Constellation News

Constellation News

The 2024 edition of the Propliner Annual was published the week of 15 April 2024. As its title implies, Propliner Magazine is totally dedicated to Propliner aircraft and is a must-have for any aviation enthusiast and especially Propliner enthusiasts. Orders for this bumper 172-page publication can be placed at

Indian Naval Aviation Museum Super Constellation - MAY 10, 2024

I visited the Indian Naval Aviation Museum in Goa on May 5, 2024 and photographed former Air India, Indian Air Force and Indian Navy L1049G IN315. The Super Connie was delivered to Air India International February 1955 as L1049E VT-DHM "Rani of Ellora" and later converted to a L1049G. After retirement from Air India, the aircraft was acquired by the Indian Air Force in October 1961 as BG575. The aircraft was transferred to the Indian Navy by November 1976 as IN315 and converted for maritime reconnaissance use. By April 1999 it had been retired and was moved to the museum about a year later. The aircraft appears to be well cared for and I was amused with the truck tires installed on the main landing gear.

A Promise Kept - Display Facility Planned for Two Iconic Lufthansa Aircraft - April 17, 2024

As reported on October 24, 2023 parts and pieces of L1649A N7316C were being moved from Paderborn to a hangar at Hamburg Airport where the aircraft would be reassembled by Lufthansa Technik staff and retirees for eventual display. On April 12, 2024 Lufthansa announced that aircraft and Ju52 D-AQUI will be placed on display in Frankfurt at a dedicated visitor and conference center currently under construction. Planned completion of the center is 2026, just in time to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the airline. The two aircraft will obviously be a major feature of the facility and will hopefully guarantee the survival of these iconic aircraft for many years to come. This marks the end to Lufthansa's ill-fated and very expensive 10-year effort (2008-2018) to restore the Starliner to a better-new-airworthy condition. While Propliner enthusiasts would have wanted the Starliner restoration project completed and both aircraft kept in an airworthy condition, it's a great outcome for both aircraft considering the circumstances.

Michael Gagnon emailed me a link to an article on the Simple Flying website and Jan Frieben forwarded the following photos and an article he wrote about the latest developments. Many thanks to both Michael and Jan.

Final location for Lufthansa's Ju52 and Super Star Constellation Announced - Jan Frieben
In October 2022, Lufthansa Chairman Carsten Spohr announced that to mark the 100th anniversary of the company name Lufthansa, they were planning to create a future roof for the Ju52 and Super Star Constellation. The fact that this will not simply be an exhibition hall also has economic aspects.
Anyone who knows Frankfurt Airport will have been surprised at what construction work has been underway in recent weeks next to the Lufthansa headquarters. Immediately to the east of the Lufthansa Aviation Center (LAC), the Lufthansa Group has started building a new conference and visitor center at Frankfurt Airport.
The new building is part of a long-planned conversion and expansion of the buildings at the airport between LAC and Terminal 1, which will form an architecturally homogeneous, modern overall complex once all construction work has been completed. Lufthansa's new conference and visitor center will be one of these building blocks for the future.

New forms of collaboration are to be established for employees, the airline's customers, partner companies and aviation enthusiasts. Lufthansa's history and development expertise should be brought to life - especially for the design of future aviation. According to the motto: "With the past into the future!" Without the developments of the past with all their positive and sometimes negative effects, our present would not exist, ... and also no future.

What could be more natural than the Junkers Ju52 D-AQUI, also known by its nickname "Aunt Ju", and the legendary Lockheed Super Star Constellation in this future building and meeting place for aviation enthusiasts and guests from other areas of interest. To integrate L-1649 with the registration D-ALAN into a building in which future aviation components will also be developed.

The Ju52 will serve as a symbolic aircraft for the first "Luft Hansa" (as it was briefly called at the time), representing the period in which Lufthansa was establishing global commercial aviation. It is currently stored in a hangar in Paderborn and will find its way to Frankfurt after the "Super Star".

The Super Star Constellation symbolizes the period of reconstruction of Lufthansa from 1955. This aircraft is currently in Hamburg, where technicians are completing the previous restoration from a "giant construction kit". Large parts of the aircraft will then be transported to its final destination in good time. A transport that can be eagerly awaited on both aircraft.

Thanks to a facade with large glass surfaces, not only will the building stand out, but these two historic aircraft will be consciously "recommended" to the viewer driving or walking past. There could hardly be a better “eye-catcher” for the Lufthansa headquarters LAC - which could make other airlines look at Frankfurt with a little envy.

Built in the style of an aircraft hangar, there will not only be visiting and conference rooms. Roomy enough for events with space for up to around 1,000 guests is on the agenda. Events in these rooms will convey a special flair due to the historical backdrop and allow guests to experience aviation history.

Lufthansa quote: "Visitors can explore exhibits from the company's history in an open gallery, some of which will be accessible to the public for the first time. Like the training and conference hotel of the "Lufthansa Seeheim" group, the Frankfurt conference and visitor center will also be open for external events and visitors will be offered gastronomic offers at a coffee lounge."

It goes without saying that the new building is planned with a sustainable and efficient energy concept. Since it will house two commercial aircraft from different eras, the dimensions of the planning are not surprising: 236 feet wide, 174 feet deep and with a height of approx. 57.4 feet. The floor area therefore totals about 40.900 square feet.

The ceremonial opening of Lufthansa's new conference and visitor center is planned for spring 2026 on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the first Lufthansa.

It can be assumed that after the actual "birthday" of January 6th, 2026, there will certainly be numerous, diverse events there in the anniversary year.

Aviation enthusiasts may have a "crying eye" as they would rather see aircraft in their air element. But the decision to ultimately exhibit these two remarkable aircraft models statically should not be questioned here.

The fact is for the "laughing eyes" of aviation fans that both aircraft have been preserved and presented to the public in a worthy manner. And that can also be viewed with a little pride and a look backwards. After all, there were many people from technology and flight operations who ensured that the D-AQUI was accident-free for 32 years with a total of more than 256,000 passengers in Europe and the USA, giving passengers a journey through time and being an incomparable, charming advertising medium for Lufthansa.

There were also hundreds from numerous technical areas and flight operations who enthusiastically mastered all the obstacles of technical restoration and preparation for possible flight operations over 10 years. A Super Star Constellation D-ALAN in this excellent condition is unlikely to exist anywhere else in the world.

When they move into their new home in 2026, the promise from October 2022 will be fulfilled to make these two aviation monuments worthy - and, above all, to accommodate them under the Lufthansa roof.

Super Connie Prepares for Airshow - February 27, 2024

Howard Mitchell photographed HARS Super Constellation VH-EAG preparing for an upcoming airshow. This gorgeous aircraft is the sole remaining airworthy Super Constellation and flies on a regular basis. Howard reports "HARS Aviation Museum's Super Constellation VH-EAG "Connie" has an engine run trial in preparation for its participation in Airshows Downunder event next weekend at Shellharbour."

Biafran War Relics Noted on Google Maps - February 9, 2024

David Davis recently forwarded two Google Earth images of L1049H Super Constellations CF-NAL and CF-NAM, which have been parked at the Sao Tome Airport since being abandoned in January 1970 after the Biafran War. While the aircraft were incorporated into the Asas D'Avião Restaurante Santola in 2018 and, at one time, plans were underway to declare the aircraft historical monuments, it appears that one has its right wing missing. I'd love to receive a current report on the status of the two aircraft.

Combat Air Museum EC-121T Gets Facelift - January 25, 2024

Dave Murray reports on the recent facelift of the Combat Air Museum's EC-121T 52-3418 (N4257U). "Last year (June-August) we repainted our EC-121T back into its former paint scheme and the updated livery has really revitalized and beautified the "old" bird." Many thanks to Dave for his report and photos.

See Constellation News Archive - 2023 For Additional News

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----Created 31 January 2004------Updated 10 May 2024----

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