australian aviation logo

HARS pushes back arrival of John Travolta Boeing 707 to 2020

written by australianaviation.com.au | October 9, 2019

John Travolta Boeing 707 N707JT departs Sydney Airport during its November 2010 visit to Australia. (Seth Jaworski)
John Travolta Boeing 707 N707JT departs Sydney Airport during its November 2010 visit to Australia. (Seth Jaworski)

Engineering inspections and paperwork have forced the Historical Aviation Restoration Society (HARS) to delay the ferry flight of an ex-Qantas Boeing 707 owned by John Travolta to some time in calendar 2020.

While the aircraft had previously been expected fly from the United States in November, HARS said in its October 2019 newsletter 2020 was now a more likely date for the 707’s arrival in Australia.

The newsletter said more time was needed to comply with the regulatory requirements from Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) and the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), as well as to complete the necessary inspections.

“Originally the arrival of the 707 was planned for November 2019,” the newsletter said.

“But, as all aviation professionals know, the paperwork on an acquisition such as the 707 is enormous and involves hours and hours of research by engineering teams to ensure adherence with the strict aviation safety procedures of CASA and the FAA.”


The 707-138B, registered N707JT, has been in Georgia in the United States being prepared for the flight to HARS’s facility located at Albion Park south of Sydney.

Travolta said in May 2017 he wanted to donate the aircraft to HARS.

Since then, volunteers from the society have been over to Georgia working to restore the aircraft to a safe flying state for the trip to Australia, as well as working on the necessary regulatory approvals.

HARS said in the October 2019 newsletter work had started on the inspection of the pylon support brackets.

“The aircraft has been relocated to a hangar at Stambaugh Aviation, Brunswick, Georgia where work will be undertaken to comply with an Airworthiness Directive,” the HARS newsletter said.

“The inspection involves using a HFEC (High Frequency Eddy Current) to search for cracks in the attachment fittings and this exercise will be carried out on all four engines.

“Until we have a result from these inspections, we cannot move forward with the ferry flight.”

In 2017, Travolta said he was planning on being part of the delivery flight for the 707.

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.

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.

HARS is already the home of Qantas’s historic Boeing 747-400, the former VH-OJA (and also) City of Canberra that flew nonstop from London Heathrow to Sydney on its delivery flight.

You need to be a member to post comments. Become a member today!

Comments (8)

  • AlanH


    Perhaps it would be cheaper and more practical to dismantle it and ship it out here and re-assemble it at HARS Albion Park. The enthusiasts would miss the splendour of it landing there though over The Gong.

    • qf7474


      No, as more likely than not HARS will keep the aircraft in an operating condition (either taxi capable or flight capable) and the only way to do so is to fly it over, and possibly will continue to fly as the 707-138’s were known as the hot rods with a reduced takeoff run, and travelling by sea has a lot more risks with aircraft of this age than just flying over

  • James B


    Why would we want that clunker here? Keep it in the desert, or maybe just bring the flight deck and first 10 rows to HARS.

  • Mike


    Out of curiosity I just made a g**gle earth search of Brunswick Golden Isles airport and there clearly seen is N707JT, parked on the northern side of the runway in company with five other B707 (or airforce derivatives), a mini fleet of B727s, B737s and an MD80.
    A short delay in bringing another historic aircraft “home” is worth the wait.

  • Teiemka


    Wait till they have to land the A380 at HARS in about 10-15 years, that will certainly be a sight to behold.

  • Bernard Bard


    Shell Harbour Airport ..??

  • Hugh


    I came to Australia in one of these 707s. I wonder if it was this one? I still have my ticket. I wonder if I could see the flight record of this aircraft to see where it was on the day on my ticket.

  • I was just 8 years old when my family travelled to Rome in 1968 on the V-Jet. It sparked my interest in air travel. Seeing it again as it was would mean a lot to me.

Comments are closed.

You don't have credit card details available. You will be redirected to update payment method page. Click OK to continue.