From early November, the Qantas Foundation Memorial (QFM), which operates the Qantas Founders Outback Museum at Longreach Airport in Central Western Queensland, embarked on a project to prepare and re-paint its Consolidated PBY-6A Catalina, VH-EAX.
The aircraft - delivered in a bright yellow colour scheme in September 2011, after a career as a water-bombing aircraft in Spain (registered EC-EVK) - has now been completely striped and sanded, primer applied, and the final painting completed now seeing the Catalina wearing distinctive Double Sunrise camouflage colours .
In late April, the Museum decided that the Catalina would be placed on what was known as the 'DC-3 Lawn', in front of the Main Museum building, in the museum precinct. Some photos have recently been added to the Museum's Facebook page showing the Museum staff swapping the Catalina for their lovely old DC-3 VH-EAP.
The museum planned to restore its Catalina as an exhibit for visitors to enjoy and learn about the Double Sunrise Flights. The museum's Catalina was purchased in Spain and is not an original Qantas Catalina. The five Catalinas Qantas used for these operations were destroyed in July 1945 under the "lend lease" scheme.
Interested enthusiasts can follow the on-going progress of the restoration of the Catalina on the Qantas Founders Museum Facebook page - http://www.facebook.com/QantasFoundersMuseum