Mockup allows realistic impressions of the cabin

Sister aircraft serves as ideal platform for cabin fit

While Lockheed L-1649A Super Star number 1018 is nearing completion in the restoration hangar in Auburn, its sister aircraft, number 1038, is now serving as a test plane for the passenger cabin developed in Hamburg.

Burkhard Linke, who has been project manager for phase II in the Super Star team since July 1, explains: "The cabin mockup in the original aircraft is a fantastic next step following on from our existing timber mockup in Hamburg which has allowed us to validate the basic design of the Super Star passenger cabin." Precise planning is particularly important for the complex Super Star cabin because not only is the frame geometry inconsistent, but the cabin also has different floor levels.

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 and subsequently transported to the US for installation. The cabin experts from Hamburg attached great importance to the use of original components, which will be removed from aircraft number 1038 after the mockup phase and be permanently installed in its flying sister aircraft. "This is the ideal solution, not least from a cost perspective," says Linke. While the proof-of-concept mockup in Auburn primarily addresses questions as to the general feasibility of the plans and allows the quality of the production documents to be improved, it also shows what the cabin will look like in future.

The reason why aircraft number 1038 was selected for the mockup rather than the cabin of the future-flying aircraft in which the mockup could have remained has to do with the ongoing structural work in the cabin area. "We would only get in the way of our colleagues," explains Linke. The Hamburg team, consisting of "one person from the production side and five engineers" thus got down to work, as the project manager reports with a grin: "We all have practical training behind us, some of us as aircraft engineers. So it gave us a chance to show that we still have some practical skills, even decades later."

There were also good reasons behind the placement of the mockup in the area of fuselage barrel 4. This is the most complex and widest part of the Super Star cabin and includes the overwing emergency exits. "We can install two rows of original seats here and thus convey a realistic impression of the sense of space you will have in future," explains 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 is still in its raw state. "This ‘technical look' lets visitors see the solutions we have come up with for sound insulation, PSU/oxygen, cabin air conditioning and attachments," says Linke. The cabin team in Hamburg also paid particular attention to making the cabin maintenance-friendly to lower the subsequent costs for Deutsche Lufthansa Berlin-Stiftung operating the Super Star.