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  • In the darkness, there is suddenly a light – a new chance for ´Connie´

In the darkness, there is suddenly a light – a new chance for ´Connie´

By Jacek Domański on 22nd July 2019
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A few months ago, in April, we´ve shared the information that due to the limited budget and the scope of the repairs that should be performed on the only flying Lockheed C-121C Super Constellation in Europe (and one of only two airworthy ´Connies´ in the world), the owners of the aircraft – Super Constellation Flyers Association – decided to cease their activity, abandon the repair plans and put the association into the liquidation.

It seemed that this decision, made mainly because of the lack of the funds necessary for the repairs, a staggering 20 million CHF, meant the ´Star of Switzerland´ would never be returned to the airworthy status and would end up in one of the aviation museums as the part of the static exhibition.

´Connie´ in 2015 – the ´Star of Switzerland´ is participating in the Sanicole International Airshow

Fortunately, this scenario is not going to happen, at least for now. The resolution came from Germany, as the group of investors, based in Bremgarten (Baden-Württemberg, Germany) decided to buy ´Connie´ and cover the necessary repairs. The Super Constellation was effectively transferred to the new owner on 1st July 2019 and now the aeroplane is being dismantled and transported to Bremgarten.

Those undisclosed German investors are also the aviation enthusiasts and currently own several other historical aeroplanes. Their goal is to obtain the funds necessary to perform all repairs and restoration works on Super Constellation and to bring the aircraft back into the airworthy condition. This complicated and ambitious process will take, as estimated, more than three years.

The Super Constellation Flyers Association was unsuccessfully looking for the ´Swiss solution´, by raise the necessary funds for repairs and then trying to find the sponsorship or new owner for ´Connie´ in Switzerland. As the only solution was to sell the aircraft to Germany, the association board approved this decision. The SCFA, after 15 years of its activity and operating the ´Star of Switzerland´, will be disbanded.

Super Constellation performing a joint display with the Patrouille Suisse

The names of those German investors were not yet disclosed, the only information that was released said they came from the catering industry. The ´Star of Switzerland´ is now based in Zurich Airport, where the aeroplane is currently dismantled and prepared for the trip to Germany. The new owners will also take over all spare parts and other Connie-related equipment from SCFA.

Following the information released by the SCFA in 2017 and 2018, the extent of the necessary repairs include: serious issue with the brakes and the landing gear (all wheels, tires and brakes needed replacement and additionally the landing gear, hydraulic and electric motors had to be inspected carefully, including some repairs and replacements), wing flap need replacement (must be newly produced and then certified for use) and the most serious problem is chipping discovered on the leading-edge wing spar which requires removing and restructuring of the both wings.

Will this beautiful airliner fly again?

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