
I couldn't find a topic on this here, please redirect if already discussed.

Lufthansa started their latest historic project a few years ago, bringing back an old Lockheed superstar to flying condition. It is currently positioned in Main, US, and has been for the last few years.

I have tried to find out more about when the project is planned to be finished, but can't find any date on this yet. Have they announced this, or is it just another project that they won't announce a date until it's just the final polishing left?

http://superstar.lufthansa.com/en/home.html
https://www.dlbs.de/en/index.php
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na
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Re: Lufthansa Lockheed Super Star Restoration Project

Mon Feb 19, 2018 12:09 pm

The project began in 2009. During the restoration more and more parts were found to need replacement. Others didnt meet the safety level LH expects. This led to a lot of extra work. In 2009 it was planned that by 2012 the Super Star would fly, but since then no official date has been set. I only know that most is done.
 
Kilopond
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Re: Lufthansa Lockheed Super Star Restoration Project

Mon Feb 19, 2018 12:28 pm

There had been a minor accident half a year ago. Here is a report with awsome pictures from last August.

http://www.sunjournal.com/video-fire-su ... l-airport/
 
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conaly
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Re: Lufthansa Lockheed Super Star Restoration Project

Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:23 pm

Lufthansa want's to use it for commercial flights (yes, commercial passenger transport, not sightseeing-flights!!!), so they have to adapt to current safety regulations like decently sized emergency exit doors with inflatable slides and so on. That is quite a lot stuff, that wasn't equipped in the original Starliner. Many parts have to be either reproduced or even redesigned and certificated. So I believe the Starliner is still a few years from flying again.

But I am very interested in the project as well. I will definitely take a ride once the Starliner is in operation again.
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KLDC10
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Re: Lufthansa Lockheed Super Star Restoration Project

Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:24 pm

conaly wrote:
Lufthansa want's to use it for commercial flights (yes, commercial passenger transport, not sightseeing-flights!!!), so they have to adapt to current safety regulations like decently sized emergency exit doors with inflatable slides and so on. That is quite a lot stuff, that wasn't equipped in the original Starliner. Many parts have to be either reproduced or even redesigned and certificated. So I believe the Starliner is still a few years from flying again.

But I am very interested in the project as well. I will definitely take a ride once the Starliner is in operation again.


Do you have a source for this? My understanding was that the Superstar would be operated similarly to 'Tante Ju', the Junkers JU-52, registered D-AQUI, which currently operates sightseeing flights around Europe. If Lufthansa is planning to use the Superstar in commercial service, that's a world away from what I expected.
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eisenbach
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Re: Lufthansa Lockheed Super Star Restoration Project

Mon Feb 19, 2018 3:02 pm

Hi mates! Colleagues from Red Bull (Flying Bulls), which have a lot experience in restoring a DC-6, said last time to me that LH underestimated the complexity of the project and that they need to have indeed a commercial licence, as they want to sell seats on the plane (in contrast to the Flying Bulls, where you cannot purchase a flight with one of the historic airliners).

I recommend everyone to watch this short video of the DC-6 restoration: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4PlcKf-XRw
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Re: Lufthansa Lockheed Super Star Restoration Project

Mon Feb 19, 2018 5:20 pm

KLDC10 wrote:
Do you have a source for this? My understanding was that the Superstar would be operated similarly to 'Tante Ju', the Junkers JU-52, registered D-AQUI, which currently operates sightseeing flights around Europe. If Lufthansa is planning to use the Superstar in commercial service, that's a world away from what I expected.

From what I have heard, the plan is to offer some sort of luxury cruise itineraries. Restoring a plane of this kind to fly it at air shows seems like a phenomenal waste of resources. This is an intercontinental airliner and not the red baron's biplane. And that is what it should be used for.
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conaly
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Re: Lufthansa Lockheed Super Star Restoration Project

Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:03 pm

KLDC10 wrote:
Do you have a source for this?


Yes:

“The airplane will be fully certified to the transport aircraft category,” says Conrad. “It’s not an experimental.” Fans of vintage airliners can expect to see the reborn Starliner at airshows. “We will not hide it at some airport in some hangar and just fly it every once in a while,” says Conrad. “We want to give back to all the people who have helped us over the years. We went through the peaks and valleys of the restoration, and we maybe legally own the airplane, but in my opinion this airplane is owned by everybody interested in aviation heritage.”


https://www.airspacemag.com/history-of- ... -180960064
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Re: Lufthansa Lockheed Super Star Restoration Project

Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:14 pm

Kilopond wrote:
There had been a minor accident half a year ago. Here is a report with awsome pictures from last August.

http://www.sunjournal.com/video-fire-su ... l-airport/

"Monday morning walked into a wall of foam over their heads after a malfunction in the fire suppression system
filled the building with foam and briefly trapped four people inside."

Mist.
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metaldirtnskin
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Re: Lufthansa Lockheed Super Star Restoration Project

Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:17 pm

These folks have been keeping up pretty well with that project (and surviving Constellations in general): http://www.conniesurvivors.com/1-connie_news.htm
 
Kilopond
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Re: Lufthansa Lockheed Super Star Restoration Project

Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:33 pm

eisenbach wrote:
[...]I recommend everyone to watch this short video of the DC-6 restoration: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4PlcKf-XRw


Thank you for that link. Well, the original DC-6 had been a legend, and it had been only sold to blue chip arilines but not to the likes of Lufthansa...

But the follow-up clip really surprised me: I must have missed something, since I hadn't been aware that the Swiss successfully managed to re-animate a Super Constellation example.

Watch this:
https://youtu.be/-67wssBOZEY
 
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zeke
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Re: Lufthansa Lockheed Super Star Restoration Project

Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:55 pm

conaly wrote:
Lufthansa want's to use it for commercial flights (yes, commercial passenger transport, not sightseeing-flights!!!), so they have to adapt to current safety regulations like decently sized emergency exit doors with inflatable slides and so on. That is quite a lot stuff, that wasn't equipped in the original Starliner. Many parts have to be either reproduced or even redesigned and certificated. So I believe the Starliner is still a few years from flying again.

But I am very interested in the project as well. I will definitely take a ride once the Starliner is in operation again.


That is not correct, there is no requirement to install larger doors or inflatable slides, it will be returned to service at the level it was certified for passenger transport. Additional equipment will need to be installed like modern ADS-B transponders and 8.33 vhf radios. Same as a DC-3 flying around today in commercial transport operations.
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conaly
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Re: Lufthansa Lockheed Super Star Restoration Project

Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:20 pm

zeke wrote:
That is not correct, there is no requirement to install larger doors or inflatable slides, it will be returned to service at the level it was certified for passenger transport.


Ok, if that's true I'm fine with that. I've read the thing about the doors and slides somewhere online before. Was a German source, but can't find it anymore. Maybe that's why...
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blackbird1
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Re: Lufthansa Lockheed Super Star Restoration Project

Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:09 am

conaly wrote:
zeke wrote:
That is not correct, there is no requirement to install larger doors or inflatable slides, it will be returned to service at the level it was certified for passenger transport.


Ok, if that's true I'm fine with that. I've read the thing about the doors and slides somewhere online before. Was a German source, but can't find it anymore. Maybe that's why...



You'll find the answer in post #10 following the link....Slides will be installed.
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Re: Lufthansa Lockheed Super Star Restoration Project

Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:23 am

There was some discussion about installing modern avionics on this
beautiful aircraft but I couldn’t find a picture anywhere?
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stl07
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Re: Lufthansa Lockheed Super Star Restoration Project

Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:53 am

This just made my day. I can't believe it will be coming back. Any word on whether it will fly TATL again?
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JannEejit
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Re: Lufthansa Lockheed Super Star Restoration Project

Tue Feb 20, 2018 6:49 am

What sort of cruising ceiling will she reach going transatlantic ?
 
Bavd
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Re: Lufthansa Lockheed Super Star Restoration Project

Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:03 am

From the lufthansa SuperStar page: As we leave nothing to chance, about 95 percent of the fuselage structure and approximately 85 percent of the wings have been replaced by new, state of the art material. One example is the digital “glass cockpit” featuring the latest generation of flight instruments and computer systems. 
This is no ordinary restoration but a rebuild. You could say the number of delivered constellations goes up with one.
It is also an enormous money pit. Rumour has it they are up to 70 million €.... so far.
 
FGITD
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Re: Lufthansa Lockheed Super Star Restoration Project

Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:19 am

It's definitely not a traditional restoration. It's pretty much a rebuilding/modernization.

Though with that said, I still wouldn't be expecting consistent transatlantic service on it. No way there'd be enough of a market. Amongst users of this site, maybe. But tell the average passengers that they can pay more to fly an older, slower, plane with fewer amenities....That's a hard sell.

Of course they have to finish it first...
 
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Re: Lufthansa Lockheed Super Star Restoration Project

Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:47 am

Kilopond wrote:
Thank you for that link. Well, the original DC-6 had been a legend, and it had been only sold to blue chip arilines but not to the likes of Lufthansa...

After their postwar reboot ( 1953, scheduled flights beginning in '55) LH
went for CV340 ( short range )
and the Super Conny ( long range ). For 20% more range vs the DC-6? Overall it is the slightly bigger bird.
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stratocruiser
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Re: Lufthansa Lockheed Super Star Restoration Project

Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:54 am

FGITD wrote:
It's definitely not a traditional restoration. It's pretty much a rebuilding/modernization.

Though with that said, I still wouldn't be expecting consistent transatlantic service on it. No way there'd be enough of a market. Amongst users of this site, maybe. But tell the average passengers that they can pay more to fly an older, slower, plane with fewer amenities....That's a hard sell.

Of course they have to finish it first...


There is also the fact that its Wright R-3350 Turbo Compound engines are arguably the most complex piston engines ever installed on an airliner and were a bit of a maintenance headache even for the experienced and skilled engineers of the piston era. With the passage of time, these skills will now largely have disappeared and it may be difficult to achieve the levels of engine reliability that would be desirable for long over water flights carrying passengers.
 
WIederling
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Re: Lufthansa Lockheed Super Star Restoration Project

Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:42 pm

stratocruiser wrote:
There is also the fact that its Wright R-3350 Turbo Compound engines are arguably the most complex piston engines ever installed on an airliner and were a bit of a maintenance headache even for the experienced and skilled engineers of the piston era.


How does the spare parts market look for these engines?
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Channex757
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Re: Lufthansa Lockheed Super Star Restoration Project

Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:22 pm

WIederling wrote:
stratocruiser wrote:
There is also the fact that its Wright R-3350 Turbo Compound engines are arguably the most complex piston engines ever installed on an airliner and were a bit of a maintenance headache even for the experienced and skilled engineers of the piston era.


How does the spare parts market look for these engines?

Probably better than you might think. A large number of these engines were produced for differing applications, and as aircraft were retired and broken up then engines would have been put into deep storage by specialist salvage companies for later use in things such as air racing or industrial adaptation. They certainly would not have been scrapped if there was a decent amount of life left in the motor.

In warehouses across the USA there is probably a viable supply of this magnificent if a bit cranky at times engine, all preserved under speciality oils and greases and slumbering next to Merlins and other legendary piston engines.
 
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Re: Lufthansa Lockheed Super Star Restoration Project

Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:56 pm

conaly wrote:
KLDC10 wrote:
Do you have a source for this?


Yes:

“The airplane will be fully certified to the transport aircraft category,” says Conrad. “It’s not an experimental.” Fans of vintage airliners can expect to see the reborn Starliner at airshows. “We will not hide it at some airport in some hangar and just fly it every once in a while,” says Conrad. “We want to give back to all the people who have helped us over the years. We went through the peaks and valleys of the restoration, and we maybe legally own the airplane, but in my opinion this airplane is owned by everybody interested in aviation heritage.”


https://www.airspacemag.com/history-of- ... -180960064


Thanks for the link - it's good to read that flights with the Superstar will take place regularly. It will be a real treat for aviation enthusiasts when completed!
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lat41
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Re: Lufthansa Lockheed Super Star Restoration Project

Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:57 pm

This great footage and intelligent discussion reminds me of the beautiful Eastern DC-7B that has sat at CLT with a busted engine for a few years. All that painstaking work for a very short second career. As the DC-7 was produced in fewer numbers and had more fussy higher performance engines than the DC-6, parts are even more rare. I don't know if the other 3 engines are cycled once in a while or if this is the end. I did see her take off from OPA several years ago and would love to see the DC-6 or a Connie some day.
 
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Re: Lufthansa Lockheed Super Star Restoration Project

Tue Feb 20, 2018 3:10 pm

stratocruiser wrote:
There is also the fact that its Wright R-3350 Turbo Compound engines are arguably the most complex piston engines ever installed on an airliner and were a bit of a maintenance headache even for the experienced and skilled engineers of the piston era. ...


As the saying goes: "The Super Constellation - the best 3-engine airliner to cross the Atlantic."

By the way: I heard that the aircraft will be painted in the new LH colour scheme...
 
flightsimer
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Re: Lufthansa Lockheed Super Star Restoration Project

Tue Feb 20, 2018 3:45 pm

The plane is also staying stateside once its flying. At least that was the latest plan from a year or two ago.
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mxaxai
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Re: Lufthansa Lockheed Super Star Restoration Project

Tue Feb 20, 2018 3:55 pm

flightsimer wrote:
The plane is also staying stateside once its flying. At least that was the latest plan from a year or two ago.

Setting aside certification issues, there should be no problem transferring it to Europe / Germany. It is after all an aircraft built for exactly that.
 
Heinkel
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Re: Lufthansa Lockheed Super Star Restoration Project

Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:18 pm

KLDC10 wrote:
Do you have a source for this? My understanding was that the Superstar would be operated similarly to 'Tante Ju', the Junkers JU-52, registered D-AQUI, which currently operates sightseeing flights around Europe. If Lufthansa is planning to use the Superstar in commercial service, that's a world away from what I expected.


AFAIK the LH JU-52 has a valid registration as a commercial airliner. This means, LH can use it for scheduled and chartered commercial flights from one airport to another, not just for sight seeing tours, which start and end at the same airport.

In 2007 we made a flight with the LH JU-52 from BWE to HAM. The flight had a real LH flight number, we had a ticket and a boarding pass, we were checked in, including security control and we had a flight attendant, who made the safety instructions. Not to forget the safety card in the seat pocket.

I think LH wants to get the full commercial airliner's registration for the Super Star, too.
 
flightsimer
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Re: Lufthansa Lockheed Super Star Restoration Project

Wed Feb 21, 2018 6:25 am

mxaxai wrote:
flightsimer wrote:
The plane is also staying stateside once its flying. At least that was the latest plan from a year or two ago.

Setting aside certification issues, there should be no problem transferring it to Europe / Germany. It is after all an aircraft built for exactly that.

It's not that, they are keeping it in the US for the US air show circuit and to offer similar flights in the US like they do in Europe. Again, that was the plan I had read as of 1-2 years ago. So it might have changed again.
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conaly
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Re: Lufthansa Lockheed Super Star Restoration Project

Sat Mar 17, 2018 8:46 am

Some bad news came in: http://www.aero.de/news-28784/Lufthansa ... hland.html (German)

Short summary: Lufthansa plans to relocate the Superstar to Germany and continue the restoration here. For that reason the wings have to be removed. It's uncertain, whether the plane can be brought back into the air afterwards, as the wings were not designed to be removed after assembly. There are even some speculations, that the Lufthansa concern is planning to stop the project, as the costs have already exceeded 200 million Euro and the money is coming directly from the mainline, while LH Technik is only the contractor.

As we know Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr is a penny pincher who loves to please the shareholders at all costs, I believe the project is currently on the verge of being abandoned. To bad, would have loved to have a ride on the Superstar.
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WIederling
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Re: Lufthansa Lockheed Super Star Restoration Project

Sat Mar 17, 2018 9:00 am

conaly wrote:
Some bad news came in: http://www.aero.de/news-28784/Lufthansa ... hland.html (German)

Short summary: Lufthansa plans to relocate the Superstar to Germany and continue the restoration here. For that reason the wings have to be removed.


What is the minimum weight of the plane without taking off the wings?

Would a Mil helo have enough payload to transfer to some coastal harbor or other?
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SQ22
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Re: Lufthansa Lockheed Super Star Restoration Project

Sat Mar 17, 2018 10:20 am

conaly wrote:
Some bad news came in: http://www.aero.de/news-28784/Lufthansa ... hland.html (German)

Short summary: Lufthansa plans to relocate the Superstar to Germany and continue the restoration here. For that reason the wings have to be removed. It's uncertain, whether the plane can be brought back into the air afterwards, as the wings were not designed to be removed after assembly. There are even some speculations, that the Lufthansa concern is planning to stop the project, as the costs have already exceeded 200 million Euro and the money is coming directly from the mainline, while LH Technik is only the contractor.

As we know Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr is a penny pincher who loves to please the shareholders at all costs, I believe the project is currently on the verge of being abandoned. To bad, would have loved to have a ride on the Superstar.


The rumors about stopping the project are already around for a few years, so this is nothing new. I tend to say, lets wait and see. Even if Spohr is looking after the money he know that such a bird is good promotion.

And in case they finish it I am quite sure it will wear the old LH livery and nothing else.
 
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conaly
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Re: Lufthansa Lockheed Super Star Restoration Project

Sat Mar 17, 2018 10:21 am

Well, the rumors might be there for years, but on Thursday LH officially informed Auburn, that the project is gonna be shifted to Germany, so in fact, something's gonna happen. What exactly is of course still quite unclear.
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Re: Lufthansa Lockheed Super Star Restoration Project

Sat Mar 17, 2018 10:36 am

There was even an article released two days ago in the local press regarding the intention to shift the remaining work to Germany:

http://www.sunjournal.com/lufthansa-to- ... o-germany/

Ironically enough, this decision was made public the very same day, the Lufthansa Group announced that it achieved the best financial result in its history.
 
holzmann
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Re: Lufthansa Lockheed Super Star Restoration Project

Sat Mar 17, 2018 1:50 pm

Too bad. The core of this project was more than restoration but rather the German-American relationship. I wonder why they decided to remove Americans from the project and continue in Germany?
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BravoOne
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Re: Lufthansa Lockheed Super Star Restoration Project

Sat Mar 17, 2018 2:55 pm

I have followed this project for sometime now I could have sworn that I saw that they had purchased a hanger down in San Jan for this airplane when the project was finished, Seems like an unusual place consider the corrosion factor?

I'm old enough that I flew copilot, F.O on the 1049H at FTL back in the sixties and I do not recall ever having to shut an engine down. FTL babied them, and for most part would out of their way to keep them out of high blower thus mitigating the strain on the engines, High blower was usually required above 13 to 14 thousand.
 
highflier92660
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Re: Lufthansa Lockheed Super Star Restoration Project

Sat Mar 17, 2018 2:59 pm

Might I remind everyone that there is another Lockheed 1649A Super Constellation sitting in Polk County Florida on static display. As I understand it this aircraft was used for parts in the Lufthansa restoration but originally I believe Kermit Weeks intended to restore it to airworthy condition. It was flown-in to Fantasy of Flight over a decade ago. Conceivably, corrosion and other issues notwithstanding, this airplane could still be restored.
 
LTenEleven
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Re: Lufthansa Lockheed Super Star Restoration Project

Sat Mar 17, 2018 3:18 pm

What a waste.

After so much effort, to just end up with a plane just suitable for static display.

:(
 
c933103
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Re: Lufthansa Lockheed Super Star Restoration Project

Sat Mar 17, 2018 3:21 pm

https://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/news/ ... rStar.html
There's actually a page on Lockheed's site about this project
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WIederling
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Re: Lufthansa Lockheed Super Star Restoration Project

Sat Mar 17, 2018 3:23 pm

holzmann wrote:
Too bad. The core of this project was more than restoration but rather the German-American relationship. I wonder why they decided to remove Americans from the project and continue in Germany?


Maybe the same reason why the SOFIA 747SP got its recent check in Germany?
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Slash787
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Re: Lufthansa Lockheed Super Star Restoration Project

Sat Mar 17, 2018 3:29 pm

This is really like a dream project, I really hope to see this happen.
 
jonnyclam123
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Re: Lufthansa Lockheed Super Star Restoration Project

Sat Mar 17, 2018 4:56 pm

http://www.conniesurvivors.com/1-connie_news.htm#MAR15 apparently the project has been canceled
 
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Re: Lufthansa Lockheed Super Star Restoration Project

Sat Mar 17, 2018 5:02 pm

holzmann wrote:
There is a reason SOFIA is maintained in Hamburg as it is part of the German side of the agreement AFAIK.


No. guess again. ( NASA has to provision/maintain the Airframe, DLR is tasked with the telescope afaik.)
http://www.dglr.de/publikationen/2015/370363.pdf
Murphy is an optimist
 
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SQ22
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Re: Lufthansa Lockheed Super Star Restoration Project

Sat Mar 17, 2018 5:11 pm

jonnyclam123 wrote:
http://www.conniesurvivors.com/1-connie_news.htm#MAR15 apparently the project has been canceled


According to German aviation magazin FLUG REVUE the decision to move to Germany has been confirmed, but not when this is going to happen, but neither the cancellation has been confirmed nor to continue with the project. Furthermore they wrote at this point it is not clear if the aircraft can ever be restored to be able to fly again.

Link in German:

https://www.flugrevue.de/zivilluftfahrt ... and/750350
 
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SQ22
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Re: Lufthansa Lockheed Super Star Restoration Project

Sat Mar 17, 2018 6:52 pm

Please remember that this is an english language forum, so please make your posts in english only.
 
LTenEleven
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Re: Lufthansa Lockheed Super Star Restoration Project

Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:46 pm

Moving it and apparently being unsure whether it will ever be able to ever fly when the whole goal was to create a flyable aircraft is the equivalent of a cancellation.
 
mxaxai
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Re: Lufthansa Lockheed Super Star Restoration Project

Sun Mar 18, 2018 2:51 am

SQ22 wrote:
jonnyclam123 wrote:
http://www.conniesurvivors.com/1-connie_news.htm#MAR15 apparently the project has been canceled


According to German aviation magazin FLUG REVUE the decision to move to Germany has been confirmed, but not when this is going to happen, but neither the cancellation has been confirmed nor to continue with the project. Furthermore they wrote at this point it is not clear if the aircraft can ever be restored to be able to fly again.

Link in German:

https://www.flugrevue.de/zivilluftfahrt ... and/750350

It seems to be a very recent development seeing how they only posted a status update last December and again in February. But I guess if they found something that prohibits a restoration to a flyable condition, it is "better" to have the plane sit in Germany than in the US. The installation of the gear was planned for end of Q1.
 
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Re: Lufthansa Lockheed Super Star Restoration Project

Sun Mar 18, 2018 8:04 am

holzmann wrote:
Too bad.

you must enable receiving PM messages. :-)
Murphy is an optimist
 
WIederling
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Re: Lufthansa Lockheed Super Star Restoration Project

Sun Mar 18, 2018 8:10 am

mxaxai wrote:
It seems to be a very recent development seeing how they only posted a status update last December and again in February. But I guess if they found something that prohibits a restoration to a flyable condition, it is "better" to have the plane sit in Germany than in the US. The installation of the gear was planned for end of Q1.


Maybe they were "played"? The Me262 replica project shew that it can't be general incompetence. But the Me262 also had local interests.
Spending $200m on an uncertain outcome doesn't really sound like LH kind of spending.

Unintended release of the fire protection foam system probably didn't help either.
Murphy is an optimist

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