Engine restoration on plan
Another milestone in the Super Star project will be met when the complete set of engines is delivered to the Super Star team in Auburn this year. Following the successful test run of all four engines earmarked for installation into the L-1649A, Anderson Aeromotive in Grangeville, Idaho is now busy with the last remaining work before they are delivered to Auburn. Andreas Linke-Diesinger, a member of Lufthansa Technik's Super Star team and the person responsible for overhaul of the engines, confirms: "We are right on schedule as far as overhaul of the engines to be installed in the aircraft and the quick engine change (QEC) equipment is concerned."
Later this year the four Curtiss Wright 988 TC18 EA-2 piston engines will be dispatched from Grangeville on their journey to Auburn. Before that there is still some work left to be done, such as installation of the new exhaust gas temperature (EGT) and cylinder head temperature (CHT) sensors. Each of the 18 cylinders will have their parameters measured by one of these EGT and CHT sensors, with the values displayed on the flight engineer panel in the Super Star flightdeck.
In addition to the four engines earmarked for immediate installation, Anderson Aeromotive, a company that specializes in the overhaul of historic piston engines, is currently also overhauling two reserve engines that will serve as backups for the future flying operation of the Deutsche Lufthansa Berlin-Stiftung (DLBS). Andreas Linke-Diesinger says: "To ensure that we are equipped for all eventualities the four Curtiss Wright EA2 engines from Lufthansa's former Super Star D-ALOL will shortly also arrive in Grangeville."
The Lockheed L-1649A Super Star based in Johannesburg, South Africa flew for Lufthansa until the 1960s and is currently in the possession of the South African Airways Museum Society. The museum, whose aim is to preserve the history of SAA, has already made a number of components available to the Super Star project, among them the passenger doors of D-ALOL. As in the case of the passenger door, the Super Star team supplies authentic-looking dummies to South Africa in exchange for the original parts. "We are primarily interested in the EA2 engine cases so that we can increase the number of reserve cases. There are only a few surviving originals of these in the world," Andreas Linke-Diesinger explains.
This means that as well as the four engines mounted on the aircraft and the two complete spare engines, the DLBS flying operation will have access in the future to a supply of spare parts that match the components of a further ten Curtiss Wright EA2 engines.