Welcome to my new FD thread.
It was born largely out of sentiment - when I was a kid I had a big metal toy Il-62 in Interflug livery (or very similar), powered by friction motor.
http://www.ebay.com/sch/sis.html?_nkw=V ... 0825552009
(after seeing these prices, I must say that I would really
like to know what happened to it...
When I was drawing Il-62 for Polish Wings thread, I reminded myself about that toy, and thougth it would be cool to draw that plane... And here are the results of these thoughts...
General note: various (internet) sources differed significantly regarding the quantity of airplanes operated by the East German airlines, therefore I decided to follow the source that was giving most details - if it was wrong - then I'm sorry.
Note on registration markings: initially German Democratic Republic was using DDR- registrations, in 1956 they were changed to DM- and in 1981 again to DDR-.
Deutsche Lufthansa GmbH der DDR - DLH (DDR) or DLH (Ost)
First airline of the German Democratic Republic was established on 1 july 1955. Shortly earlier, on 27 april 1955 East Berlin's main airport, Berlin-Schönefeld was transferred from the Soviet control to East German one. Also, up until that time all airline connections to East Germany were operated by foreign lines, mainly Aeroflot. The newly-created airline, which was also to be GDR's flag carrier, was named Deutsche Lufthansa Gesselschaft mit beschränkter Haftung
, after the pre-war German airline Deutsche Luft Hansa
and mirroring the Deutsche Lufthansa Aktiengesellschaft
recently (1954) formed in the West Germany.
For political reasons all equipment of the new airline had to be purchased from the other Soviet-bloc countries. Also the flight crews were initially composed of Soviet citizens. First flight of the line took place on 16 september 1955, when the then-prime minister of GDR, Otto Grotewohl, travelled with official visit to Moscow. Scheduled operations begun on 4 february 1956 with the opening of the Berlin-Warsaw line. In the same year international lines to Moscow (via Vilnius), Prague, Budapest, Bucuresti and Sofia were established, as well as domestic line to Leipzig. In 1958 domestic lines to Dresden, Erfurt and Karl-Marx-Stadt (Chemnitz) were opened, as well as holiday line to Barth. Finally, in 1960 international lines to Belgrade and Tirana were opened.
Contrary to the West German DLH AG
which purchased the rights to the brand from the liquidation assets of the pre-1945 line, East German Lufthansa
used the brand in a legally-dubious way (politely speaking). That peculiar situation lasted for several years, however, and it's said (perhaps apocryphally) that it was ended only due to the CEO of the Western Lufthansa
being enraged after he saw a photograph of Convair 240 and Iliushin 14 sitting side-by-side at the Vienna airport, both carrying liveries of their respective Lufthansas
. West German airline filled a lawsuit in Yugoslavia in 1963, losing of which forced East Germany to dissolve the Deutsche Lufthansa GmbH der DDR
and to transfer it's assets and personnel to it's second airline - Interflug
First airliner operated by the DLH der DDR
was Ilyushin 14P. First six of them were delivered in 1955 (DDR-ABA/DM-SBA, DDR-ABF/DM-SBF, DDR-ABL/DM-SBL, DDR-ABX/DM-SBX and DDR-ABZ/DM-SBZ), nine in 1956 (DM-SBI, -SBM, -SBO, -SBR, -SBS, -SBU, -SBV, -SBW, -SBY), nine in 1957 (DM-SBE, -SAA, -SAB, -SAC, -SAD, -SAE, -SAF, -SAG, -SAH), three in 1958 (DM-SAI, -SAK, -SAL) and three more in 1959 (DM-SAM, -SAN, -SAO) to a total of 29. Additionaly three more were chartered in 1968 and 1969 (one from the Air Force, one from Hungarian MALEV and one from Polish LOT). Their numbers were shrinking however already since 1957 when East German Air Force took over two of them (DM-SBM and -SBS) and two more in 1961 (DM-SBZ and -SAA).
Note the lack of East German coat of arms on the fin flags.
Image updated February 2020
Next planes operated by the line were small Czechoslovak Aero Ae-45's used for taxi and service flights. Six were purchased between 1956 and 1957 (DM-SGA, -SGB, -SGC, -SGD, -SGE, -SGF). Already in 1960 DM-SGF was written off after belly-landing, DM-SGA was retired and DM-SGC was sold to Kenya. DM-SGE was transferred to Air Force in 1961 and remaining two planes followed year later.
Since 1957 DLH der DDR
operated a total of 23 Antonov 2 biplanes (registrations in the DM-SK_ format). Majority of them were used as crop-dusters, while seven were in passenger variant, used mostly on the line to Karl-Marx-Stadt whose airport had only grass runway, incapable of operating heavy planes.
Many thanks to Gollevainen for his Antonov An-2 and to WhyMe for his drawings of it. I allowed myself to make certain changes to it, mainly in the engine and tail area, as well as to modify the riveting.
Last - and largest - airplane used by East German Lufthansa
was four-engined Ilyushin 18. Three were delivered in 1960 (DM-STA, -STB, -STC) and two more in 1962 (DM-STF, -STG).
To be continued...