The Queen of the skies

Ex­ter­nal restora­tion of the Qan­tas su­per con­stel­la­tion com­plete

Warwick Daily News - South West Queensland Rural Weekly - - Finda - ERLE LEVEY erle.levey@sc­news.com.au

NEARLY four years af­ter Qan­tas Founders Mu­seum ac­quired their Lock­heed Su­per Con­stel­la­tion in Manila, Philip­pines, the ex­ter­nal restora­tion of the air­craft to the orig­i­nal Qan­tas liv­ery in Lon­greach is now com­plete.

Qan­tas Founders Mu­seum pur­chased the Su­per Con­stel­la­tion air­craft from the Manila In­ter­na­tional Air­port Au­thor­ity in Septem­ber 2014.

Over two and a half years, with the sup­port of Qan­tas Engi­neer­ing and a de­voted team of vol­un­teer en­gi­neers, the air­craft was ex­tracted from its mud en­crusted po­si­tion, dis­as­sem­bled and the com­po­nents trans­ported by ship from Manila to Townsville, then by truck from Townsville to Lon­greach, ar­riv­ing in late May 2017.

Over the last 13 months, Qan­tas spe­cial­ist en­gi­neers, vol­un­teers and con­trac­tors

have been work­ing in some­times try­ing con­di­tions to pre­pare and re­store the ex­te­rior of the air­craft.

This has in­cluded re­plac­ing cor­roded and miss­ing ar­eas, re­assem­bling the air­craft and re­paint­ing it in the Qan­tas Su­per Con­stel­la­tion liv­ery.

The liv­ery de­tails were pro­vided from orig­i­nal Qan­tas 1950s draw­ings, sourced and re­pro­duced by Qan­tas’ Cu­ra­tor and Engi­neer­ing tech­ni­cal staff.

Qan­tas Founders Mu­seum CEO Tony Martin said it was great achieve­ment by all in­volved in the Su­per Con­stel­la­tion Project to see restora­tion to a pris­tine con­di­tion com­pleted.

“The Su­per Con­stel­la­tion Project has been a long and at times try­ing project, but the end re­sult with a beau­ti­ful air­craft ex­ter­nally re­stored, is well worth it,” Mr Martin said.

“This project would not have been com­pleted with­out the

hard work and ded­i­ca­tion of our Project Man­ager Rod­ney Sec­combe, Qan­tas Engi­neer­ing, our con­trac­tors and vol­un­teers and the sup­port of our spon­sors and com­mu­nity, thank you to ev­ery­one who as­sisted us.

“The new air­craft is an im­por­tant ad­di­tion to our air­craft col­lec­tion and en­ables us to tell a sig­nif­i­cant part in the his­tory of Qan­tas while fea­tur­ing one of the most iconic air­craft in com­mer­cial avi­a­tion his­tory.”

This project was sub­stan­tially funded jointly by the Qan­tas Foun­da­tion Memo­rial Ltd (the par­ent com­pany to Qan­tas Founders Mu­seum), Qan­tas Air­ways and the Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment with funds ad­min­is­tered by the Queens­land Gov­ern­ment through the Tourism De­mand Driver In­fras­truc­ture Fund.

The next stage of the project will be the in­ter­nal restora­tion and dis­play cre­ation which the Qan­tas Founders Mu­seum hopes to be com­pleted by the Qan­tas Cen­te­nary year of 2020.

The Su­per Con­stel­la­tion will be avail­able for dis­play to mu­seum vis­i­tors later in 2018 once fi­nal prepa­ra­tions have been made for the planned Air­park Roof Project.

For more in­for­ma­tion about the Roof Project, visit www.qfom.com.au.

Qan­tas Founders Mu­seum is a non-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 42,000 peo­ple, has a va­ri­ety of ex­hibits, in­ter­ac­tive dis­plays, arte­facts and air­craft in­clud­ing an orig­i­nal Qan­tas Boe­ing 747, Qan­tas’ first Boe­ing 707, an orig­i­nal Qan­tas DC3, a Lock­heed Su­per Con­stel­la­tion and a Con­sol­i­dated Catalina fly­ing boat to­gether with repli­cas of early-era air­craft.

To do­nate to the mu­seum and its projects, go to the Qan­tas Founders Mu­seum web­site do­na­tion page at www.qfom.com.au/ do­nate-to-our-mu­seum and fol­low the links.

You can con­tact the mu­seum by phone on (07) 4658 3737 or email info@qfom.com.au.

The Su­per Con­stel­la­tion, with the ex­ter­nal restora­tion of the air­craft to the orig­i­nal Qan­tas liv­ery, at the Qan­tas Founders Mu­seum and Qan­tas Foun­da­tion Memo­rial at Lon­greach in 2017.

PHO­TOS: ERLE LEVEY

FLIGHT OF FANCY: Qan­tas Founders Mu­seum and Qan­tas Foun­da­tion Memo­rial ex­ec­u­tive as­sis­tant to the CEO Ni­cole Kut­tner with the Su­per Con­stel­la­tion soon af­ter its ar­rival at Lon­greach in 2017.

The Su­per Con­stel­la­tion needed care­ful at­ten­tion.

The Su­per Con­stel­la­tion soon af­ter its ar­rival at Lon­greach in 2017.

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