Photo from the collection Alf Batchelder.

Historic Aircraft Restoration Society's Super Constellation.

I've just come across some reliable information about the restored L1049 "Connie". The aircraft, which belongs to the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society, was found in a USAF storage facility near Tucson in 1991. Half a ton of bird droppings and other grunge had to be removed from it before work could begin. The aircraft started life in 1954 as 54-0157, a USAF C-121C, and had last flown in 1977. VH-EAG "Southern Preservation" finally arrived in Australia on February 3, 1996, after a four and a half-year restoration in the US by over 70 Australian engineers and others who commuted from Australia to Tucson. One engineer, Ron Bennett, died of a heart attack while preparing the first engine for test; #4 engine carries a plaque in his memory. Considerable assistance in the restoration came from the Pima Air and Space Museum and the Lockheed Aeromod Centre.

Shown here at the RAAF Museum Airshow in 2000, it was painted as closely as possible to the color scheme used by Qantas in the 1950s - however, I believe the airline would not let them use the name, hence the word 'Connie' on the fuselage. -- Alf Batchelder