History

On the wings of a legend

When the Lockheed Super Star entered commercial service in 1957, the jet age was about to commence on North Atlantic routes. The L-1649A thereby heralded the grand finale of the legendary piston propeller era between Europe and North America.

The legendary “aviator” Howard Hughes

An icon of American aviation history

Earlier versions of the famous Lockheed Constellation series, initiated by the legendary “aviator” Howard Hughes, had already been trailblazers of world air travel. But it was the honor of those 44 produced L-1649A’s to literally open up new horizons. Being the first airliner to fly nonstop between “old” and “new” world, the Super Star considerably shortened travel times across the pond. But even the most impressive performance data couldn’t hide the fact that the advent of the jet age over the North Atlantic in 1958 terminated the era of the great Trans-Atlantic propliners for good.

First Class luxury never before seen

On September 4th 1958, Lufthansa announced the birth of their 'Senator' First Class service between Germany and New York. Exclusively offered on board the four Lockheed L-1649A Super Star flagships, it was in the Golden Age of Aviation, probably the most luxurious way to cross the North Atlantic on board an aeroplane.

Germany’s flying ambassador in the swinging fifties

The first passengers on board the premiere flight were treated to a level of comfort and service never before seen and which contributed to the highly regarded reputation and legendary status of the Super Star.

In addition to ‘Comforette’ First Class seats, an on-board lounge awaited passengers during the flight for ‘a twaddle, fancy games or a serious business talk’ according to a period Lufthansa brochure. Of course this was the 1950s, an era before our modern inflight entertainment gadgets like earphones and personal video screens. In the bygone ‘golden’ propeller era, talking with the crew and fellow travelers, watching the passing clouds out of the windows and fine dining were the only ‘in flight entertainments.’

Comfort was the byword. Apart from fully reclining seats there were also sleeping berths that folded down from the cabin ceiling during night flights. The Lufthansa Super Star carried a maximum of 32 premium passengers all of whom were pampered in it's exclusive all First Class cabin.

Technical Data

Manufacturer: Lockheed Aircraft Company, Burbank, USA
Year of Manufacture: 1957
First operator: TWA
Registration: N7316C (currently)/ D-ALAN (planned)
Engines: 4 x Curtiss-Wright R-3350-988TC-18EA-2
Wingspan: 150ft
Length: 116ft 2in
Height: 23ft 4.8in
Minimum crew: 1 captain, 1 first officer, 1 flight engineer