Luzern Verkershaus...Swiss Transport Museum
Text: Serge Van Heertum - Pictures: Serge Van Heertum & Laurent Cuvelier  ©SBAP 2013 

 

The Swiss Transport Museum (Verkershaus.ch), is a museum dedicated to all types of mobility (trains, trams, cars, boats, planes...) as its name suggests. Located by Lake Luzern, the idea of designing a museum dedicated to Swiss Transportation was born in 1950, when the first studies were launched towards the construction.
In 1958, the Federal Council passed the credit for launching the first phase of construction. On July 1st 1959 the museum was inaugurated. As the years went by, the museum was going to grow and develop further... In 1972 the aviation hall opened, and in 1985 the hall of maritime navigation was born. In 1996, an IMAX auditorium is integrated into the structure, to present high definition movies. Year after year, the complex grows and sees the integration of communication services, including a TV & radio studio, a video-conference system, a communication network and finally a newspaper. This complex is also the only place in the world with a permanent exhibition devoted to cable cars and god knows that the Swiss know something about those.
Let's get back to our visit, which was of course aimed at the aviation hall. But as we passed through the hall dedicated to railway transport, astonishment and admiration arose. Although we are not big fans of locomotives and other carts, the collection is very impressive, and covers the early beginning of Swiss railways until today. Following the signs, we then passed by road transport. This hall covers the history of the automobile in a rather original way. A huge wall is covered with shelves where the vehicles are exposed upon. It is also a completely automated system that brings the vehicles in front of the visitors, offering information about the car in question. Then the system returns the car to its place and takes another. This presentation is dynamic and very impressive. Then comes the lobby of naval transport. The inner courtyard has a temporary exhibition "Cargo Transport Fascination", explaining in particular the handling of containers via road and boats
Finally, we arrive at the aviation hall, named Oskar Bider, paying tribute to one of Switzerland's aviation pioneers.

Outside, there are two Swissair planes, the unavoidable DC-3, and a quite rare Convair 990 Coronado. Upon entering the lobby, you can only be impressed by the number and variety of the presented aircraft. Some thirty airplanes in total, each having marked either the history of Swissair, Swiss sport aviation, or the Swiss Air Force. All aircraft are in mint condition and to enhance history, lots of glass displays show models and other documents, throughout the visit. Among the displayed machines, we notice a revered Fokker F.VII, a magnificent Lockheed Orion enhanced by mannequins, and other original equipment, a Messerschmitt Bf -108 and Fieseler Storch covering the dark times of World War II. It is not useful to present an exhaustive list of all aircraft in the hall; the pictures shown in this page represent the full inventory. However, we should note the presence of a plane a little different, namely the prototype EKW N- 20.2 "Arbalète" (Crossbow). We will return to this plane a little later. The aviation hall also includes a section on space adventure, in which the Swiss aviation industry is also present. Finally, the complex also has a planetarium offering the largest celestial simulator of Switzerland. In conclusion, if you are visiting Luzern, make sure you visit this site, you will have a pleasant and educational day, and even children will find plenty of activities to learn while having fun.

   
Aviation and Space Hall (Laurent Cuvelier)
 
Convair 990A Coronado (30A-6)  HB-ICC  c/n 30-10-12 (Serge Van Heertum) Coronado cockpit (Laurent Cuvelier)
   

(Serge Van Heertum)

  (Serge Van Heertum)
   
Douglas C-47B Skytrain (DC-3)  HB-IRN c/n 16645/33393 (Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
   
Dakota in the city! (Serge Van Heertum)
   
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
   
(Serge Van Heertum) Bleriot XIb  23 (Serge Van Heertum)
   
Lockheed 9C Orion  N12222  c/n 180 (Serge Van Heertum) The only one remaining in the world (Laurent Cuvelier)
   
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
   

Nice presentation with some mannequins
(Serge Van Heertum)

(Serge Van Heertum)  
   
Fokker F-Vlla  HB-LBO  c/n 5005  (Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
   
(Serge Van Heertum) (Laurent Cuvelier)
   

Octave Chanute glider (+/- 1896) (Serge Van Heertum)

Dufaux 4 (1910) (Serge Van Heertum)
   
(Laurent Cuvelier) (Serge Van Heertum)
   
Spalinger S-21H Glider  HB-307 (Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
   
Aviafiber Canard 2FL  c/n 01  (1977) (Serge Van Heertum) In flight showing his strange design (Swiss aviation federation archives)
   
Mudry CAP 231EX  HB-MSC  c/n 06 (Laurent Cuvelier) (Serge Van Heertum)
   
Comte AC-4 Gentleman HB-KIL c/n 35
 
(Serge Van Heertum)
This type first flew in 1930. Only 11 aircrafts of the AC-4 type were built.
(Serge Van Heertum)
   
Henri Mignet HM-14 Pou-du-Ciel  HB-MH8 (Serge Van Heertum) Piper PA-18-150 Super Cub  HB-OPR  c/n 18-5786 (Laurent Cuvelier)
   
Heliswiss  Bell 47G-1  HB-XAE c/n 689  (1953) (Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
   
(Serge Van Heertum) Sud Est SA 316B Alouette III    HB-XDF c/n 1216 (Serge Van Heertum)
   
Stierlin  X-HB-XVB  c/n 03 (Serge Van Heertum)
   
Pilatus PC 9 HB-HPA c/n 001 (Serge Van Heertum) (Laurent Cuvelier)
   
The back seat (Laurent Cuvelier) (Serge Van Heertum)
   
(Serge Van Heertum) Nieuport 28C-1  688 (Serge Van Heertum)
   
Dewoitine D-26  U-288 c/n 320  in use as from 1948 (Serge Van Heertum) (Laurent Cuvelier)
   
Doflug Bu-133C Jungmeister  U-60 c/n 7 (Laurent Cuvelier) (Serge Van Heertum)
   
(Serge Van Heertum) Fieseler Storch Fi 156C-3  A-97  c/n 8063 (Serge Van Heertum)
   
EKW C-3603-1  C-537  C/N 317 (Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
   
(Serge Van Heertum) Messerschmitt Bf-108B-1 Taifun  A-210  c/n 2084 (Serge Van Heertum)
   
EKW N-20.2 “Arbalète” (Crossbow)
   

This purely Swiss prototype is a derivate from the N-20.01 a glider that formed the basis for the concept of the fighter plane (the N-20.01 was destroyed in an accident). The Arbalète was equipped with four Turboméca Piméné engines, with 0.98Kn of thrust each, mounted in pairs on the lower and upper surfaces of the wings. A rather unique design, that gave quite an avant-garde silhouette to a plane from the early 50s. The Arbalète made its first flight on November 16th, 1951 and proved from the start it had excellent maneuverability, while reaching a maximum speed of 750 Km/h.
This aircraft never made it to production, but was the starting point for the next prototype, the N-20.10 "Aiguillon" (The prototype N-20.10 is still present at the Museum of Dübendorf).
If the Swiss prototypes have caused an interest in our readers, we can strongly recommend an excellent book published in 2011, written by our Swiss colleague, Luc Leonardi, published by SECAVIA. A fantastic book, which will surprise the readers with its rich history and documents.

   
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
   
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
   
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
   
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
   
   

Oskar Bider was born July 12th, 1891 in Langenbruck. He was one of the pioneers and pillars of Swiss aviation. Son of a fabric merchant, he did not follow the same career as his father, preferring to go towards agriculture and, in particular, become a gaucho in Argentina, before returning to Europe and to dedicate himself to aviation. Oskar Bider attained his pilot's license in France on December 30th 1912, under number 1194, having trained at the Bleriot school in Pau. He passed to posterity thanks to two exploits. He was the first aviator to have overcome both the Alps, and the Pyrenees.
He lost his life on the morning of July 7th 1919, in an accident with his Nieuport 21 at Dübendorf airfield. He was killed on the spot, and the exact cause of the accident could never be determined with certainty, technical analysis of the plane didn't reveal any defect or malfunction.

Oskar Bider and his technician (Serge Van Heertum) Part of his damaged screw during the raid over the Pyrenees (Serge Van Heertum)
   
 Some models to show the rich Swiss aviation history (Laurent Cuvelier) Military field (Serge Van Heertum)
   
(Serge Van Heertum) (Laurent Cuvelier)
   
 Civil aviation (Serge Van Heertum) Modern aircraft (Serge Van Heertum)
   
Baloon history (Serge Van Heertum) Specialized aviation in snowy conditions (Serge Van Heertum)
   
Some bigger flying models (Serge Van Heertum) The Gripen is already in the Swiss mind... (Serge Van Heertum)
   
The elegant Patrouille Suisse colors (Laurent Cuvelier) (Serge Van Heertum)
   

This Spacelab Pallet was handed over to the Museum for permanent display
on March 5th, 2010.
The Pallet, nicknamed “Elvis”, was used during the 8 days STS-46 mission
held between July 31st and August 8th, 1992,
when ESA astronaut Claude Nicollier was on board Shuttle Atlantis
to deploy ESA's European Retrievable Carrier (Eureca) scientific mission
and the joint NASA/Italian Space Agency Tethered Satellite System (TSS-1)

(Serge Van Heertum)

   
   
To remember July 21st, 1969 and the first step on the moon
(Serge Van Heertum)
The international space station ISS in model
(Serge Van Heertum)
   
MIR Space Station (Serge Van Heertum) Spunik 1 replica (Serge Van Heertum)
   
Soviet Soyouz launcher (Serge Van Heertum)
   
Some engines are also exhibed (Serge Van Heertum) Breitling Orbiter 2 (Serge Van Heertum)
   

The top of the nacelle
(Laurent Cuvelier)

  Inside view of Breitling Orbiter 2 (Laurent Cuvelier)
   
Flying wings, also a Swiss passion (Serge Van Heertum) Wright plane simulator for the children (Serge Van Heertum)
   

FFA AS202/15 Bravo  HB-FFA c/n 021 cockpit only (Serge Van Heertum)

Para Gliding sensation for the youngsters (Serge Van Heertum)
   
Some Swiss Air Force aircraft painting...
   
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
   
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
   
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
   
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
   
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
   
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
   
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
   
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
   
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
   
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
   


Unusual views... (Serge Van Heertum)
   
Cars and Truck Hall (Laurent Cuvelier)
   
Amazing presentation (Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
   
(Serge Van Heertum) The automated system to bring the narrated car in front of the public
(Serge Van Heertum)
   
Railways Hall with in middle the "Elephant" steam locomotive  (Serge Van Heertum)
   
Luzern tramways (Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
   
"Elephant" control post, inside the steam system and old tramways (Laurent Cuvelier)
   
Steam powered snow blower (Serge Van Heertum) Didactic steam locomotive...to show how it works (Serge Van Heertum)
   
Steamship SS Rigi, a 160 years old boat  (Serge Van Heertum) Mesoscaph submersible designed by August Piccard (Laurent Cuvelier)
   
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