Thursday, April 27, 2006

A number riddle.... This is the rear side of an illuminated plexiglass panel. One can see clearly the manufacturing date NOV 13 1957. That means the airplane must be manufactured at that date or later. But the serial number on the panel is 4402 and HI-548CT has S/N 4202.... is it a mistake or was the panel changed somewhen...? Will we ever know?

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

That much can happen in half an hour. Washing with water, cleaning with alcohol and polishing with "the green stuff". Then painting the letters with white water paint and the ugly panel looks almost like new.

The "green stuff" is Knorrostol polishing paste. A real sercet tip for everything that must be cleaned and polished. Metal plastic.... whatever, it's a real wonder stuff.
Last week I have not worked much on the simulator because my red moster needed some attention. Removing all the RV stuff and make room for future projects. The rear door needed an electric actuator for loking it up from the drivers seat because I want to install a wall between the cargo compartment and the "cockpit" :-)

Monday, April 17, 2006

A new part... This window worried me a bit because it was broken. Fortunately these windows have three layers of glass and plexiglass. So I could remove the good inner glass (10mm thick) and use it again.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Heavy Metal!!! Yeah man, the Super Connie Simulator Chassis Kit (SCSCK) has arrived. All parts prcisely cut to my specifications and now it's WELDING TIME!... but it has to wait until Easter is over.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

I can only say... I want to take it in my hands and fly away. But that must wait a little bit. One should not blow ones owne trumpet but these steering wheels are really cool.
Some bake cakes on their birthday, I polish Connie wheels.... everyone what he can best.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Let it shine, let it shine, lehehet it shiiiine..... I'm happy that I have painted them! Just letting the paint dry now and them some polishing. I bet they have never been so shiny even new.

4 layers of paint... 3 hours of work... including a chat and two beers ;-)

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Most wanted.... The Constellation steering wheel hub cap with Lockheed logo. This was the first item that has been stolen from all the Connies besides of the clocks. Now I made two new ones... 4 hours on the lathe and they were finished. I must admit that I lost most of the time by sawing the 80mm aluminum bar in small pieces... by hand! I would be thankful for an electric metal saw...

July 18.: I bought an electric saw and now it is fun to cut stuff like this.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Before.... after....

After 2 hours of grinding, scraping and polishing, the steering wheel shines like new. I'd like to leave it like this instead of painting it black. But even if it looks very nice in silver, it is not original.

By the way, I noticed that the Connie steering wheel has the same diameter like the wheel in my VW Bug.... that would look cool if I'd put it in my car! But a VW steering wheel in a Connie cockpit looks also funny :-)

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

As I said before... "there is some beauty under the dirt"
The first panel is finished. The switches are polished and tested, illumination is repaired and the metal parts in original color painted.

Hard to believe if you compare it with the panel on the picture before.

This is how everything will look at the end. The whole cockpit will look like new or maybe better... who knows...

That how the stuff looks that I got. Rather bad on the first sight... and on the second too. But the eye of a 'professional' sees the beauty that lies somewhere underneath the dirt. It will be a lot of work to get it to the surface...
After George the hurricane came Francisco the pilot and gave the airplane the rest... fortunately! There would not much be left if he had not taken the stuff with him.

That's how it looked shortly after the storm. The Commando must have crashed with their wing into the Connie, almost cut it in half.
4.4.2006 a bit later...

It works! Now I can tell you the story of "Project 2".

Project 1 is of course the complete, real and flying Breitling Super Constellation, one of only three left in airworthy condition in the whole world. The Australians have one, the Americans have one... and the Swiss have one too. More infos about that project at

But this blog here is about Project 2, the Super Constellation Flight Simulator, built with real 50 years old parts. Where shall I start with the story.... well let's start with Francisco. Francisco is a Pilot from Geneva who loves to spend his holidays in South America or the Carribean just to fly old airplanes.
He flies with meat over the Andes or with fruits from Santo Domingo to Florida just because... just for fun.
The first Super Connie he flew was the HI-548CT of the dominican air transport company AeroChago. This airplane was destroyed by hurricane George in 1998. The wind lifted another airplane ( a Curtiss Commando) from ground and threw it onto the Connie.
1999 Francisco bought the wreck and removed all the usable parts such as the entire cockpit.

Well... these parts lie now in my workshop awaiting their restauration and the assembly to a flight simulator.
4.4.2006 This is the first official post... let's see if it works.