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)