Morning Glory Cloud

Morning Glory Cloud
Morning Glory over Massacre Inlet (photo: Diane Davey)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Qantas Founders Museum Longreach

The Qantas Founders Museum at Longreach was the second thing on my list of things to do on the trip - I had been looking forward to this for a while. The museum is independently run, it is not owned by Qantas. It relies on visitor entry fees and donations to keep its doors open.  They run a few different tours and I can say that I would recommend ALL of them, particularly the Wing Walker Tour, which is a bit on the expensive side but worth every penny in my opinion. I’ve included some photos from that tour below. I got to see every inch of that 747, inside and out. I don’t think you get to do that anywhere else.
The small tour group I was part of had the added bonus of having a pilot who flew both the 747-200 AND the 707. How lucky is that? It was great to have him provide insights into both aircraft and hear about  some of the antics the crew used to get up to. Gene, our guide was fantastic as well and very generous with his time – he really knows his stuff and had everyone interested and engaged throughout the whole tour which went for a few hours. 
The Museum itself is great. It is very successful at conveying what a difference aviation has made to this part of the world. One of my favourite stories is the following one. I think what appeals to me is that it illustrates simple and effective problem solving - and it's kinda funny (It is copied from one of the exhibits):
Isolation forced many bush people to deal with their own emergencies. Calling a doctor was a serious business, never taken lightly.
One Muttaburra hotel-keeper sometimes found his patrons apparently dead. Their breathing was infrequent and very faint, reflexes were absent and there was no response even to painful stimulation. But the publican had a reliable test for whether the doctor was really needed. He shook the apparently dead one vigorously and shouted in his ear, “Have a drink.” If there was no response at all, the publican called the doctor.
The boys headed off this morning. What a great time we had together.   

The Falke on the apron (on its own at the back) taken from the inside of the 747

This is the oxygen for passengers should it be required. The masks that drop down in the cabin for ALL OF THE PASSENGERS comes out of these 7 (that's right 7!) tanks.
The lever to wind up the nosewheel manually - now which way is up? I can never remember.

This is straight up the guts of the tailplane. These are the cables that operate the rudder, elevator and trim. Just like in the Falke, really.

Gotta love the DC-3

Just like the old days? This man used to fly this plane.

Gene taking us through the 747's systems

Ignition off?

A bit roomier than the Falke, but too many buttons and dials
Out on the wing of the 747-200. How good is that!

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