See you soon, Airplane!
After 88 years flying over Barcelona, our beloved aeroplane is leaving the Amusement Park to be restored, and will be back in the spring.
On Tuesday 31 January, a large crane hoisted up our legendary Avió airplane, placed it on the ground and the wings and tail fins were disassembled.
Work to lower the plane started at 9am and during the afternoon the wings and tail fins were dismantled. Tibidabo Amusement Park’s Avió airplane then left its airport for the first time after more than eight decades of flying over the city.
The event was attended by the Chairman of B:SM, the Second Deputy Mayor, Jaume Collboni, and the Director of Tibidabo Amusement Park, Rosa Ortiz.
The Amusement Park’s most iconic attraction was transported on a trailer to the workshop where the necessary renovations are being done - these include operational aspects as well as image and design. In particular, it is planned to renovate the fuselage, the interior decoration, and paint the metal structure and the surrounding branding so that when you take a trip in this aircraft you’ll be transported to its historical past.
After travelling millions of kilometres over a period of 88 years, Tibidabo’s very own Avió airplane is leaving its hangar in Tibidabo Amusement Park for the first time. The Amusement Park’s emblem - and icon of Mount Tibidabo’s skyline - is being restored and will be back in the Spring with a new look.
The story of Tibidabo’s Avió airplane
It first opened on 23 September 1928, just one day before the Mercè Festival. It was to be a first: just a few months before an almost identical aeroplane had launched regular flights between El Prat (Barcelona) airport and Carabanchel in Madrid.
In the last five years alone, Tibidabo’s airplane has had almost half a million visitors, made 47,000 trips and has been round and round 140,000 times - which means it has travelled more than 18,000 km. It is estimated that throughout its history, from when it first went into operation, Tibidabo’s airplane has flown the equivalent of 20 times around the world.
The aim was for the public to be able to enjoy a trip which, at that time, very few people took. Adverts such as: “To Tibidabo! To Tibidabo!” appeared in newspapers of the time to encourage everyone to try this innovative attraction.
"The illusion of flight cannot be closer to reality” was another headline that was published in newspapers in 1928, after the ride was opened.
The plane was the last great project of Dr Andreu - one of the founders of the Tibidabo company. Built in the Estrada workshops in the Sarrià district of Barcelona, and put together by Fath engineers under the direction of Marià Rubió (at the time, the chief engineer), it is a replica of the first plane to fly from Barcelona to Madrid.
The main feature of the Avió aircraft is that it is driven by its own propeller and retains original interior features - such as the 1933 radio-telephone station. The image of the plane has changed over the years. Interestingly, its original design was yellow. However, work done on it in recent years has turned it into the iconic red plane we know today - one of the Park’s main identifying features.
See you soon, Airplane!