The “Breitling Super Constellation” from Yannick Barthe is the new 20-minutes short film of the HB-SRC Lockheed Super Constellation of the SCFA (Super Constellation Flyer Association) based in the Euroairport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg (Switzerland). This short-film features breathtaking slow-motion sequences and exclusive flights with the Breitling Jet Team and the PC7-Team in Swiss landscapes.
This new short movie started with a phone call in April 2013. Maurice O. Troesch (SCFA member) has been dreaming for a long time to produce a movie with the Super Constellation HB-RSC. He discovered aviation videos on the Yannick Barthe Films website and asked him to be the filmmaker of the forthcoming “Super Constellation” short-film. One week later, a first meeting with Ernst Frei (Director of Operations and Captain) was organized. The movie project was born.
Filming the Super Constellation is challenging. The flights are limited and already planned at the beginning of the year. If the weather is bad during the flying days we have to work with poor light and rain or in the worst case the flight is cancelled.
In December 2013, a first trailer was released on Internet. It has been viewed by more than 65’000 people. The 1st August 2014, we released our second trailer with exclusive sequences with the Breitling Jet Team and the Swiss Air Force PC-7 Team. A beautiful sneak peak of our forthcoming movie.
Designed and built by the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation to the specification of the legendary Howard Hughes, the Constellation, the world’s first commercially successful pressurized airliner, heralded a new post-war era of safe, comfortable and fast transatlantic air travel. This graceful looking aircraft with its long sinuous fuselage – curving downward at the nose and upward at the rear to its distinctive tripletail, became synonymous with the halcyon days of the big Propliners and is still widely regarded with awe and affection.
In all, 856 Constellations were built, ranging from the first C-69 variant to the magnificent L-1649 Starliner. Sadly 55 years after the first aircraft flew, only a handful remains airworthy as a vibrant reminder of perhaps the most beautiful propliner of them all.
As most of you will know, the Lockheed L-1049 Super Constellation has become an almost extinct species in today’s skies that are flocked by Boeings and Airbuses. The Super Constellation like no other passenger aircraft epitomizes the era of the 50s when big piston engined aircraft still reigned the sky and up to the present day the Super Constellation remains unparalleled for its elegance and shapeliness. At one time it was even dubbed “Queen of the Atlantic” when more Constellations crossed the big water between North America and Europe than any other aircraft.
For some time now nostalgic airplanes like the legendary Douglas DC-3, the DC-4 and even the DC-6 have re-appeared on many European airports and countless admirers, young and old, have cherished the resurrection of these big propliners. However, not a single Super Constellation has been cruising the European skies for more than 25 years! Now the project of the SCFA offers the unique chance that this beautiful and elegant airliner can be seen in Europe anew and that the roar of its four Wright-Cyclone R-3350s will again reverberate in the vicinity of many an airport small or big.
Francisco Agullo (Chief-Pilot) was the initiator of the project. HI-583CT in the Dominican Republic was the only and last airworthy Super Constellation commercially registered in the world. But she needed some repairs and a full systems check. A FAA certified engineer and Constellation specialist supervised the 2 months maintenance in Santo Domingo. Still in Santo Domingo the necessary paper work for her registration in the US register was completed and the aircraft received the new registration N105CF. On November 7, 2000 the Constellation was flown under the new registration to Opa Locka (Miami) in the USA.
In Florida the maintenance work continued. During the first days of January 2001 the Super Constellation was flown in a ferry flight to Marana Northwest Regional Airport at Avra Valley, Arizona. Here the actual restoration and preparation work for the ferry flight to Basel is carried out.
Restoration and maintenance work started with the help of the MATS Connie team and the association’s volunteers. Despite the hard work, N105CF did not receive the “Standard airworthiness certificate” which is necessary to carry passengers. The decision was taken to stop all the work on the Connie and to look for an alternative which will allow the Connie project to continue.
In Spring 2003, negotiations with the owner of the “Camarillo Connie” took place and an agreement was found for a lease/purchase of N73544 (one of the last 4 Connies still flying in the world). At the end of April / beginning of May 2004 the ferry flight took place and we flew in 6 legs from Camarillo, CA to Basel, Switzerland. Since then the Super Constellation visited various airshows in Switzerland and abroad to the delight of thousands of people.
Here some stills on set captured by Franziska Neuhaus and Ernst Frei. Filming locations : Basel, Zurich, Buochs, Dittingen, Mollis, Samedan, Epinal, Rocher de Naye, Halbinsel Au, Sion, Emmen, Bern and Payerne.
The movie was shot, edited and color-graded in HD (1920×1080 pixels). Filmed mainly with Sony ENG and large sensor videocameras. Additional air-to-air sequences filmed with GoPro, Canon 5D and RED Epic. The movie will be available on DVD (December 2014), bluray and VOD (later in 2015).
We would like to thank all the pilots and crew members of the Super Constellation for the great and friendly collaboration during our filming. Thanks to our team and co-workers Franziska Neuhaus, Steve Vonlanthen and Sébastien Lauper. Many thanks to our partners SCFA Super Constellation Flyers Association, Breitling and Total.