This Day in History: 1996-02-03

On 3 February 1996 the Lockheed Super Constellation c/n 4176 VH-EAG “Southern Preservation” arrived in Sydney after an incident free Pacific Ocean crossing of 39.5 hours flying time. Stops on the delivery flight to Australia were made at Oakland, Honolulu, Pago Pago and Nadi. Restoration work on the aircraft by a team from the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society commenced in May 1992 at Pima Air & Space Museum, Arizona, USA and in September 1994 the Super Constellation took to the air after nearly eighteen years on the ground. Another solid year of work was required to prepare the aircraft for the Pacific crossing and in late 1995 final flight training was undertaken. The major difficulty in the restoration process was the need for the volunteers to continually travel to Tucson to carry out the restoration work. This was time consuming and costly even with wonderful support from Qantas. The assistance given by both organisations and the countless individuals in the US and Australia eased the volunteers’ burden and made the restoration process a rewarding experience. Connie is now the only flying L-1049 Super Constellation in the world. Source: HARS website