Qantas Lockheed L1049G Super Constellation VH-EAO
VH-EAO was delivered to Qantas on 28 October 1957. Its delivery flight, under Captain A.A.E. Yates, was the first non-stop flight by a commercial aircraft from Honolulu to Sydney. On 14 January 1958 VH-EAO was one of two Super Constellations to depart Melbourne/Essendon on Qantas' inaugural round-the-world service. VH-EAO departed Australia via the 'Southern Cross' route across the Pacific, carrying a special philatelic mail - cick here to see come air mail covers carried on this flight.
When QEA bought Lockheed Electras, VH-EAO was traded back to Lockheed as N9722C on 13 October 1959 with a total flying time of 5,874h 9min and 932 landings racked up in two years of line-flying. However, just on a year later, with the Electras temporarily grounded for wing modifications, the aircraft was leased back from Lockheed on 18 August 1960 because of a shortage of capacity. Re-registered as VH-EAO, it served under the appropriate name Southern Prodigal. In March 1961, QEA re-purchased the aircraft and operated it for a further two years until finally disposed of on 5 March 1963 to California Airmotive as N86682.
(Photo: CAHS collection)
Click here to see a photo of L1049 Super Connie VH-EAD
Click here to see a photo of earlier L749 Constellation VH-EAB