This is where you will find detailed information on the "resurrection" of the L1649A.
The mockup of the Super Star board lounge solves complex design questions. Once registered as N8083H, the Lockheed can look back on a long service life, which began as a Trans World Airlines passenger aircraft in 1958. Today, its fuselage gives a foretaste of the sophisticated features to be included in the cabin of the historic aircraft that is being restored for Deutsche Lufthansa Berlin-Stiftung (DLBS) next door.
While the Lockheed L-1649A is being repaired in Auburn, Maine, the future Super Star pilots and flight engineers from the Deutsche Lufthansa Berlin Foundation (DLBS) are busily preparing to fly the DLBS’ new star attraction in the future.
Sister aircraft serves as ideal platform for cabin fit
Since the early days of the Lockheed Super Star project it has been clear that the flightdeck layout of the Deutsche Lufthansa Berlin-Stiftung (DLBS)’s future historic aircraft could not remain in its original form. This is largely due to the fact that the DLBS wants to certify the Super Star in the highest certification class, as a civil aircraft for the commercial transportation of passengers.
The landing gear experts in Hamburg had to overcome many technical difficulties.
For Lufthansa Technik’s Lockheed Super Star project the new year coincided with a change of project manager. Andreas Gherman, who moved to Hamburg to take up the role of Head of Development Operations and IP Management, was succeeded as project manager based in Auburn by Andreas Pakszies, who had previously held the post of regional head of Aircraft Maintenance West Germany.
In a collaborative effort involving Super Star Cabin Engineering, instructors Juergen Peters and Axel Panier from the Hamburg training workshop and selected second- and third-year apprentices, cabin components are being prepared on the Hamburg mock-up for future installation in “the real aircraft”.
Whereas the earlier emphasis was on the structure, the Engineering team is now increasingly working on systems and components. Under the direction of Dr. Rainer Sebus the Lockheed Super Star Engineering team had moved its offices to an industrial building a few kilometers away from the maintenance hangar back in 2011. All the defects identified by Production as part of the repair process are reported on-site to the Super Star Engineering team, which then prepares the appropriate repair instructions, working closely with the Designated Engineering Representative (DER) and the FAA. The Lufthansa Technik engineers are also supported by a team from consulting engineers Aeronautica.
The team dispatched from Lufthansa Technik Budapest to work on the Super Star in Auburn is a further proof of the outstanding specialist knowledge available within the Lufthansa Technik Group.
After working at Lufthansa Technik for 38 years, seasoned Lufthansa employee Edmund Weber took up the post of Head of Production in Auburn, Maine, on 1 April. After 38 years working for Lufthansa Technik, this assignment is a big challenge at the end of his career.
After five years and nine months Michael Austermeier, who has been working on the Super Star project right from the start, took his leave on 1 September. He is succeeded as manager in charge of production in Auburn by Edmund Weber, who took up his post officially on 1 April this year.
The first of the future maintenance operators have completed Super Star classroom training at Lufthansa Technical Training.
He is 96 years old, and the Super Star propellers could not be in better hands than his: Chet Heth has more decades of experience than anyone else in the overhaul of Hamilton Standard propellers, which are the ones fitted on the Deutsche Lufthansa Berlin-Stiftung (DLBS)’s Lockheed L-1649A. For Chet Heth was himself involved in the production of the Super Star propellers over half a century ago.
Another milestone in the Super Star project will be met when the complete set of engines is delivered to the Super Star team in Auburn this year.
Lufthansa Technik and the Hoedtke company recently celebrated a world premiere in connection with the Lockheed Super Star project. Using a resistance spot welding process, they succeeded for the first time ever in joining historic and state-of-the-art aluminum alloys in compliance with the extremely tight aviation regulations.
It was the first aircraft type with which Lufthansa was able to fly non-stop across the Atlantic with a full payload. And to this day it is the only aircraft type that Lufthansa has ever flown that was configured entirely with Senator First Class seating. It was 55 years ago, on 13 February 1958, that the Lockheed L-1649A Super Star was poised for its first take-off in the service of Lufthansa, the VIP guests checking in for the maiden flight of Lufthansa’s latest long-haul type in the Hamburg airport terminal.
While restoration of the Super Star advances in the USA, preparations for the cabin installation are in full swing at Lufthansa Technik in Hamburg. Within the expert team for Phase II, which is led by Joerg Paisen, Peter Eppendorfer holds the threads of the design of the cabin of the Lufthansa Berlin-Stiftung’s future historic aircraft in his hands.
Following successful testing of the third Super Star engine and with the test run of engine number four planned for September, the expected completion of a full set of engines for the L-1649A in October is approaching fast.
The overhaul of passenger and service doors, emergency exits and landing gear doors for the Lockheed Super Star at Aircraft Base Maintenance in Hamburg is another example of the tremendous expertise and commitment that the specialist departments and staff of Lufthansa Technik are putting into the restoration of the Deutsche Lufthansa Berlin-Stiftung’s L-1649A.
The Hamburg and Frankfurt workshops have started work on the landing gears, brakes and wheels of the L-1649A. Last autumn the US Federal Aviation Agency officially licensed Lufthansa Technik to perform this special work.
These days visitors to the workshop area of Airframe Related Component Services at the Lufthansa Technik base in Hamburg can enjoy a small journey in time. A batch production of up to 180 aluminum sheet bulkheads for the Lockheed L-1649A, originally built in 1957, started there.
“The Super Star project is probably one of the most unusual projects I have ever encountered in my 36-year career at Lufthansa,” says Thomas Bund, Project Manager New Aircraft Types & Technologies at Lufthansa Technical Training (LTT).
"What a project!" No three words could better express the fascination that the unique restoration project of the DLBS/Lufthansa Technik exercises on James Burd, Structure DER of the Lockheed Super Star Project.
For more than 5,000 Super Star components, it is now a case of finding suitable specialist companies to overhaul them over the coming months, while the entire process needs to be carefully controlled to ensure they are ready for reinstallation at the right time – a Herculean task for Manfred Rosenthal and his team, who are tackling it with the necessary determination in Auburn.
On 1 May 2011, Andreas M. Gherman (51) officially took charge of Lufthansa Technik's Lockheed Super Star project. In an interview he speaks about about his personal impressions six months after assuming the position.
The Super Star project continues its advance unperturbed. In the spring the team was boosted in several respects in a concerted effort to ensure that the L-1649A Super Star is back in the air as soon as possible.
They are the “senior experts” of the Lockheed Super Star project, who between them have almost 500 years’ experience of aircraft maintenance.
For 17 apprentices from Lufthansa Technik in Hamburg it was an exciting autumn. For the first time ever a complete training intake of prospective Aircraft Mechanics specializing in Production Engineering traveled to Auburn.
Two years have passed since, in the presence of some 120 invited guests, August Wilhelm Henningsen, Chairman of the Executive Board of Lufthansa Technik, opened the hangar specially built for the Lockheed Super Star project in Auburn-Lewiston, Maine.
While structural work on the Lockheed L-1649A is advancing according to plan in the Super Star hangar in Auburn, the preliminary work for converting the cargo plane back into its original form as a passenger aircraft is gathering pace, not just at Lufthansa Technik and BizJet Auburn.
Dean Raineri has been in charge of the Lockheed Super Star Team at Lufthansa Technik AG since the beginning of the year 2010. Editor Wolfgang Borgmann asked the 54-year-old engineer about the current status of the project. Work on the Super Star is being closely coordinated with the FAA.
With the support of the Swiss Super Constellation Flyers Association (SCFA) the first Deutsche Lufthansa Berlin-Stiftung (DLBS) cockpit crews obtained their licenses for the Lockheed Constellation family – and hence also for the L-1649A Super Star – in the autumn of 2009.
To provide substitutes for the cabin doors removed from South African L-1649A (News 7/2009), two aircraft engineers from the Deutsche Lufthansa Berlin-Stiftung have been working since July of 2009 on the fabrication of replica units for the museum which match the original doors in virtually every respect.
The team that is working in Auburn, Maine on the restoration of the Super Star L-1649A has largely completed its assessment work. Production capacity in the hangar in Auburn will therefore be cut back to about one-third with immediate effect, running through April 2010.
About a year has elapsed since the beginning of the work on the Super Star. The structural checks have made considerable progress and many components are in the workshops.
At Anderson Aeromotive, Idaho, USA, a company that specializes in the overhaul of large piston engines, reconstruction of the first engine for the Super Star commenced in July.
The arrival of the two Super Star passenger doors in Hamburg represents another milestone along the road to conversion of the L-1649A freighter in Auburn back to a passenger aircraft.
The second of the Deutsche Lufthansa Berlin-Stiftung’s three Lockheed L-1649A’s has been standing on the apron outside the Lufthansa Technik project hangar in Auburn, opened in November 2008, since 26 May.
Our contractor the “Deutsche Lufthansa Technik” had a visitor
The good news was preceded by an intensive search lasting several months – but finally it is over: Super Star passenger doors for conversion of the L-1649A back from freighter to passenger aircraft have been tracked down.
The basic configuration of the new cockpit for the Lockheed Super Star was finalized in February. Four modern displays plus historical instruments will supply the crew with all the information they will need for safe flying operations in the future.
The main and nose landing gears of the Super Star arrived well packed in the landing gear shop of Lufthansa Technik in Hamburg in December after being flown in from Auburn, Maine. Over the next few months they will be restored to health here, ready for future flying operations in the service of the Lufthansa Berlin-Stiftung.
Rolling the Lockheed L1649A "Super Star" into a new maintenance hangar at the Auburn-Lewiston airport in Maine, USA, takes the renovation of this historic long-haul aircraft, which belongs to the Deutsche Lufthansa Berlin-Stiftung, into a new phase.
Immediately after the celebration of the opening of the L1649A maintenance hangar in Auburn, work on the plane began to move forward in giant strides.
Lufthansa Technik's Super Star team in Auburn has already carried out extensive preparatory work and dismantled the aircraft right down to its core structure.