Manila’s Super Constellation goes downunder
The Super Constellation decorating Manila NAIA’s bone-yard has been sold to Qantas. The most beautiful plane ever built will be transferred to Australia.
The MIAA and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines decided to sell off the planes that had been abandoned by their owners in a section of the Naia property and were taking up valuable space. Before holding the auction, the MIAA tried to contact the owners. We wrote about this action – auction – 3 years ago on September 22, 2011.
Since I live in the Philippines I love this bird. When I have to travel through NAIA-3, I always check, if “my bird” is still there (see also here). There had even been a time, when I thought about buying “my bird” and put it in our garden. And now I learned, where this affection comes from: The bird and I have the same age!
The Manila Super Constellation had been bought by the Qantas Founders Museum which is located in Longreach, Queensland, Australia. This outback museum tracks the rise of Australia’s flag carrier, Qantas Airways Ltd., from its start in Western Queensland in 1920 through exhibits, interactive displays, artefacts and aircraft, including a Boeing 747, Boeing 707 and DC3.
- Final registration – N4247K
- Delivered to US Navy December 1953 as R7V-1 BuN 131643
- Redesignated C-121J October 1962
- Named “Ole Blue from Point Mugu” while in service there
- Retired and stored at Davis Monthan AFB by October 1973
- Offered for sale February 1981
- To William “Winky” Crawford trading as Northern Peninsula Fisheries May 1981 as N4247K
- Restored for ferry flight and flown to Arlington, WA June 1981
- To World Fish and Agriculture, Inc October 1987 (company owned by Crawford)
- Restoration completed November 1987 and ferried to Palau Island in the Pacific the second week of November
- Flew tuna from Palau Island to Nagoya, Japan for three months, beginning November 24, 1987
- Impounded at Manila Airport, Philippines by June 1988
- Stored in deteriorating condition at Manila Airport
- Qantas Founders Museum obtained aircraft at September 12, 2014 auction at Manila Airport
There are still 2 or 3 Super Constellations flying. The best known is the Breitling Super Constellation in Switzerland.
Since 1884 Swiss Watch Manufacturer Breitling makes outstanding chronographs. These watches had always been the preferred one of pilots. So Breitling designed their whole marketing campaign around aircrafts, airlines and pilots. Among other activities they sponsored the full restoration of their Super Constellation.
Above the Breitling Super Constellation Chronograph (unfortunately not mine).
I’ll miss “my Connie” …