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Qantas Founders Museum completes disassembly of Super Constellation ahead of shipment back to Australia

written by australianaviation.com.au | April 7, 2015

Work on the Super Constellation at Manila Airport. (Qantas Founders Museum)
Work on the Super Constellation at Manila Airport. (Qantas Founders Museum)

A Lockheed Super Constellation headed for the Qantas Founders Museum at Longreach has had its major components removed ahead of the aircraft’s shipment from the Philippines back to Australia.

The Qantas Founders Museum purchased the Super Constellation, which has been grounded for 25 years, at an auction of old aircraft organised by the Manila International Airport Authority in September 2014.

With help from the Qantas Engineering Aircraft Recovery Team, the Super Constellation was raised out of the mud and made safe and secure for towing at the end of 2014.

The museum said on Tuesday the engines/propellers, the tri-tail, wings and landing gears have been removed, with the aircraft components and fuselage expected to be moved to a storage area shortly.

“Detailed arrangements and plans for the transportation and restoration of the aircraft are currently underway,” the museum said.

Qantas Founders Museum chief executive Tony Martin acknowledged the help of industry partners such as Qantas, Manila Airport, Lufthansa Technik Philippines, Heli Craft Aero Industries and the Australian Government.

”We also have a major fundraising drive underway with corporate and individual donations being received and in progress”, Martin said in a statement.


Previously operated by World Fish and Agriculture Inc to transport fish cargo and the United States Air Force, the aircraft will be transported first by ship then onwards to the museum’s location at Longreach, Queensland, by road.

The aircraft was similar to those flown by Qantas in the 1940s and 1950s.

Highlights of the Constellation in Qantas colours
  • Constellation operated Qantas Kangaroo route air services between London and Sydney from 1947
  • Constellation was the first Qantas aircraft to feature flight hostesses, and the first pressurised aircraft operated by Qantas.
  • Super Constellation operated the first Qantas trans-Pacific air service in 1954
  • Super Constellations in Qantas colours operated first ever regular round-the-world air services via both hemispheres in 1958

(Source: Qantas Founders Museum)


Comments (10)

  • Rob McCutcheon


    Mention of the round the world service brings back a childhood memory. I had various reasons for being late for school but on the morning of the inaugural round the world flight I climbed the big horse-chestnut tree in our front garden in Kew – quite a high spot in Melbourne suburbia – from where I had a distant view of Essendon airport. I probably had dad’s binoculars with me. I saw the two Super Connies rise into the air and head off in opposite directions. A fabulous reason for being late for school – an opinion not shared by the teachers!

    One of several times my love of aeroplanes clashed with school responsibilities!

  • Stuart Trevena


    If they pack it right, it should all fit nicely inside the RAAF C17 Transporter for trip to Longreach.
    As flying it in would be a better option than Road Transport.

  • Leonidas Ephialtes


    Congratulations to Roland Serrano of LTP and Bong Villanueva, CEO of Helicraft Aero for their efforts!
    MS4 for life!

  • Michael Faine


    In 1958 (aged 4) I traveled with my mum and dad to London on one of those flights. Dad was posted to London to fly Qantas Super Constellations and six months later he was put onto a conversion course to fly the 707’s, so back to Sydney by Connie again. All I can remember of that flight was that it took three days to get to London, beautiful old airplane though.

  • Paul


    Great news. Having seen this aircraft during visits to Manila, I was concerned it would one day be scrapped, nice to see it’s finally night to being on it’s way to Longreach.

  • William


    Any word on if the museum plan to restore of the engines to working condition?

  • Mark Evan Salutin


    Finally, Winky’s Fish is heading for home..:-)

  • Kevin M


    I lived and went to school in a direct line on the main runway at Perth, about 5 km away. I distinctly remember Constellations heading east when I was at school in the 60’s, from 1965 onwards. It was the 3 tail that made it distinguishable from other turbo props. But I wonder then, who was flying them, because it says that Qantas stopped using them after 707 introductions? Any ideas here anyone? They were definitely Connies. Also got to see screaming Convair 880’s from Cathay, and the Air India 707’s which took off a lot faster and lower than all other airlines, as they screamed over our house, and school. It was a great place for plane spotting as a young fella. Lastly, I remember seeing 4 RAF Vulcans low flying over in the mid 60’s, fast and noisy.

    But the Connies, I just wonder who was flying them in the mid to late 60’s out of Perth?

  • Dee


    Another great “Tail” to view driving on the Illfracombe to Longreach Road. Wonder what will be next? It would be good to see one of the B767’s mothballed at Alice become a static display at the QANTAS Founders Museum, Longreach.


  • Brian Jago


    I was four when our family flew from Nadi to Sydney in what I understood was May 1954. My parents always told me it was the inaugural Super Constellation flight which had Sir Hudson Fysh and other dignitaries on board. Now I find out the inaugural flight was from Sydney to Vancouver instead. Perhaps ours was the return flight. What I remember was having to wait in Nadi until early morning as our flight was delayed somewhere along the way due to maintenance(Hawaii or Nadi) and we took off about 3am. When we got to Sydney it was freezing cold and I turned blue. It was the days of departing a gang plank, walking across the tarmac and greeting family who were waiting on the other side of a chicken wire fence. How things have changed!

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