|A Super Constellation visits Salzburg|
|Berni Müller, 02/09/2006|
As it was
announced and confirmed that the L1049F (C-121) Super Constellation
(N73544) of Super Constellation Flyers Association (SCFA) will visit my
home base Salzburg on the 02nd and 03rd September, I
was very excited. But of course this was not only the case with me, but
also all other spotters and aviation enthusiasts were happy hearing the
Arrival at sunset
Approach on runway 34 with the
"Tennengebirge" in background
signs of oil....
But now back to the Super
Constellation of Super Constellation Flyers Association. In 2004 it was
delivered from the USA to Switzerland and is now based at Basle. Members
of the SCFA can only join flights, because the aircraft only got a
registration as a “club-aircraft”. It’ll be too much to report about all
details of the aircraft, therefore I recommend to visit the SCFA website,
which is very detailed:
Cockpit of the Super Constellation
Now more about the visit to Salzburg:
Saturday, 02nd September, was the day of arrival. First there were big
clouds around, but as later it became, the clouds became less and the sun
sent its warm and bright evening rays. We got the news that Connie left
Zurich on time at 18:00 and the arrival was scheduled for 19:15. And then
she arrived really on time. As you could see her already coming from the
west, again new clouds came up and settled in front of the sun. Oh no,
what a shame! The dream of great photographs in the warm evening light was
over. The Connie passed the airport parallel to runway 16 in a distance of
about one kilometre. Everyone took nice shots of the silhouette in front
of an orange coloured sky. The fly by was continued by a “left-hand”
circling approach on runway 34, flowed by a low approach over the runway
in low altitude. For the first time you heard the great sound of the four
Curtis WR R-3350 engines. Simply great! After the low approach it turned
right by 180° to fly over the city and approach the runway 34 with a right
hand circling approach. During the turn on the short finals of runway 34
it was possible to photograph the Connie with alpine mountains tinted in
red evening light in the background.
smoking during starting- up...
fire and flames for the next flight...
Rotate on runway 16
Around 14:15 the clouds became a bit
thinner and it was a bit brighter. Then the show started: On time at 14:30
the engines were started from the right to the left. This was stunning.
Together with misfires, flames out of the exhausts and massive smoke
clouds, one engine after the other winded up. A smell of gas and burnt oil
was in the air. (The Connie is a massive oil consumer, which leaves big
traces on the engines and wings). Despite the sound of the engines you
could hear again a massive “click, click, click” coming from the spotters.
Such a Super Constellation engine start can’t be photographed every day.
The Connie taxied to the taxiway and turned left for runway 16. Great…
runway 16 departure! So me and all other spotters were all on the right
place to photograph it during rotate. You have to go only about 100meters
to the spotter hill! A short public walking began.
The Connie taxied slowly on the taxiway to
holding point “Bravo”. So the was now rush and all spotters could settle
on the spotter hill. Now the Connie lined up and accelerated along the
runway. And just in this moment the sun broke through and Connie was in
sunshine. This was more than luck! The Connie just rotated where I wanted
here to do so and my camera had to do a hard job. A took a big amount of
photographs during its d departure, but not only me, also all other spotters
did the same. So many “clicks” I haven’t heard for a long time.
Connie is in the air
Das Fahrwerk wird eingefahren
In its typical flat angle the Connie passed by and climbed out. You could
see the flashes coming out the exhausts. What a stunning sight! Then the
sun hided itself behind the clouds again. But the Connie was already
perfectly banned on chip. After half an hour it came back and landed
smoothly on runway 16. It taxied back with its already described funny
break sound to its parking stand W8. Together with my two spotter friends
Evi and Andreas, we decided to change the position and went to the holding
point “Fox” at runway 34 (position 4). Also many other spotters did this,
because it was announced that it would depart on this runway. So you could
do some shots of the by taxiing aircraft on the taxiway and on the runway
Start on runway 34 back to Basel
bye, bye Connie!
I had to think, what a great feeling it was in the fifties and sixties, as
this aircraft was the standard aircraft and you could experience it
frequently. Delighted because of all this nice photographs and moments,
which Connie made possible, but also a bit sad that Connie left Salzburg,
I looked after her for a long time.