A Lockheed Super Constellation headed for the Qantas Founders Museum at Longreach has been successfully moved from its previous location at Manila Airport and is in storage awaiting transportation to Australia.
The Qantas Founders Museum purchased the Super Constellation, which had been grounded for 25 years, at an auction of old aircraft organised by the Manila International Airport Authority in September 2014.
Since then, the aircraft, N4247X, has been raised out of the mud, made safe for moving and moved to storage after it was disassembled.
The museum is hoping to secure $1.5 million in donations through a fundraising campaign, with the funds to go towards a new aircraft display featuring the Super Constellation. The aircraft was expected to be transported to Australia by ship or possibly in an Antonov aircraft, before making the journey to Longreach by road, the Qantas Founders Museum said on Monday.
“Qantas Founders Museum is a not for profit organisation, we are a fully sustainable museum, with all profits going back into the museum and its exhibits. However with a project of this size, we need all the help we can get whether it is in kind or financial support.” Qantas Founders Museum chief executive Tony Martin said in a statement.
“Longreach, like much of Western Queensland, is enduring one of the worst droughts in its history, the restoration and launch of Super Constellation will create jobs directly through the museum and indirectly through museum visitors staying in the region and requiring local services.”
The Super Constellation was previously operated by World Fish and Agriculture Inc to transport fish cargo and the United States Air Force. It 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)
Donations can be made via the museum website.