Nearly four years after Qantas Founders Museum acquired their Lockheed Super Constellation in Manila, Philippines, the external restoration of the aircraft to the original Qantas livery in Longreach is now complete.
Qantas Founders Museum purchased the Super Constellation aircraft from the Manila International Airport Authority in September 2014. Over two and a half years, with the support of Qantas Engineering and a devoted team of volunteer engineers, the aircraft was extracted from it's mud encrusted position, disassembled and the components transported by ship from Manila to Townsville, then by truck from Townsville to Longreach, arriving in late May 2017. Over the last 13 months, Qantas specialist engineers, volunteers and contractors have been working in sometimes trying conditions to prepare and restore the exterior of the aircraft. This has included replacing corroded and missing areas, reassembling the aircraft and repainting it in the Qantas Super Constellation livery. The livery details were provided from original Qantas 1950's drawings, sourced and reproduced by Qantas' Curator and Engineering technical staff.
Qantas Founders Museum CEO Tony Martin said it was great achievement by all involved in the Super Constellation Project to see restoration to a pristine condition completed.
"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."
"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," Mr Martin said.
This project was substantially funded jointly by the Qantas Foundation Memorial Ltd (the parent company to Qantas Founders Museum), Qantas Airways and the Australian Government with funds administered by the Queensland Government through the Tourism Demand Driver Infrastructure Fund.
Qantas Foundation Memorial Ltd (QFM) would like acknowledge the support of the Commonwealth and Queensland governments, Qantas Airways, Lufthansa Technik, Cebu Pacific Airlines, International Container Terminal Services Ltd (Manila), Powerhouse International, Dick Smith, Pratt & Whitney, Rolls Royce, Lockheed Australia, Teledyne and Qudos Bank for their generous financial and in-kind support. QFM would also like to thank the many people who assisted or donated to this project, to the QFM Members and to our Longreach Community for your ongoing support of Qantas Founders Museum.
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 Super Constellation will be available for display to museum visitors later in 2018 once final preparations have been made for the planned Airpark Roof Project.
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