Day 16 - Longreach - QANTAS Founders Museum

Trip Start Apr 03, 2014
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Longreach Tourist Park
Read my review - 2/5 stars
What I did
QANTAS Founders Outback Museum Queensland
Read my review - 5/5 stars

Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Friday, April 18, 2014

Qantas Museum today, we had popped in yesterday and booked our 9:30am tour for today, when we arrive we also book Bill, Emma and Claire on a wing walk for after the tour and book Liam half an hour on the flight simulator.

The tour starts with our tour guide Trent explaining all about the Catalina, the museum had bought this one to put on display and they were in the process of striping her back and re-painting original colours. She was used for delivering the mail to Europe during the WW2, they would scan all the mail to microfiche as it was lighter than paper then when they arrived in Europe it was copied back to paper.

Next the 747 starting from the outside working our way up, we stood underneath this huge aircraft marvelling at the size of the tyres, all 18 of them, Trent gives us every detail about the undercarriage including the interesting story about how the waste from the toilets is removed from the plane through a shute then analysed by the Federal Police. We then get a chance to stand inside an engine, not attached to the plane! Inside now and starting at the rear of the plane we talk about the black box and other tracking information, we take a seat about half way down and hear some interesting details about how the doors operate and how the emergency slide is attached. Moving forward we get to business class, a luxury only some of us, Bill, have experienced, then it's upstairs to what we all had anticipated was going to be first class but was in fact more economy seats, originally upstairs was designed to be a lounge area for first class passengers however it didn’t prove to be profitable they moved business class forward and first class upstairs finally changing upstairs to economy and only retaining business class in the nose. Heaps more interesting stories from Trent, (I tell you this guy gives bill a run for his money in the have a chat dept), including the fact about the landing of the 747 and clearing up the urban myths we had heard. The story of the runway not being long enough, in actual fact they only used two thirds of the runway, successfully  landing on the first attempt the story of it being too heavy and having to strip the interior, the plane landed with full interior, much better story before it got ruined by the truth….

707 is the third and final tour, this particular plane was purchased by the museum for one pound and had to be flown home from Southend where it had been sitting derelict for a number of years. A team was sent to get her ready to fly and after 15,000 man hours, over a six month period she was ready for the epic journey home. Arriving in Sydney December 2006 then on to Longreach where she will remain on display. This particular private plane had been hired by many famous people including the Jackson 5, John Travolta owns an identical plane and when in the museum we get to see when they are parked next to each other at an airport en-route to Australia.

Tour finished time for the girls and Bill to take the extra tour of the cockpit, cargo-hold, tail rudder control, and many other nooks and crannies we didn’t get to see as well as being harnessed and walking out on the wing (Liam and I walked back in perfect time to see just as they walked out.) While they were on their tour Liam and I went in for his Flight Simulator, I am never getting in a plane with this boy, he crash landed 3 times and missed the runway on each attempt, he had a great time though!

The others then join us in the café for lunch then it’s off to explore the Museum, now for those of you that haven’t heard or are living under a rock, Bill loves museums, he will read every display, push every button and if there’s a guide ask many many questions, knowing this the kids and I take off leaving him to enjoy his thorough experience of the museum. I have to say it’s a fantastic museum and well worth the trip.

Finally ready to leave we have a look through the photos that Trent had taken of Bill and the girls on the wing walk and in the cockpit, they look fantastic a great memento of the day.

Back to the caravan park kids head to the pool while traditional Good Friday Fish and chip dinner is cooking.

Mackay’s ready for take-off!
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Rachel O'Connell on

Sounds great

Jen on

Omg, you are really good at these entries lucy! I haven't commented much yet but have been reading, sounds fantastic and a trip to remember forever, enjoy the rest of your time, guys- keep up the entries, I look forward to jen

mum and dad on

fantastic pics and wonderful trip. Keep comments comin!!!

Morganella on

Lucy I love your blogs I feel like I'm reading a personal book of someone famous looks awesome and sounds wonderful very lucky family xxxx

Thea Mackay on

You should definitely be a writer or journalist of some kind, you have the talent for it - for sure. Also loving the blogs, I must admit, I love a good museum too, I don't think I'm quite as invested as my brother, but also don't like to miss anything! Must be a Mackay thing, Dad did take us to museums and things when we were young!

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