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Super Star © Deutsche Lufthansa Berlin-Stiftung

A super star reborn: Lufthansa Technik's sister plane serves as test aircraft

While Lockheed L-1649A Super Star 1043 is nearing completion in the restoration hangar in Auburn, its sister aircraft with the number 1038 is serving as a test plane for the passenger cabin developed in Hamburg.

Burkhard Linke, project manager for phase II in the Super Star team since July 1, explains: “The cabin mock-up in the original aircraft is a fantastic next step following on from our existing timber mock-up in Hamburg, which allowed us to validate the basic design of the Super Star passenger cabin.” Precise planning is particularly important for the Super Star cabin as the frame geometry is inconsistent, and the cabin floor leveled.

A challenge for apprentices and engineers alike

The components used for the mockup in Auburn were made in Hamburg by third-year Lufthansa Technical Training trainees under the supervision of their instructor Jürgen Peters, before being transported to the U.S. for installation. The cabin experts from Hamburg attached great importance to the use of original components.

The reason why aircraft number 1038 was selected for the mock-up rather than the cabin of the future-flying aircraft had to do with the ongoing structural work in Auburn. “We would have gotten only in the way of our colleagues,” explains Linke.

Flying ambassador

There were also good reasons behind the placement of the mock-up in the area of fuselage barrel 4, the most complex and widest part of the Super Star cabin with the over-wing emergency exits. “There, we can install two rows of original seats here and convey a realistic impression of the sense of space you will have in future,” beams Linke. While the right-hand side of the cabin shows exactly how the original cabin will look in future, right down to the color scheme, wood-effect foil and curtains, the left-hand side will remain in its raw state. “This technical look allows visitors to see the solutions we have come up with for sound insulation, PSU/oxygen, cabin air conditioning and attachments,” explains Linke. The cabin team in Hamburg also paid particular attention to making the cabin maintenance-friendly to lower the operating cost for Deutsche Lufthansa Berlin-Stiftung, which will the aircraft as flying ambassador.

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