australian aviation logo

Qantas Founders Museum to reopen on 1 July

written by Adam Thorn | June 5, 2020

Qantas Founders Museum roof
An artist impression of the new Qantas Founders Musuem roof (Qantas Founders Musuem)

The Qantas Founders Museum will reopen on 1 July after shutting three months ago due to coronavirus restrictions.

The attraction has also signalled work will restart on completing its new $14.3 million, 400-tonne steel roof and light show projects. Construction began in April 2019 and was due to be completed in May.

Stage one involved building a new 8,072 square metre roof, around half the size of Sydney Cricket Ground, paid for by the federal government, while stage two of the project will involve the creation of a new light show projected on to the fuselage of a 747, 707 and Super Constellation aircrafts.

Australian Aviation reported last year how the Qantas Founders Museum purchased the Lockheed 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.

It was previously operated by World Fish and Agriculture Inc to transport fish cargo and the US 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.

The flight deck of the Super Constellation in June 2017. (Qantas Founders Museum)
The flight deck of the Super Constellation in June 2017. (Qantas Founders Museum)

It was transported to Australia in 2017, first on a ship from Manila and then by road from Townsville to the home of the museum in Longreach.

The external restoration was fully complete in July 2018. 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.

The flight deck of the Super Constellation following its restoration. (Qantas Founders Museum)
The flight deck of the Super Constellation following its restoration. (Qantas Founders Museum)

The restoration of the aircraft’s cockpit, meanwhile, was finished in July 2019 by four volunteers who spent a combined 700 hours over six weeks painstakingly cleaning it out, repairing broken parts of the instrument panels, adding a fresh coat of paint and removing corrosion.

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

Comments (4)

  • Stephen Marshall


    Planning to visit in September! December 1957, 11 years of age, I flew unaccompanied on a Qantas Super Constellation – Sydney, Perth, Cocos Keeping, Mauritius, Johannesburg. Then Sabena World Airways DC6B to Kano (Nigeria) via Leoplodville and ? and finally Kano, Jos, Ibadin, Lagos in a 4 engines We Havilland Heron! Returned the same route in January 1958.

  • Michael Andrew


    Great work on the Connie, it’s such a pity that a Qantas 747 SP could not be saved and sent out to Longreach. The Qantas SP’s were the only two SP’s to use RB 211 engines as their power plants. These 2 aircraft were not only powerful (Sydney to Wellington return) they saved fuel on the non-stop US flights. A 767 200 and 300 would not have gone astray out at Longreach amd maybe a Combi????

    • James


      Pretty sure that Saudis were 211’s.

  • Colin Campbell


    Oh how I wish that we at the Queensland Air Museum (QAM) at Caloundra, Sunshine Coast, could raise even $1.4 million to fund our expansion and cover for our over 80+ aircraft on display and crying out for some coverage. We are a not-for-profit organisation run entirely by volunteers and the largest aviation museum in Australia! Closed at the moment, but hopefully opening again to the public in July.

Comments are closed.

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