Lufthansa foundation purchases 3 USA Connies!!!


#1

Lufthansa buys 3 rare 1950s airliners from Maine collector

N974R, N7316C and N8083H.

AUBURN - At least one of the vintage Lockheed Constellation Starliners - 50-year-old planes parked outside the Auburn-Lewiston Municipal Airport for more than two decades - may fly again.

And it could lift the local airport with it.

The airport has reached a tentative deal with a subsidiary of the airline Lufthansa to build a 50,000-square-foot hangar in Auburn, where the German company would restore at least one of the vintage planes.

The million-dollar deal would take three to five years and likely employ 20 or more people, said Rick Cloutier, director of the local airport. It would also be a boost to the airport, owned by the cities of Lewiston and Auburn.

“It makes us not a little airport in Maine,” Cloutier said.

The Lufthansa subsidiary, a foundation called “Lufthansa Berlin-Stiftung,” purchased the planes on Tuesday for $748,000, according to Martin Riecken, a spokesman for Lufthansa in New York.

The purchase included the two Auburn planes and another owned by Auburn resident Maurice Roundy but kept in Florida, The Associated Press reported Wednesday.

Roundy and his wife are undergoing bankruptcy proceedings, the wire service said.

Meanwhile, the deal to restore the planes here looks optimistic but uncertain, Cloutier said.

“It came together in a matter of hours,” he said. On Tuesday, right after Lufthansa bought the planes, company and airport officials signed a letter of intent. A formal agreement is expected to be signed soon.

“They’d like to begin construction as early as possible this spring,” Cloutier said.

The new hangar would dwarf anything else at the airport, roughly matching the combined space from several existing hangars.

The project would also likely draw international attention, given the rarity of the planes.

Hundreds of Constellations, known affectionately as the “Connie,” were produced by Lockheed starting in World War II. Roundy’s planes were among 44 L-1649A Super Constellation Starliners built in 1957.

The only other one still intact is in a museum in Johannesburg, South Africa, the wire service reported.

Tentative plans call for two of the planes to be used for spare parts to get the best of the three flying, Cloutier said.

It will be far more complicated than rebuilding an old Ford, though.

The renovated plane will likely be stripped to its bare frame and rebuilt, accounting for every nut and bolt. Many parts will have to be custom manufactured, he said.

If a plane is resurrected, the attention for the first flight will be intense, Cloutier said.

“It will be felt around the world,” he said. “It will be great for the airport and great for the cities of Lewiston and Auburn.”


#2


N974R Ex Lufthansa D-ALAN, N7316C Ex Trans World Airlines , and N8083H Ex Trans World Airlines.

starliner.net/

conniesurvivors.com/


#3

I love the Connie, I’ve never seen one flying so I’d love to see one of those flying again.


#4

Unless something happened to it recently, there is a perfectly restored and flying Connie in TWA livery at Kansas City Downtown Airport (MKC). There are two other restored Connies At Wright-Patternson Air Force Base (one of them was Eisenhower’s Air Force One) and another flyable one in Valle, AZ. I also saw one several years ago in Australia in Quantas livery that they said they were restoring to flying condition.


#5

You better change Quantas to Qantas before Dami finds it, he’ll blow a gasket.
:smiling_imp:


#6

:smiley:

(I seriously can’t stop laughing!)


#7

Constellations were produced in 4 models, L049, L649/L749, L1049, and L1649A.

The five aircraft listed above are all L1049’s;

N6937C L1049H in Trans World Livery based MKC.
53-555 L1049/RC-121D USAF Wright Patterson USAF Museum
53-7885 L1049/VC-121E USN transferred Wright Patterson USAF Museum
N422NA L1049/C-121A Planes of Fame Chino, based Valle Airport AZ
VH-EAG L1049/C-121C Qantas Livery, Australian air show circuit.

The aircraft purchased by Lufthansa’s ‘Berlin-Stiftung Foundation’ for restoration are 3 of the 4 surviving L1649A Starliners.

N974R L1649A On display Fantasy of Flight Museum, Polk City, FL
N7316C L1649A Under restoration Auburn-Lewiston Airport, ME
N8083H L1649A Under restoration Auburn-Lewiston Airport, ME


#8

Good one! It’s also funny how he corrects every nit of every post, but gets quickly offended when anyone corrects him.


#9

I don’t get offended if the correction is a correct one. If it’s something like a certain retiree gives, then I don’t get offended - just sad that he never says he’s wrong.

Anyway, here’s a site for all surviving Connies: conniesurvivors.com/


#10

**There appears to be an error in Dami’s posting above. **

For the record, if you peruse through previous threads I have participated in, my posting history will clearly show that I have acknowledge the error of my ways when warranted AND even take the extra step thank the individual for correcting me.

It’s all out there in the open at discussions.flightaware.com/sear … r=lieberma

Allen


#11

One of the best emoticons ever posted in this forum was one posted by James. I think it’s well-placed here.


#12

Yeah, so right :smiley:

Allen


#13

Absolutely!


#14

I happened to be at MKC on a trip last year and went to the Airline History Museum there…http://www.airlinehistorymuseum.com/connie.htm and toured this Connie. They had had engine trouble with it and R&R’ed it with an overhauled one. During ground runs the overhauled engine failed and the last I heard they were still raising funds for another engine.


#15

Aircraft grounded since July 20, 2005 when the #2 engine suffered a catastrophic failure during run-up
Newly overhauled engine installed on aircraft and failed during a test flight on July 22, 2006. Returned to the overhaul shop in California for repairs.


#16

Figures I’d get my facts backwards…since backwards tends to be my nature… Thanks robbreid


#17

If one opens Google Earth and keys in KLEW in the search field, it will zoom into the airport in question.

Look to the right of the North end of the runway and you’ll see those connies.


#18

Link from ANN; Connies Place interesting Connie website from New Zealand.


#19

This may also be interesting:

Starliners of Auburn


#20

Lufthansa Technik restores Lockheed Super Star to airworthy condition
Monday, January 14, 2008

Lufthansa Technik AG has been asked by Lufthansas historic flight foundation Deutsche Lufthansa Berlin-Stiftung (DLBS) to restore a historic Lufthansa aircraft to airworthy condition. A Lockheed L1649A Super Star, which in 1958 became the first long-haul airliner operated by Lufthansa capable of crossing the Atlantic without refuelling, is to take to the air again in 2010 as an unforgettable contributor to Lufthansa tradition. Alongside the Ju 52, which helped to shape the early days of Lufthansas history, the four-engine Super Star will revive the Lufthansa tradition of the post-war years.

The Super Star was the culmination of the development of propeller-driven commercial aircraft. In much the same way as the Super Constellation, it epitomises the comeback of commercial aviation in Germany after World War Two, said August W. Henningsen, Chairman of the Lufthansa Technik Executive Board. Making a Super Star airworthy again is both a special honour and a challenge for Lufthansa Technik. For the enthusiasts among our staff, it will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of their professional career.

As part of its mandate to preserve tradition, DLBS acquired three Lockheed Super Stars in good condition at an auction in the U.S. state of Maine on 18 December 2007. A total of only 44 aircraft of this type, bearing the American name Super Constellation Starliner, were built during the mid-1950s.

In addition to the two former TWA airliners parked in Maine, the former Lufthansa aircraft D-ALAN and numerous spare parts, as well as extensive documentation comprising repair and overhaul manuals were purchased at the auction.

An initial technical assessment of the three historic aircraft by Lufthansa Technik experts revealed that one of them can be restored to airworthy condition. Enginesand components of the two other aircraft acquired will be used for the restoration process.

Lufthansa Technik plans to have the restoration work carried out mainly in the USA. Former Lufthansa Technik employees who still remember this aircraft from their days as active professionals, will help with the restoration. Engineers and overhaul specialists from Lufthansa Technik in Hamburg will lead a team of Lufthansa staff and local experts. The overhaul and restoration work is to commence already in the first quarter of 2008.

Lufthansa intends to complete the re-commissioning of the aircraft entirely in the USA, including the acceptance flights and the training of pilots and mechanics, and then to perform the ferry flight to Germany. On arrival, the Super Star is expected to be integrated in DLBS flight operations from 2010 onward, fitted with the historic Lufthansa cabin and sporting the original Lufthansa livery. Probably the most famous historic aircraft operated by Lufthansa Berlin Stiftung is a Junkers Ju 52, which transported more than 8,000 passengers in 2007 alone.

From 1955 to 1967 Lufthansa operated up to seven Super Constellations in its fleet. Back in 1956 the airline ordered four Lockheed L1649A Super Stars with a wingspan of 45 metres, four Curtiss-Wright 18-cylinder twin-row radial engines each with an output of 2,540 kW, and a fuel capacity of 37,000 litres, which gave it a range of almost 10,000 km carrying a payload of over 3.5 metric tons. It was with the Super Star that Lufthansa introduced its worldwide non-stop long-haul services in 1958, inaugurating the Senator Service at the same time.