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 1997: A report from the Swissair DC-4 visit

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L1049



Posts: 3
Join date: 2012-02-06

PostSubject: 1997: A report from the Swissair DC-4 visit    Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:47 pm

I hope, that it is ok that I post a report from the past in this forum section because I cannot find another suitable section.

As a boy and teen I spent many hours at my home airport Dusseldorf. Due to the common shortage of my pocket money I had not the possibility to shoot many photos.
After school I made a break for more than ten years before I started my hobby again in the middle of the nineties. But all the times I was a big propliner enthusiast.
In 1997 I read in the swiss spotter magazine jetstream about the summertour of a DC-4 for the old and original Swissair and that they offer sightseeingflights from Luxembourg in July that year. That was my long dreamt chance to get a ride on a real piston propliner. Swissair celebrated with that tour the 50th anniversary of transatlantic operation and leased the 1946 built DC-4 ZS-AUB (c/n 42984) from South African Historic Flight. It gained the new registration ZU-ILI. ZU stands in South Africa for experimental aircraft and ILI was chosen to remember the original HB-ILI DC-4 which served for Swissair in the fifties.
During that summertour in 1997 the plane was even allowed by the swiss authorities to carry the HB-ILI registration during domestic flight within Switzerland.

At that time I only had a small compactcamera and had never made a photoshooting at another airport before. So I borrowed an old, fixed lense fully manual SLR-Cam from my cousin and thougt, that regardless of the camera settings, the pics would come out that good I saw in the view-finder. Well, this cannot work out proper of course and so the results were quite disappointing. Besides that I didnít think about bringing a ladder and a tripod. A fault I never made again later!
Nevertheless I will share the pics of my first spotting-trip in this forum an I hope that you enjoy it anyways.

Some first pics through the fence on the evening of July,4th 1997 after a very heavy thunderstorm.









The next morning it was dry but pretty cloudy which made it quite difficult to get good exposed photos with no experience of manual photo shooting at all.
The DC-4 arrived with a delay of app. two hours due to engine problems which had to be fixed all night long in ZRH that night before.
First view on the plane out of the departure area.


My first Icelnadair shot at all!


Finally we boarded the DC-4 which was parked side by side to another oldie!


The sound of the four piston props was great and the DC-4 drifted pretty much in the wind:




Visit in the cockpit. Look at the old fashioned steering wheel!






Antique-tecnic:


The cabin was equipped with quite modern seats.


Stylish doors to the restrooms.


After the landing we had the opportunity to make some shots of the DC-4 and the tarmac around :




The groundcrew inspects the uncommon historic aircraft:












Back at the fence the Aeroflot IL-76 yelled over the apron:


Shortly afterwards this DC-8 started for a testflight:


Luxairs regional fleet:




Meanwhile the DC-4 engines were started for the next sightseeing flight:

The passengers of our flight were invited to visit the maintenance facilities of Luxair:

DC-8 TR-LTZ of the Republique Gabonaise in maintenance. This particular aircraft became famous after a faulty takoff try in low visibility at Frankfurt from a short taxiway! The recovery lasted about three weeks because an interim runway had to be built to pull it out. Here a link to a photo of that incident:
http://www.flugzeugbilder.de/show.php?id=790062







Air Atlanta Icelandic B-732 TF-ABX ex LH D-ABGE




Later the DC-8 returned and we were allowed to take pics from the apron:




In late afternoon the DC-4 started its engines for the returnflight to Zurich. What a show!



Up and away in last light.


Shortly after that event I bought my first own SLR-Cam and practised a lot to improve my photo skills.

L1049
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heron



Posts: 131
Join date: 2011-10-06
Location: Westerbork (NL)

PostSubject: Re: 1997: A report from the Swissair DC-4 visit    Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:23 pm

Great shots and story. Must have been a lot of work to get the pictures to what we see now. Outstanding job Exclamation Cool
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http://www.flickr.com/photos/heron01/
Tristan



Posts: 772
Join date: 2011-05-17
Age: 18
Location: Bastendorf

PostSubject: Re: 1997: A report from the Swissair DC-4 visit    Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:10 pm

First, welcome to the forum L1049,

and wow, a very very nice and interesting report of the old times of Findel airport!!!

Really great the DC-4 with those old Pratt&Whitney engines and the nice old cockpit!

Must been a fantasic trip for you!

Nice to see such an interesting traffic at the airport like this Tu-134

and the British Airways ATR, and the KLM Saab!!!

Also great to see the old fleet of Luxair!


With best regards Tristan. Smile
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oliton



Posts: 536
Join date: 2011-09-18
Location: ELLX

PostSubject: Re: 1997: A report from the Swissair DC-4 visit    Fri Feb 10, 2012 9:58 pm

Thank you sir! That was really nice to look at. More please Very Happy
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fwa



Posts: 810
Join date: 2010-05-05

PostSubject: Re: 1997: A report from the Swissair DC-4 visit    Fri Feb 10, 2012 11:30 pm

Nice memories coming back with these pictures. One question though: on your first Icelandair photo, there is an airplane behind the 757 with kind of a stiled red "L" in a circle on the tail. What airplane is that? Can't remember anything the like.
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L1049



Posts: 3
Join date: 2012-02-06

PostSubject: Re: 1997: A report from the Swissair DC-4 visit    Fri Feb 10, 2012 11:33 pm

fwa wrote:
One question though: on your first Icelandair photo, there is an airplane behind the 757 with kind of a stiled red "L" in a circle on the tail. What airplane is that? Can't remember anything the like.

Hi,
this was an Onur Air A-321 in old colors.

Good Night.

L1049
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Eric3620



Posts: 191
Join date: 2011-09-02
Age: 35
Location: Weiler-la-Tour

PostSubject: Re: 1997: A report from the Swissair DC-4 visit    Sat Feb 11, 2012 8:45 am

A+ from me too. Hard to believe this was LUX 15 years ago. What great beauties we had, the F50 in classic colours, the 727, DC8, Speedbird's ATR in the Landour Colours, and and and... Comparing this to today's traffic, I wish we had a timewarp somewhere to take us back Wink
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oliton



Posts: 536
Join date: 2011-09-18
Location: ELLX

PostSubject: Re: 1997: A report from the Swissair DC-4 visit    Sat Feb 11, 2012 9:57 am

I was thinking the same thing. Nowadays, all planes look alike and the liveries are quite boring... Heck, even a TNT plane looks alright!
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t-bolux



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Join date: 2008-04-07
Age: 24
Location: Peiteng

PostSubject: Re: 1997: A report from the Swissair DC-4 visit    Sat Feb 11, 2012 10:12 am

That is just... Amazing sir !!! very nice pictures for a boy that was not experimented with a camera Very Happy

What impress me is that 1997 is not that far....and already so much interesting things disapeared ! Aeroflot TU134, Tunisair 727 and those DC8s....

Eric3620 wrote:
A+ from me too. Hard to believe this was LUX 15 years ago. What great beauties we had, the F50 in classic colours, the 727, DC8, Speedbird's ATR in the Landour Colours, and and and... Comparing this to today's traffic, I wish we had a timewarp somewhere to take us back Wink

+1 Very Happy

Thanks for sharing, great report! Smile
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pitchul



Posts: 385
Join date: 2009-01-02
Age: 33

PostSubject: Re: 1997: A report from the Swissair DC-4 visit    Sat Feb 11, 2012 11:07 am

Wow, just great pictures.

Thank you for sharing

Manu
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afterburner



Posts: 1412
Join date: 2008-03-24
Location: EBLG/LGG

PostSubject: Re: 1997: A report from the Swissair DC-4 visit    Sat Feb 11, 2012 5:39 pm

An excellent report, pics and comments are great, thanks for sharing ! Shocked
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Jack



Posts: 564
Join date: 2008-03-11
Age: 61
Location: Merkholtz ( nr,Wiltz)

PostSubject: Re: 1997: A report from the Swissair DC-4 visit    Sun Feb 12, 2012 11:46 am

For a " first time " Super pictures
Regards
Jack
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serbra



Posts: 114
Join date: 2010-10-05
Age: 47
Location: Windhof

PostSubject: Re: 1997: A report from the Swissair DC-4 visit    Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:12 am

Hi L1049.

very interesting pictures. I can remember that time very well. Since 1985 I'm the LUXEMBOURG-correspondant of JETSTREAM (International Aviation Magazine based at ZURICH) and I remember that historical flight to Luxembourg. Unfortunately I could not participate in those sightseeing flights over the Grand-Duchy as I was the tourist guide of the Jetstream-Group visiting the Luxair Cargo Center and the City of Luxembourg that saturday afternoon.
Yes indeed, at that time LUX was a really INTERNATIONAL PASSENGER AIRPORT with Aeroflot (flights to Russia, Cuba, Chile via ELLX) + Icelandair with flights via Reykjavik to several destinations in Canada and the USA.
Also CARGOLUX made at that time all sorts of maintenance for Boeing 707, 737, 747, 757, 767 and all sorts of DC.8. What a great time. Nearly every day (week) a fantastic airplane visitor from all regions of the world. bounce Very Happy Laughing
Today, ELLX has become a regional passenger airport with only sometimes a REALLY interesting visitor aircraft. Very sad...! Mad affraid Evil or Very Mad Rolling Eyes

Ciao

Serge BRAUN
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