HARS to receive John Travolta Boeing 707

N707JT departs Sydney Airport during its November 2010 visit to Australia. (Seth Jaworski)

Actor John Travolta says he hopes to personally deliver his ex-Qantas Boeing 707 that he has decided to donate to the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS).

The keen pilot said the 707-138B, registered N707JT, would be well looked after at HARS’s facility at Albion Park given so many of its volunteers were former Qantas employees.

“The aircraft currently requires a lot of work to be restored to a safe flying state and having seen first hand the dedication and passion of people at HARS, I have no doubt this beautiful and historical aircraft will be flying again,” Travolta said in a statement on his website over the weekend.

“HARS have an impressive track record of restoring historical aircraft and I have personally flown in a Super Constellation that they restored to flying condition from almost nothing.

“I am hoping to be part of the crew to fly the aircraft to Australia, supported by well qualified and experienced pilots and engineers.”

As VH-EBM and named City of Launceston the 707 was delivered to Qantas in September 1964 and stayed with the airline until 1968. After a brief stint with Braniff Airlines the 707 was converted with a corporate jet interior in the 1970s. Travolta acquired the aircraft in 1998.

Qantas named Travolta as one of its ambassadors in 2002 when the 707 was repainted in the airline’s iconic V-Jet livery from the 1960s. The actor, who lives in Florida, also owns a number of other aircraft.

“I am truly excited by this project and am just so pleased that this beautiful aircraft, for which I obviously have very fond memories, will continue to fly well into the future,” he said.

The aircraft is in “pretty good shape” and last flew in December, HARS president Bob De La Hunty told sponsor Bendigo Bank in a Facebook video.

“We have to send our engineering team over there, work out the timing and what needs to be done to get it back in the air.”

Announcement: John Travolta's Donation of his 707 to HARS

We're LIVE with Bob De La Hunty and Branch Manager Liz Shepherd, Announcing John Travolta and the Donation of his Boeing 707-138 at HARS! We are very proud to be involved! #JohnTravolta #Boeing707 #Plane #HARS #AlbionPark #ExcitingNews #BendigoBank

Posted by Oak Flats & Shellharbour Community Bank Branches on Friday, 26 May 2017

 

Qantas donated its historic Boeing 747-400, VH-OJA City of Canberra that flew nonstop from London Heathrow to Sydney on its delivery flight, to HARS in March 2015.

The former VH-EBM will become the second ex-Qantas 707 to go on display in Australia, after the airline’s first 707, the former VH-EBA City of Canberra, was placed on display with the Qantas Founders Museum in June 2007.

N707JT at Sydney Airport during its November 2010 visit to Australia. (Damien Aiello)

Comments

  1. Holden says

    Looks like it’s becoming a shoot-out between Longreach QFoM and Wollongong HARS.

    747s (200 vs 400), 707s, Super Constellations, Catalinas, and DC3s…..

    Would be good to see B767-238 or B747-SP38 given these aircraft both had unique places in QF service and took the airline in new directions (first QF twin jet, and first QF non-stop trans-pacific jet).

    Nice gesture and sentiment by Mr Travolta to see the jet return to Australia.

  2. Teddy says

    Is there any particular reason the jet has become idle in recent months?

    Given this aircraft has been in a flying ambassador role it seems strange that there is “a lot of work (required) to be restored to a safe flying state”.

    Obviously B707 spares aren’t so easy to come by these days…

  3. G4george says

    Longreach have just taken delivery of a Constellation from Indonesia, does AA have any more details on this?

  4. Rocket says

    Holden.
    Sadly, both 747-SP-38s were scrapped. A 767-238 or -338 would be the next best thing.

  5. Colin of the North says

    Does anyone know why #1 engine pylon is different to the other three? I have noticed this on several other
    707`s over the years. Just curious.
    Thanks to John Travolta, for this wonderful gift

  6. Rusty says

    Colin, re your pylon question, engines #2, 3 & 4 have engine driven turbo-compressors installed for cabin pressurization. Most 707’s only had/needed 3 such devices so #1 engine missed out and that’s why it looks different !! Some 707 variants only had 2 turbo-compressors and on those the #4 engine had the slimmer pylon profile as well.

  7. Dale says

    They should stage the final delivery flight from Sydney and let people apply for a ticket for the leg to Albion Park. Minimum ticket bid price for the 15 minute flight is AUD$707….. All proceeds to HARS!

  8. Sneaky_Pete says

    Holden.
    A Qantas 767 in theory could be a reality for HARS considering a large number of ex-Qantas 767’s are sitting in open storage at Alice Springs airport.

  9. John says

    Good on John Travolta . Apart from EBA at Longreach and EBM Johns plane , another original Qantas 707 plane is still flying . EBG which delivered me to Australia in 1965 ,as a 10 Pound pom ,is still in service . Delivered to Australia in 1959 with 5 engines ( spare pod attached ) the aircraft went on to serve with Laker Airlines and then various American owners before ending up as the VIP aircraft of the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo . Australian Aviation had a great photo of it ,a few issues back , on approach to JFK .

  10. Brian Doyle says

    I’ve been down to HARS quite a few times now and what a place it is.
    I was talking to one of the officials about why they don’t try to get back if possible either a TAA Boeing 727-176 or Ansett-ANA Boeing 727-177 as that aircraft is very important to air travel in Australia.
    It opened the door for jet travel around Australia in the early 60’s. It cut down the time to travel across Australia to our western and northern capitals and cities.
    HARS how about looking into that possibility as I think the Boeing 727 was just as important as the Connie and the 707 in the history of Australian Air Travel.

  11. John Hoare says

    Polished aluminum finish looks great however RAF Transport Command Comet 2 suffered the fate of a reduction in cabin pressurization as a result of continual polishing (with wadpol) which was wearing the rivets down.Thankfully after a short period RAF Britannia natural aluminum finish was coated in light grey or would probably of suffered a similar fate.

  12. Mike says

    The original ANSETT B727-77 VH-RMS still resides at Brisbane airport!
    It has been part of Aviation Australia’s static trainer fleet for well over a decade now. Perhaps if a more modern airliner could be found to replace the early generation jet as a systems and airframe trainer, maybe, just maybe, a deal could be done for the B727 to take up a permanent home in the HARS fleet?! Imagine the B727 gleaming in its original ANSETT “delta” livery!
    Doesn’t cost anything to dream!…..Although it would be at considerable cost to purchase a replacement airframe for Aviation Australia!!
    (Afterthought….A pair of MD80s have been sitting idle in BNE for years! They may no longer be airworthy. Maybe Mr Palmer might donate one of the Mineralogy planes to Aviation Australia and then the B727 could be released to HARS?!)

  13. David Fix says

    I think this is one nice 707 and I hope the boys at HARS take good care of her.

  14. Rocket says

    @ Mike

    The Delta livery was not the original Ansett 727-77 livery, it was red, white and blue along the fuselage (thin, pointed cheat lines, blue below the windows, read above which spread out and up the tail which became a large “A”. The titles where “Ansett-ANA”.

    The delta livery didn’t come along until later.

    If they can’t get a -77 or a -76 but can only get a flying example of a standard -100 series then the obvious solution would be to paint one side in Ansett-ANA livery and the other side in TAA livery of the time.

  15. Mike says

    @Rocket, true the first B727-77s delivered to Ansett wore the Ansett-ANA livery.
    The aircraft still residing at Brisbane Airport to which I referred, is the original VH-RMS a B727-77c and was delivered to Ansett in late 1969. This aircraft was delivered in the Ansett red and black “delta” livery. It never wore the Ansett-ANA colour scheme.
    Of interest this plane was also used to carry ABBA around Australia during their concert tour back in the 70’s (I think) and carried “ABBA” titles on the lower portion of the main deck cargo door.

  16. Scott says

    Be great to see it as my late father flew this aircraft from Seattle to San Francisco on Sept 10, 1964 with Capt Bert Yates. This was the 1st leg of the delivery flight to Qantas. He flew it many more times with QF until he went onto 707-338’s in 68