The month of May was a very big month for Qantas Founders Museum with the arrival of its Super Constellation in Longreach on 24 May 2017.
In September 2014, the museum was the successful bidder for Lockheed Super Constellation N4247K, in an auction held by the Manila International Airport Authority. The aircraft, which had been grounded in Manila for 25 years, had been used by World Fish and Agriculture Inc to transport fish cargo and had been previously operated by the United States Navy. Once purchased the aircraft was disassembled and removed from it resting place of 26 years at the Manila International Airport. Over two years the aircraft had to be moved again and prepared for shipment to Australia.
On 10 May the aircraft ,which was loaded on to the ship “BBC Maine”, departed the Manila International Container Port for Australia. It arrived at the Port of Townsville on 18th May and was unloaded on 19th May, marking the end of a two and a half year journey to retrieve the aircraft from the Philippines for display in Longreach.
The aircraft had to remain in Townsville for four days to be checked by the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS). Once the aircraft has been cleared by AQIS, the Super Constellation will be transported by road to Longreach where it will be reassembled and restored for display at Qantas Founders Museum.
Qantas Founders Museum CEO Tony Martin said the Museum looked forward to starting the restoration stage of the project.
“We are very excited to have the Super Constellation in Australia and we are eager to begin the reassembly and restoration stage of the project.”
“The success of this project is the result of the hard work of the project’s staff and volunteers and the generous support of a variety of businesses and government organisations which I would like to acknowledge and thank.
“The completed Super Constellation exhibit is expected to increase visitation to Qantas Founders Museum by 15%, such an increase in visitation will not only benefit our museum but the local businesses, accommodation and tourism businesses,” Mr Martin said.
The complete restoration of the Super Constellation, which includes both the exterior and interior of the project, is expected to take 2 -3 years.
Volunteers will be required during the project for anyone who is interested, please contact the museum by phone on: 07 4658 3737 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To donate to the museum and its projects, go to the Qantas Founders Museum website donation page at: https://qfom.com.au/donate-to-our-museum/ and follow the links or contact the museum by phone on: 07 4658 3737 or email: email@example.com.
ABOUT THE MUSEUM AND THE SUPER CONSTELLATION AIRCRAFT
Qantas Founders Museum is a not for profit organisation which tells the story of Australia’s national airline, Qantas Airways, and how it began in Western Queensland in 1920. The museum, which has an annual visitation of 40,000 people a year, has a variety of exhibits, interactive displays, artefacts and aircraft including an original Qantas Boeing 747, Qantas’ first Boeing 707, a DC3 and a Catalina flying boat together with replicas of early-era aircraft.
In September 2014, the museum was the successful bidder for Lockheed Super Constellation N4247K, in an auction held by the Manila International Airport Authority. The aircraft, which had been grounded in Manila for 25 years, had been used by World Fish and Agriculture Inc to transport fish cargo and had been previously operated by the United States Navy.
Qantas Founders Museum was initiated by the people of Western Queensland and is independent of Qantas Airways, although Qantas provides significant support in various forms, focused on the museum’s artefacts.
INFORMATION ABOUT THE SUPER CONSTELLATION AND QANTAS
The Lockheed Constellation is an iconic aircraft in the history of Qantas and Australian aviation for the following reasons:
– The Constellation operated the Qantas Kangaroo Route air services between Sydney and London from 1947.
– The Constellation was the first aircraft that enabled Qantas to establish and sustain long-range overseas air service in its own right.
– This was the longest air service in the world using the same aircraft all the way.
– A Super Constellation operated the first Qantas trans-Pacific air service in 1954.
– The Constellation was the first Qantas aircraft to feature flight hostesses.
– The Constellation was the first pressurised aircraft operated by Qantas, bringing significantly increased comfort and operational reliability to long distance routes.
– Qantas Super Constellations operated the first ever regular round-the-world air service via both hemispheres in 1958.
Media Contact: Tony Martin, CEO, Qantas Founders Museum on 07 4658 3737