The QANTAS Museum in Longreach Outback Queensland is a popular stop for many travellers.
QANTAS was formed two years after World War I in 1920 with the partnership of fighter pilots Hudson Fysh and Paul McGinness during the last 3 months of the war. They were an effective team and both awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.
The partners formed an air service called The Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services, Limited, quickly shortened to the acronym we now commonly know as QANTAS.
The museum has a collection of many things and information about the founders and other important people with QANTAS. The collection of iconic aircraft in the history of QANTAS is the significant part.
The Stockman’s Hall of Fame is opposite the QANTAS Founders Outback Museum. If you want to go to both, there are tickets with admission to both at a discount to buying them individually.
To get extra close you have to go on the guided Captain’s Tour. The tour includes access to the Boeing 747, the Super Constellation, and the Boeing 707. Ever thought about standing right at the opening of a jet engine? You will get your chance on this tour.
QANTAS Aircraft Collection
Avro 504K Replica
The Avro 504K was the first QANTAS aircraft. The original order was for two aircraft to start the business but the order for one of them was cancelled.
The Avro 504K served QANTAS until 1926 when higher capacity aircraft was needed. The aircraft on display is one of two replicas built by QANTAS engineers for the original plans. The other is at the domestic terminal in Sydney’s Mascot Airport.
The “City of Bunbury” was accepted by QANTAS in December 1979, estimated to have carried over 5.4 million passengers and flown more than 82 million kilometres, the equivalent of 10 years of continuous flying.
City of Bunbury is the only surviving Boeing 747-200 equipped with Rolls Royce engines, donated by Qantas Airways in 2002.
The “City of Canberra” was the first civilian jet aircraft registered in Australia. Replacing Super Constellations, the 707 almost halved the time for overseas routes.
Left derelict and about to be scrapped in an airport in the UK, the “City of Canberra” was purchased by the QANTAS Founders Museum and restored before joining the collection in 2007.
The Boeing 707 is a significant milestone to QANTAS’s history. It introduced the term “jet lag” to Australians with the fast travel it brought with it.
Douglas Aircraft Company DC3
Bought by QANTAS in 1948, the Douglas DC3 started its life as a C-47 in the US Army Air Force in 1944 before being given to the Royal Australian Air Force in the same year. Introduced in the 1930s, the DC3 was fast, reliable and able to carry 28 passengers.
The DC3 was popular, however, QANTAS didn’t purchase any until 1945 when the US Army disposed of a large number of C-47s.
QANTAS sold the aircraft in 1960 in New Guinea where it last operated the aircraft, flying until the 1990s. It was donated to the museum and repainted to its original QANTAS colours.
Catalina Flying Boat
Catalina aircraft has a history in two periods for QANTAS, the later providing air services to remote villages in New Guinea and the South Pacific.
More significant is during World War II. The aircraft at the museum has been painted in Double Sunrise colours in commemoration of the critical service they provided. The name Double Sunrise is from the 28-hour each way route to Sri Lanka (then known as Ceylon). The 28-hour route is the longest regular airline service flown.
The Double Sunrise service was top-secret, transporting VIPs, special mail and dispatches, through Japanese patrolled areas.
The Royal Australian Air Force used a number of Catalina Flying Boats during World War Two, many were much further south in Lake Boga, deemed safer after the attack on Darwin. Lake Boga Flying Boat Museum has another Catalina Flying Boat on display.
Lockheed 1049 Super Constellation
Constellations were the first aircrafts to enable QANTAS to run regular long-range overseas services, including the long Sydney-London route. The Super Constellation at the museum was originally built for the US Navy and has been repainted to look like the QANTAS aircraft.
The Super Constellation is still undergoing restoration for the interior, expected to be completed in 2020. Constellation aircraft were the first in QANTAS with female cabin crew and pressurised cabins.
To get there:
The QANTAS Founders Outback Museum is on the Landsborough Hwy on the eastern side of Longreach, heading towards Barcaldine. Heading out of town it is on the left, or on the right heading into Longreach from Barcaldine. It is opposite the Stockman’s Hall of Fame.
Cost Museum: Adult $30.00, Child (5-16) $20.00, Family (2 adults, 2 children) $85.00, Concession $25.00, Student $22.00
Cost Museum and Hall Of Fame: Adult $55.00, Child (5-16) $31.00, Family (2 adults, 2 children) $148.00, Concession $46.00, Student $41.00
Cost Museum and Captain’s Tour: Adult $42.00, Child (5-16) $35.00, Family (2 adults, 2 children) $130.00, Concession $35.00, Student $32.00
Hours: Mon-Sun 9am-5pm, Boxing Day Closed, Christmas Day Closed, Summer (Nov to Feb) 9am-4pm
Wheelchair accessible: Yes