Cabin mockup extended

The mockup of the Super Star board lounge solves complex design questions

Once registered as N8083H, the Lockheed can look back on a long service life, which began as a Trans World Airlines passenger aircraft in 1958. Today, its fuselage gives a foretaste of the sophisticated features to be included in the cabin of the historic aircraft that is being restored for Deutsche Lufthansa Berlin-Stiftung (DLBS) next door.

The Super Star cabin team headed by Burkhard Linke is still working tirelessly on the design of the cabin area to ensure that future DLBS passengers will feel comfortable on board. Based on the Lufthansa Senator First Class on-board lounge of the 1950s, the design also includes a new lounge in the Super Star's tail section.

As in the golden age of aviation, this lounge will be a social gathering place where passengers can meet for a chat or drink during the flight. There are four comfortable benches with space for up to eight guests as well as a stand-up bar to enjoy a meeting above the clouds. Ever pragmatic, the cabin designers have included two life rafts, which must be carried on board for emergencies, in the boxes underneath the benches.

But before DLBS's guests can enjoy the benefits of the cabin, Burkhard Linke's team of engineers has to focus on planning the details. In the tail section, as in most other areas of the aircraft cabin, the fuselage diameter between the frames varies considerably. In September 2014, the cabin team therefore once again traveled to Auburn to validate the preparatory work carried out in Hamburg. Over a period of nine working days, the team extended the existing mockup on board of aircraft number 1038 to include an installation in the tail. The team was supported by two fourth-year trainees from Hamburg, who are working with the Super Star team in Auburn for six weeks. As with the mockup section in the middle of the cabin, the majority of the provisional installations in the tail will one day be installed in the original aircraft. This will save both time and costs when it comes to the final installation in aircraft number 1018.

Among other things, the team from Hamburg brought along the raw materials for the sidewall panels in the tail. Directly inside the aircraft, the materials were shaped to fit the fuselage and turned into sturdy panels using vacuum bonding. The panels' "ox-core" honeycomb consists of countless hexagons that are over-expanded in the longitudinal direction and can be optimally fitted to the complex fuselage geometry.

Precision work and extensive experience are also needed for the construction of the bar counter, which houses the escape slide for the nearby emergency exit and normally hides it from the passengers' view. Reconciling the many functions of the counter and the space needed to hold the slide and its carriage was therefore one of the main challenges for the team from Hamburg. The insights gained from the bar model in the mockup will now be incorporated in the design of an item of furniture that is not only functional but also visually appealing.