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L1649A Starliner

c/n 1042


January 2011

Lockheed L1649A Starliner
ZS-DVJ to be relocated to Rand Airport

This page follows the project of moving ZS-DVJ from OR Tambo Airport to Rand Airport

Click here to go to the Lockheed Starliner ZS-DVJ main page with history and photographs

For a number of years the SAA Museum Society has known that the inevitable would happen i.e. the order to relocate our beloved Starliner to a new home.

The order came in the first week of 2011, the Connie must go!

Since then numerous meetings have taken place as to who, what, where, when etc. Our dear friends at
Deutsche Lufthansa Berlin-Stiftung (DLBS) in Germany have been simply awesome and have given us plenty of information to work with. They have had a couple of years involvement with their own three Starliners and are able to offer the SAAMS advice as well as access to much needed technical information, manuals and special tools required for dismantling ZS-DVJ.

SAA Technical and the SAA Apprentice School have also been of immense help and will be there to guide the museum through what is undoubtedly a daunting task.

It's actually quite simple really, undo the aircraft, move the bits and put it all together again. When we're done we'll look back and say "piece of cake", but for now our problems have just begun.

A working committee was in place by June 2011 and a document (Moving D-ALAN) had been been drafted that would serve to guide us through the initial phase. The document was been compiled by
Johannes Wiesner, Technical Manager BizJet Auburn - The Lockheed Super Star Project.

This page also acts a repository for documentation and photographs, new and old, that will assist the relocation team.
First off is a set of photographs of the dismantling in 1979 of ZS-DVJ when she was at Klein Kariba in Warmbaths, now Bella Bella.

Dismantling at Klein Kariba and transporting to Jan Smuts Airport during 1979

ZS-DVJ dismantling at Klein Kariba001

ZS-DVJ dismantling at Klein Kariba001a

Offloading at Jan Smuts Airport during 1979
ZS-DVJ dismantling at Klein Kariba002

ZS-DVJ dismantling at Klein Kariba003

ZS-DVJ dismantling at Klein Kariba004

ZS-DVJ dismantling at Klein Kariba005

ZS-DVJ dismantling at Klein Kariba006

ZS-DVJ dismantling at Klein Kariba007

ZS-DVJ dismantling at Klein Kariba007a

ZS-DVJ dismantling at Klein Kariba008

ZS-DVJ dismantling at Klein Kariba008a

ZS-DVJ dismantling at Klein Kariba009

ZS-DVJ dismantling at Klein Kariba009a

ZS-DVJ dismantling at Klein Kariba010

ZS-DVJ dismantling at Klein Kariba010a

Dismantling begings mid 2011 at SAA Technical

By July 2011 the spinners and some wing panels had been removed.


Removing the engine cowlings, 22 October 2011

Removing the props, 5 November 2011




Unfortunately it was not possible to continue the dismantling process at SAA Technical and arrangements were made to continue at Denel Aviation on the north east side of OR Tambo International Airport.

Awaiting a tug to tow her to Denel Aviation t
he Starliner stands next to a soon to be scrapped Angola Boeing 747. 12 May 2012

ZS-DVJ crossing between the two main runways at OR Tambo International Airport, 12 May 2012.
It was nearly 41 years since she last trundled around the airport, known then as Jan Smuts, on 9 October 1971.

At Denel Aviation. Dismantling was soon to begin. 12 May 2012

The first workday at Denel Aviation - cold and damp! The start of removing many pannels begins. 23 June 2012

Labelling the panels for future identification and re-fitting. 23 June 2012

The first of many hundreds of rivets being drilled out. 23 June 2012

In the following weeks the centre panels had been removed as well as the left flap.

The right hand flap being removed. 1 September 2012

ZS-DVJ new front-door-01

New front passenger door
21 November 2012
Photograph:Bernhard Scholz

New doors were manufactured as ZS-DVJ's original doors will "fly again" on Starliner c/n 1018
owned by Deutsche Lufthansa Berlin-Stiftung (DLBS) German Lufthansa Berlin Foundation

ZS-DVJ new front-door-02
New front passenger door
21 November 2012
Photograph:Bernhard Scholz

ZS-DVJ new back-door-01
New back passenger door

21 November 2012
Photograph:Bernhard Scholz


ZS-DVJ new back-door-02
New back passenger door

21 November 2012
Photograph:Bernhard Scholz


Starliner ZS-DVJ 20130604 dummy engines
Four dummy engines arrived 4 June 2013 from the USA.
These will be fitted once the aircraft is re-assmbled at Rand Airport.

 Starliner ZS-DVJ 20130615 tail remove-1
Removal of the tail, 15 June 2013
 Starliner ZS-DVJ 20130615 tail remove-2

 Starliner ZS-DVJ 20130615 tail remove-3

 Starliner ZS-DVJ 20130615 tail remove-4

 Starliner ZS-DVJ 20130615 tail remove-5

 Starliner ZS-DVJ 20130615 tail remove-6

 Starliner ZS-DVJ 20130615 tail remove-7

Starliner ZS-DVJ 20130615 tail remove-8

 Starliner ZS-DVJ 20130615 tail remove-9
The four bolts that hold the tail in place

On 13 August 2013 work began on the removal of the Starliner engines. The four engines were sent to Anderson Aeromotive based in Grangeville, Idaho, USA, for potential overhaul and/or the recovery of components suitable for overhaul for the Deutsche Lufthansa Berlin-Stiftung (DLBS) Starliner N7316C which was being restored to flying condition in Maine USA. The SAA Museum society received dummy engines in return to install on ZS-DVJ once she is at Rand Airport.

On 18 February 2014 the go-ahead was given by the Museum for Airside Enterprises (Pty) Ltd to manufacture fuselage shoring, consisting of rigging equipment, wing cradles and belly cradle. The items were duly manufactured in 2014 and stored.

No further progress was made with the Starliner during the rest of 2014 as well as 2015 and 2016 as it was decided to work on relocating the museum's Vickers Viking, ZS-DKH, from OR Tambo to Rand Airport. The Viking was relocated on 22 January 2017.

And so it was that on 17 February 2017, the man who had successfully headed up the Viking move, Matt Harvey, found himself at Denel Aviation listening to Richard Hunt explaining how to "take apart" the Connie and move it to Rand Airport.

The task ahead was major; the Viking move had acted as a rehearsal and Matt and his team had some insight as to what lay ahead - albeit on a much larger scale.

The story of the relocation of our beloved Starliner unfolds below.

ZS-DVJ relocation 20170217 SAA Museum Starliner IMG 2442 -750
The "Connie Restoration Team" paid the old girl a visit on Friday 17 February 2017, a rather gloomy day as a result of tropical storm Dineo.

ZS-DVJ relocation 20170217 SAA Museum Starliner IMG 2447 -750
Richard Hunt explaining some of the finer points of separating wings from fuselage.
The relocation project was due to commence; the goal to have her at the museum before winter.

ZS-DVJ relocation 20170217 SAA Museum Starliner IMG 2450 -750
The shoring had spent three years exposed to the elements and would need to be inspected for structural integrity.

 ZS-DVJ relocation 20170217 SAA Museum Starliner IMG 2468 -750
The team that visited on 17 February 2017.
Ray Hudson, Ken Wadmore, James Engels, Kyle Baytopp, Keith Lennard, Mike Paterson, Matt Harvey, Digby Sherwood, Ian Cruickshank and Richard Hunt.
Photograph: John Austin-Williams.

ZS-DVJ relocation 20170217 SAA Museum Starliner IMG 2469 -750
The team that visited on 17 February 2017, this time with the photographer of the first image, John Austin-Williams, in shot.
Ray Hudson, Ken Wadmore, James Engels, Kyle Baytopp, Keith Lennard, Mike Paterson, Matt Harvey, Digby Sherwood, Ian Cruickshank and John Austin-Williams.
Photograph: Richard Hunt.

ZS-DVJ relocation 20170817-01 SAA Museum Starliner
Winter was in full swing when the aircraft was lowered onto supports, Thursday 17 August 2017 was an exceptionally windy and cold day!
Thanks to SAA Technical for the use of aircraft recovery bags and the team that helped.
Photograph: Matthew Harvey.


ZS-DVJ relocation 20170817-02 SAA Museum Starliner
Photograph: Matthew Harvey.

ZS-DVJ relocation 20170817-03 SAA Museum Starliner
Note the retracted main gear, 17 August 2017.
Photograph: Matthew Harvey.


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