03 Nov 2017

NEOPLAN SKYLINER CELEBRATES 50TH BIRTHDAY: BERLIN WALL LED TO FIRST DOUBLE-DECKER

At the stand of MAN-Neoplan, the fiftieth anniversary of the Neoplan Skyliner was joyfully celebrated. Numerous invitees attended the ceremony. For many it was quite a surprise to their ears to hear that the Berlin Wall led to the first double-decker.
Today, the seventh Skyliner generation is proudly shown at the stand while the very first one, perfectly restored, is being admired with curious eyes at Busworld’s entrance zuid. We are no longer used to it but stainless-steel body parts equalled luxury finish in the 60s.

Honorary guests were Konrad Auwärther, inventor of the first double-decker and his loyal Bob Lee who provided quite some design.

But who still remembers what the first six double-deckers were built for? Let’s go back in time. In august 1961, the GDR built the Berlin Wall to stop the flight to the West. Many West Germans and tourists from around the world want to take look “over the wall” to see how it is going there. This would turn out to be the precursor of the double-deck sightseeing buses who are now enriching many cities all around the world. However, there was a problem technique-wise: low floor or low entry did not yet exist but the height of the interior had to be at least 1.80m on each deck while the height of the bus could not exceed 4 meters. The inventive solution was an open top deck, where, despite the Central European climate, tourists took their seats regardless of the weather conditions.

The evening was richly brightened up by numerous archive images. This way, the attendees were reminded that the name Skyliner was given by a US customer, that the longest bus ever - the articulated Jumboliner - rolled from the conveyor in 1976 and that the four-axle 15-meter-long Megaliner appeared on the roads in 1992. We also learned that Konrad Auwärter is left-handed, which might be the cause of the so specific Neoplan design.

Loyal customers 1697-2017: 50 years of Neoplan Skyliner

On Friday, the fiftieth birthday of the Neoplan Skyliner was joyfully celebrated at the MAN stand. Numerous invitees attended the ceremony.

Today, the seventh Skyliner generation is proudly shown at the stand while the very first one, perfectly restored, is being admired with curious eyes at Busworld’s entrance zuid. We are no longer used to it but stainless steel body parts equalled luxury finish in the 1960s.

Honorary guests were Konrad Auwärther, inventor of the first double-decker and his loyal Bob Lee who provided quite some design.

But who still remembers what the first six double-deckers were built for? Let’s go back in time. In august 1961, the GDR built the Berlin Wall to stop the flight to the West. Many West Germans and tourists from around the world want to take look “over the wall” to see how it is going there. This would turn out to be the precursor of the double-deck sightseeing buses who are now enriching many cities all around the world. However, there was a problem technique-wise: low floor or low entry did not yet exist but the height of the interior had to be at least 1.80m on each deck while the height of the bus could not exceed 4 meters. The inventive solution was an open top deck, where, despite the Central European climate, tourists took their seats regardless of the weather conditions.

The evening was richly brightened up by numerous archive images. This way, the attendees were reminded that the name Skyliner was given by a US customer, that the longest bus ever - the articulated Jumboliner - rolled from the conveyor in 1976 and that the four-axle 15-meter-long Megaliner appeared on the roads in 1992. We also learned that Konrad Auwärter is left-handed, which might be the cause of the so specific Neoplan design.

Three customers were honoured with the Skyliner award: the German transport company Götten which had at least one piece of each Skyliner model in their fleet, the Belgian travel company Leroy as most loyal Skyliner customer and the Italian customer Baltour who commissioned the five thousandth Skyliner.

It was a wonderful evening with an emotional acceptance speech by Konrad Auwärter, many nice archive images and a festive atmosphere. And now we move on to the next 50 years!

Three customers were honoured with the Skyliner award: the German transport company Götten which had at least one piece of each Skyliner model in their fleet, the Belgian travel company Leroy as most loyal Skyliner customer and the Italian customer Baltour who commissioned the five thousandth Skyliner.

It was a wonderful evening with an emotional acceptance speech by Konrad Auwärter, many nice archive images and a festive atmosphere. And now we move on to the next 50 years!



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