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Qantas Founders Museum

Media Release

 

16 April 2018

 

 

TOURISM DEMAND DRIVER INFRASTRUCTURE FUND BOOSTS SUPER CONSTELLATION PROJECT

Qantas Founders Museum Super Constellation in Longreach April 2018
Qantas Founders Museum Super Constellation in Longreach April 2018

The Trustee for Qantas Foundation Memorial Trust (the parent company of Qantas Founders Museum in Longreach, Queensland) has received a grant of $300,000 from the federally funded Tourism Demand Driver Infrastructure (TDDI) Program, administered by the Queensland Government, to assist with the Qantas Founders Museum’s Super Constellation Project.

Qantas Founders Museum purchased the Super Constellation Aircraft from the Manila International Airport Authority in September 2014 and over two and a half years, the aircraft has been extracted from it mud encrusted position, disassembled and transported by ship from Manila to Townsville and by truck from Townsville to Longreach, arriving in Longreach in late May 2017.

The funding from TDDI will assist with transportation of the aircraft from Manila to Longreach and the external restoration of the aircraft which will include the reassembly and repainting of the aircraft, to be display ready.  These stages of the project are expected to cost $755,000 with Qantas Foundation Memorial contributing $455,000 to the project.

Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said the funding would create new experiences for the growing number of visitors to Queensland.

“The transportation of the Super Constellation aircraft to Longreach and its restoration will complete the Super Constellation Exhibit and become a new display for visitors to experience,” Minister Jones said.

“We will continue providing visitors with new experiences right across the state including Outback Queensland.

“Tourism is a $25 billion dollar industry in Queensland and investment in tourism is an investment in local jobs.

“This funding will provide a boost to local attractions and deliver tourism benefits, particularly in regional areas.”

Qantas Founders Museum Chief Executive Officer Tony Martin said the addition of the Super Constellation aircraft to the museum’s collection will greatly benefit the local economy with increased visitation to the region and employment.

“Based on the arrival of previous aircraft displays such as our Boeing 747 and 707, we expect the new Super Constellation display will increase museum visitation by 15% and therefore increase visitor stay and spend which will benefit our community,” Mr Martin said.

Qantas Founders Museum's Super Constellation in Manila Sept 2014
Qantas Founders Museum’s Super Constellation in Manila Sept 2014

“The Super Constellation display enables the museum to tell an important part of the history of Qantas during the 1950s with the introduction of long range travel and pressurised cabins before the arrival of the Jet Age.”

The External Restoration of the aircraft is expected to be completed by July 2018.

Qantas Founders Museum plans to restore the interior of the Super Constellation to be ready for display for the Qantas Centenary in 2020.

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 41,000 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.

The Super Constellation Project goal is to transport the aircraft to Longreach where it will be restored to appear as a late 1950’s Qantas Super Constellation and be included in the museum’s aircraft collection, with innovative interior displays which will form the basis of another aircraft tour experience for visitors.

The 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. 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: info@qfom.com.au.

 

INFORMATION ABOUT THE SUPER CONSTELLATION AND QANTAS

Qantas Super Constellation VH-EAM . Photo credit: Qantas Heritage Centre
Qantas Super Constellation VH-EAM . Photo credit: Qantas Heritage Centre

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: Qantas Founders Museum CEO Tony Martin – 07 4658 3737.

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