The Qantas Founders Museum was the successful bidder on the Super Constellation - a stored Lockheed C-121J Super Constellation wearing the registration marking of N4247K - through an auction organised by the Manila International Airport Authority. The aircraft has been grounded in Manila for 25 years but had previously been used by World Fish and Agriculture Corp. to transport fish cargo. Due to the condition of the Super Constellation, it will not be restored to be airworthy but instead, it is expected the aircraft will be transported by ship to Australia and by road to Longreach where it will be displayed as part of the Museums's aircraft collection. The timing of the various stages of the project are yet to be determined.
The Qantas Founders Museum highlights that the Constellation is an iconic aircraft in the history of Qantas and Australian aviation for the following reasons:
- The Constellation operated the Qantas Kangaroo Route air services between London and Sydney from 1947.
- The Constellation was the first aircraft that enabled Qantas to establish long-range overseas air services in its own right.
- This was the longest air service in the world using the same aircraft all the way.
- A Super Constellation operated the first Qantas trans-Pacific air service in 1954.
- The Constellation was the first Qantas aircraft to feature flight hostesses.
- The Constellation was the first pressurised aircraft operated by Qantas.
- Qantas Super Constellations operated the first ever regular round-the-world air services via both hemispheres in 1958.
We look forward to future development at the Qantas Founders Museum which are usually posted on their execellent Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/QantasFoundersMuseum