26th April 2004: N73544, cleared for takeoff
We have been waiting for this moment for a long time. 4 years of demanding work, of hope, of doubt and of perseverance. The expectations were running high. We released the 13,000 horsepower of our « Breitling Super Constellation » and accelerated along the runway. After the takeoff, we overflew the runway at to pay our respects to the town which had looked after N73544 for many years. Numerous spectators waved as we passed.
Our cruising altitude of 10,000 feet and the mountains obliged us to take a Southerly heading. Only with luck were we able to fly above Marana airport in , where our first Super Constellation N105CF, the MATS Connie and a 3rd non-flying Super Constellation are all parked. We circled overhead Marana and recognised without any problem N105CF. With strong emotions, we paid our respects to our first Super Constellation, brought from St. Domingue, by rocking our wings before taking a heading for , and then direct to where we landed after 7:45 hours of flight. The weather was superb and we marvelled at the extraordinary scenery. Mountains, desert and then the view of cultivated fields one after another.
Many admirers, some from far away, came to greet the most beautiful propellor transport aircraft ever made when it landed at .
This first day will be fixed in our memories for ever, and it will take time for us to truly come to terms with these incredible moments. This adventure is certainly one of the most wonderful of our lifes. It is now no longer so strange to think that the thousands of admirers of this famous aircraft will very soon be able to once again see a Super Constellation in .
The flight from Omaha (Nebraska) to Manchester (New Hampshire) is planned for Tuesday 27th April, taking-off at 9am local time (3pm Swiss time, 1pm GMT) and arriving at 3:30pm local time (9:30pm Swiss time, 7:30pm GMT). The report of the flight will be published on the morning of the 28th on the website.
We are very appreciative to know that numerous fans of virtual flight are following this adventure.
Do not hesitate to leave messages in the guestbook on the website, all of which are very much appreciated by our members and crew on board N7344.
With our best wishes from Omaha.
Text: Patrick Danalet
Translation: Antony Simmins