Welcome To The
 Lufthansa Cargo Building 261 Tribute Site 

This site is dedicated to the staff of employees (both past and present),
who were assigned duties at the Lufthansa Cargo facility, located in
building #261 at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.

Anyone wishing to contribute additional photos
or information can reach us by clicking below:


 Brief Early History Of Lufthansa Cargo In New York 
Opened in 1965 by Mr. Peter Hees, the very first Lufthansa Cargo facility in New York was actually a small Quonset hut with virtually no office space, however it served it's purpose of allowing Lufthansa Airlines to open it's first NYC gateway for freight from throughout Germany into the USA.  In fact, according to reliable sources, most of the air freight documentation was done right from the front seat of Pete's1948 Kaiser auto.  Early air cargo was flown in to the USA from Germany in modified C46's.  Eventually Lufthansa Cargo moved out of the Quonset hut, first into building 80, then over to building 84, and eventually into cargo building 86, at which point new construction plans for an exclusive facility for Lufthansa Cargo were on the drawing boards.

A booming business back in the 60's, Lufthansa's freighter operations steadily grew at a phenomenal pace.  With the implementation of the world's first 747F service ready to commence, it was obvious Lufthansa Cargo needed to gear itself up for bigger things to come.  Eventually building 86 also became too small to handle the enormous volume of cargo, and was considered inadequate.  With the green light flashing from headquarters in Frankfurt Germany, Mr. Hees along with the assistance of engineers, submitted building plans for a new 'state of the art' cargo facility to be constructed at JFK, leading to the birth of Lufthansa Cargo Building 261.

 Building 261 - Early Construction Photo #1 Date: 28JUN71 

 Building 261 - Early Construction Photo #2 Date: 28JUN71 

 Inside view of the main deck of a Lufthansa B747F

The new cargo facility plans called for over 4000 square feet of floor storage space, along with a computer operated Elevated Transport Vehicle (ETV), capable of storing over 200 aircraft containers and cargo pallets.  Additionally, there was to be a second computer automated storage "Stacker" system consisting of over 4000 storage bins, offering additional storage space for smaller packages and shipments.  The Stacker was designed to allow the storage bins to travel around the entire cargo facility for easy access.  But, the truly unique part of this new facility was going to be the aircraft's internal nose-dock feature, first ever constructed at JFK, as well as for Lufthansa Cargo AG worldwide.

In late 1970, ground construction commenced for Lufthansa's new JFK cargo plant.  The location of building 261 was on South Cargo Road,
just west of Federal Express Cargo, and directly across from the Seaboard World Cargo facility, which was later leased to Korean Air Cargo.
For the next 32 years, Lufthansa Cargo's large marquee could easily be seen by motorists from either direction of the NYC Belt Parkway.
In later years, the completion of the new JFK Expressway offered both travelers and airport personnel a closer view of the facility.  On a
lucky day, everyone enjoyed a quick peek of Lufthansa's unique Nose-Dock in action.

 Early 70's aerial view of the new Lufthansa Cargo warehouse (Building 261)
 at John F. Kennedy International Airport 

 Lufthansa Cargo AG: "A Cutting Edge Company 
For decades, Lufthansa's Cargo warehouse was considered the airport's #1, state of the art air freight facility in New York.  The internal nose
dock feature ensured that all cargo was completely safe from damage caused by harsh weather elements, while offering a high degree of
security to cargo stored inside the facility.  Computerized retrieval of cargo for delivery was accurate and efficient, offering brokers and consignees unprecedented service and satisfaction, which was Lufthansa Cargo's unconditional promise and guarantee to it's customers.
This played a big part of the company's policy for success.

The first computerized Elevated Transport Vehicle (ETV) was manufactured by 
 the OTIS Elevator Company for Lufthansa, which directly connected the pallet
 and container storage area to the aircraft's internal nose-dock.  This was a
 big 'first' in the history of Lufthansa Cargo, and also served as the foundation
 for other airlines to follow.

Large View The Red Baron Staff Photo
This early 70's advertisement for Lufthansa Cargo ran
in Business Week magazine.
(Click on the photo for a larger look at the staff and management)

 Lufthansa Passenger Flights - We Move Cargo Too! 
 Even today, virtually all Lufthansa passenger flights carry freight in the aircraft's belly, mostly in the form of built up pallets, containers,
loose freight and passenger baggage. The rear belly compartment is heated and pressurized to ensure total comfort and safety of all
traveling pets. Upon arrival, all cargo is transferred to and from the main passenger arrivals area to the cargo warehouse, where it is
inspected and cleared for release by U.S. Customs.

 Lufthansa Passenger Flight Arriving At JFK D-ABOM

 The International Arrivals Building At JFK- Early 70's Slide Photo

 Lufthansa Douglas C-54 Prop-liner Parked At LH JFK Cargo Facility
Lufthansa leased this Douglas C54 (N30042) from Transocean in 1957 for trans-Atlantic freight service.  It would be replaced the following year
by a leased Lockheed Constellation (1049H). Photo circa August 1958.

 Lufthansa Cargo AG - Looking Beyond Into The Future 
In 1987, Lufthansa's cargo facility underwent several comprehensive improvements, starting with the extension of the western section of the Elevator Traveling Vehicle, better known as the ETV, and floor storage area.  The first upgrade consisted of replacing the original obsolete ETV made in the early 70's by Otis corporation, with a brand new unit manufactured in Europe by Lodige Inc., exclusively for Lufthansa's JFK cargo facility.  Additional upgrades included new line flight and freighter cargo staging areas, consisting of 2 new extra roller bed work stations along
with a new "Traveling Vehicle" (TV).  The TV was to be used for transporting pallets and containers from trucks at doors 27 & 28, directly through the cargo facility to the ETV storage system without a disruption to normal warehouse operations.

To complete the upgrade project, 2 new spacious ramp side cooler units were installed, each capable of holding 4 side door pallets, plus an additional roller excess station which allowed side door pallets to efficiently move in and out of the facility from ramp-side operations (XS3).
These strategic upgrades and improvements helped prepare Lufthansa Cargo's New York facility to meet the growing challenges of moving it's highest freight volumes well into the 21st century.

 The 'Time Definite' 747-200C Freighter Arrives At The Lufthansa Cargo Facility At JFK

 Lufthansa's 'Time Definite' B-747 200C Freighter

 Approaching The LH Cargo Facility Nose Dock at JFK 

 Lufthansa's 747 "Big Bird" Being Tugged Into The Nose-Dock Position 

 A Grand View Of The Ramp Featuring The Lufthansa Cargo "YZ" Freighter Nose-docked At Cargo Building 261 

 North View Of Lufthansa's Warehouse Dock And Parking Area At Building 261 

 Lufthansa Warehouse Import Dock (photo taken from the 2nd floor maintenance mezzanine)

 (Above Photo courtesy of David Morgan JFKGZ)

Note the storage bin (lower left) between the yellow lines starting it's journey around the entire
cargo facility, eventually re-entering the stacker inlet.  This towline track system was a part of the
warehouse's computerized bin stacker system, which remained in service until June 2003, when
Lufthansa Cargo permanently closed it's doors at building 261.

Disclaimer: This site is not affiliated with Lufthansa Cargo AG, Lufthansa LSG Service or any agency or provider connected with Lufthansa German Airlines Inc.
 It's sole purpose is for historical value and educational viewing. Crane logo and other graphics are copyright Lufthansa German Airlines AG - All rights reserved.

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