The Qantas Founders Museum’s restoration of a Lockheed Super Constellation it purchased more than three years ago has reached a significant milestone with the external restoration of the aircraft fully complete.
The aircraft has been painted in what the museum described as “Qantas Super Constellation” livery featuring the name Southern Spray on the nose, a red cheatline along the passenger windows and the word Qantas on the fuselage.
Meanwhile, the Australian flag, a Flying Kangaroo and registration VH-EAM are on the tailplane.
“The livery details were provided from original Qantas 1950’s drawings, sourced and reproduced by Qantas’ Curator and Engineering technical staff,” the Qantas Founders Museum said in a statement.
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.
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.
Since being purchased, the aircraft, N4247X, has been raised out of the mud, had its engines/propellers, tails, wings and landing gear removed and made safe for moving.
It was transported to Australia in 2017, first on a ship from Manilla and then by road from Townsville to the home of the museum in Longreach.
The wings, landing gear and engines were attached in May.
“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,” Qantas Founders Museum chief executive Tony 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.”
Highlights of the Constellation in Qantas colours
- Constellations operated Qantas’s Kangaroo route air services between London and Sydney from 1947
- The Constellation was the first Qantas aircraft to feature flight hostesses, and the first pressurised aircraft operated by Qantas.
- The Super Constellation operated the first Qantas trans-Pacific air service in 1954
- The Super Constellations in Qantas colours operated first ever regular round-the-world air services via both hemispheres in 1958
(Source: Qantas Founders Museum)
Attention now turns to the cabin interior.
“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 museum said.
Further, it was expected the Super Constellation would be available for display to museum visitors later in 2018.
VIDEO: A look at the external restoration of the Super Constellation from the Qantas Founders Museum YouTube channel.