WAy out! - stretching to Longreach

JohnM

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In Western Australia on 31 December 1968. A MMA Viscount on a flight from Perth to Port Hedland lost most of a wing on approach. Apparently due to a maintenance error which caused fatigue cracks. Viscounts were effectively 'banned' from Australian operation afterwards as, if I remember correctly, inspection of other aircraft also showed fatigue crack problems.

I remember the crash as we were on holiday and the husband of one of the other families with us flew on MMA a lot and knew many of the cabin crew and was pretty upset at the time.


Yes, I also remember that happening.
 

JohnM

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@JohnM , I heard a very faint whisper a while back that an A380 might be heading to Longreach. Any hint of that on site?

I guess they'd need a muuuuch bigger roof! :oops:

Nothing was said about that. The existing roof cost about $14M and I guess they would need about the same size again for an A380.

Qantas, which has no formal ties to the museum, donated the B747 instead of scrapping it. I guess eventually they are likely to do the same for an A380. I'd hazard a guess that A380s have a proportionally far greater written-down value than a B747.
 

Ekka

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A Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Service A380 in Queensland? Never, says the Irishman who lives in the faraway tree.
 
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JohnM

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Then to the B707. In some ways this is the piece de resistance of the museum.

Pinching information from Wikipedia:

The Boeing 707-138B is the airline's first jet, a Boeing 707 short body, originally VH-EBA. The 707 was the first of its type and specifically manufactured for Qantas.

The Boeing 707-138B was restored at Southend Airport in England in mid-2006 and returned to Australia in December 2006 after 47 years since its original transfer from Boeing to the Qantas fleet. During its return the 707's flight path saw it eventually landing in Sydney, however it took a flight path of over a 31500 km and an eight-day journey from Southend Airport via Ireland, the Canary Islands, Bermuda, the United States and Fiji, to get to Sydney in 2006. It was then transported to Longreach in June 2007. The Australian government provided $1 million as a contribution to the cost of the aircraft's restoration.

The 707 held at the Qantas Founders Outback Museum was the first jet aircraft of any type owned by Qantas. The aircraft is known under the registration VH-EBA and the plane name ‘City of Canberra.’ The restoration of VH-EBA lasted 15,000 hours. The 707 VH-EBA was the first in its fleet and is a sister plane to the last 707 that was ordered by Qantas known previously under the registration ‘VH-EBM’, and the plane name 'City of Launceston' that was owned and piloted by Qantas Ambassador John Travolta.

What that entry misses that is relevant to the pics that follow is that VH-EBA, after being relinquished by Qantas, was refurbished as a luxury private jet, eventually ending up as a Saudi Arabian prince’s chariot. The refurbishment back to flying condition kept this luxury (by c. 1980s standards) fit out.

The other aspect is that the eagle-eyed will notice that the rego on the tail is VH-XBA. This change had to be made because another current aircraft in the Qantas fleet at the time of it being flown back to Australia was registered as VH-EBA.

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Gold taps have been painted over. And another wing walk.

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JohnM

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Next morning, before my scheduled departure to BNE at 1230, I headed out to the Stockman’s Hall of Fame, the entry road to which is opposite the Qantas Museum.

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Various stock routes were displayed as winding tables. The Canning Stock Route was of particular interest to me as it’s in WA and I travelled it over three weeks in 2017 (Way into the WA wilderness).

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JohnM

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Trick displays using multiple mirrors in the large cylinders.

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At LRE.

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We were airborne for about 15 minutes before returning to LRE with the a/c u/s. A replacement bird was flown in from Moranbah and we get under way at about 1745. Off into the sunset.

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As previously reported online I missed my PER connection and got shunted to the 0900h flight next morning. As noted, it turned out well because of being a day flight over a very good route on an exceptionally clear day.

All’s well that ends well; the end of an excellent trip.
 

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