Good Bye, Connie
The Lockheed L-1049 Super Constellation is probably one of the most beautiful planes ever built. With its 4 Curtiss-Wright Cyclone Engines and its unique triple vertical stabilizer, the L-1049 is legendary in the history of aviation. There are only a few left flying in the world. And sadly, soon it will be one less.
It was November 1st, 1955 when an L-1049 with the factory number 4175 started its operation in the Military Air Transport Service of the United States of America. It remained in the USAF before she began to flying for the Air National Guard in 1962. After many years in service with a few more operators, in 2003 the airplane was bought by the “Super Constellation Flying Association” (SCFA) in Switzerland. It was painted in the colors of the main sponsor BREITLING and started flying at airshows and special events as HB-RSC, the “Star Of Switzerland.” Until today.
The airplane is old. Built in 1955 it needed some renovations and improvements. Without those, the Swiss authorities would not renew the airworthiness certificate for the aircraft. The costs of repair were estimated to be at around 20 Million Swiss Francs (approximately the same in USD). This figure could not be reached by the cut-off date of 20 April 2019. As a result, the SCFA today confirmed its dissolution in line with the resolution of its Extraordinary General Meeting. The Super Constellation will therefore not continue to fly for the time being and will probably remain on the ground forever.
I always wanted to fly with HB-SRC, and I’m saddened that I’ll probably never get that chance. I was lucky enough to see and hear this beauty flying for a couple of times though. It is a remarkable airplane, and it is sad to see this true legend in aviation history disappear. I hope that even in case the plane won’t fly again (and that is most likely) that it will be turned into a museum plane where aviation enthusiasts can visit it and learn all about its history.
Happy Landings, and have a safe day or night.
Source (German): SCFA