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Qantas pilots have rescued parts from the airline’s last Super Constellation plane from the sands of Kuwait. The project to recover and return to Australia the remains of the famous Southern Horizon aircraft that carried the Olympic torch to Melbourne in 1956 was a collaboration between the pilots, volunteers from the Qantas Founders Museum, and unexpected supporters in Kuwait, reports Al-Qabas daily, quoting Qantas flew 16 Super Constellations during the 1950s, all named with the prefix Southern.

The airline traded the plane to Boeing as part of Qantas’ move into 707s in 1963. The plane was operated by multiple owners until it was abandoned at Kuwait City Airport in 1976 because of a customs dispute. Kuwait’s Ministry of Defence acquired the aircraft for training and firefighting drills.

In 2007, the Kuwaiti government donated Southern Horizon to the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society Aviation Museum in NSW.

The retrieval effort began last month with volunteers battling scorpions and landmines and using military escorts to get them to the derelict plane. About 30 parts were taken to Ali Al Salem Air Base, where the Australian Defence Force used a RAAF C130 transport to move the parts to Dubai.

The project involved Qantas, the ADF, the Kuwait Air Force, the US Air Force, the Australian Embassy in Kuwait, Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and air bases in the Middle East.

The salvaged parts were loaded into a Qantas A380 at Dubai and flown to Sydney. The parts will be displayed at the Qantas Founders Museum in Longreach, Queensland, early next year. Some parts are expected to be housed at Qantas’ headquarters in Mascot, Sydney.



18 Dec, 2018 0 417
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