Wednesday, November 7, 2012

An Update From The Qantas Founders Outback Museum (QFOM) at Longreach Airport

The Qantas Founders Outback Museum (QFOM) is literally a stone's throw away from the Longreach Airport terminal building in Central Western Queensland.

The Museum continues to change and expand, with recently-arrived Consolidated PBY Catalina VH-EAX being placed between the Boeing B747-200 VH-EBQ and Boeing B707 VH-XBA.  The Catalina has had its engines removed, and the Museum is keen to have the aircraft transported to Sydney for modifications and maintenance required to bring the aircraft up to a display standard.  The QFOM is encouraging interested people and members to support this project by making tax deductible donations.

Meanwhile, a new exhibit at the Museum is three F-35 simulators - for some serious fun!  They are Queensland-designed and made, and the fighter jets are fully networked, so the user can command their aircraft in various modes of simulation interaction between pilots, including the opportunity to participate in co-operative joint strike missions, modern fighter jet dogfights or as an individual user in the highly realistic experience of flight.  The experience is 30 mins where, you get into a flight suit and the operator guides you through the technical aspects of the essentials of flying and you are in control of your machine and can choose your scenery from around the world. 

There is also plans to install a Bristol F2B simulator.  It will be the only one of its kind in the world.  The Bristol was a World War 1 (WW1) fighter bomber bi-plane that later enjoyed a life in civil use in the 1920s.

Lastly, we reported in May that QFOM Management became aware of ground movement underneath the nose of museums Boeing 747-200 VH-EBQ.  Several surveys were conducted to try and determine the stability of the ground around the nose of the plane. To ensure safety of the museum's visitors, QFOM management decided to restrict all access to VH-EBQ until the ground around the nose of jumbo could be stabilised.

After seeking the opinion of several engineers and surveyors, a course of action was agreed on and in early June work began to stabilise the ground surrounding the nose of the VH-EBQ.  After days of lifting the jumbo with heavy cranes, reconcretting the affected areas, and then gently lowering VH-EBQ back onto its new concrete plinth, B747-200 VH-EBQ was re-opened for tours in late June.

Tours of VH-EBQ are now available through the Museum and Jet Tour package which includes museum entry and a tour of the Boeing 747 VH-EBQ, as well as the Boeing B707 VH-XBA.  The Museum is open daily from 9:00am to 5:00pm (except Christmas Day) and is located at Longreach Airport, Sir Hudson Fysh Drive, Longreach, Qld, 4730.  The Museum website can be found HERE.

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