Queen Air Display, Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame RFDS Gallery
A retired vintage Queen Air plane suspended from the ceiling.
Client: Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame and Outback Heritage Centre
Date: March 2015
We love rising to the task of bringing elements to life in new and interesting ways. A great example of this is the Queen Air Display at Longreach’s Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame and Outback Heritage Centre. Brandi Projects took on the challenge of the Queen Air Display project, which involved the suspension of the 15.3m aircraft in the atrium of the Hall. Our role in the Project involved project managing the transportation of the plane, restoration, re-engineering and lastly, rebuilding while hanging in the air. If you know a little about aircraft, you will know this is no mean feat. The plane took 8 days to install, and is a project we are immensely proud of.
We utilised the expertise of Aircraft Structural Contractors engineer Neil Riley to complete the following work for the Stockman’s Hall of Fame:
- Project Management of the
- sourcing of the plane;
- refurbishment and
- installation of the aircraft
- Design and Installation of Interpretive Panel
The Queen Air Display Project in More Detail
About the Exhibit
The Queen Air aircraft was built in 1977, and flew for the Flying Doctor in Queensland between 1978 and 1992. The model on display is the last of the piston engines, which is no longer in operation at the RFDS. The suspended Queen Air leaves a legacy for future generations in the RFDS Gallery, which is devoted to the history of the RFDS, and the workings of the service in the 21st Century.
The stunning display gives an interesting and impactful visual representation of how significant the RFDS service has been in Australia’s history for helping rural and regional pastoralists. The RFDS has allowed them to live and farm in isolated communities, knowing that medical help is only a plane ride away.
Brandi Projects originally had the vision to suspend this plane as part of the original concept design for the RFDS gallery display in 2011. Whilst not undertaken at the time, it was given the green light in 2014. We were then commissioned to bring our idea to life.
The installation of the 15.3m Queen Air plane was many years in the making. It involved the co-ordination of interests of two repeat customers RFDS Queensland Section and Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame. The plane was moved from a paddock at The War Birds Museum in Mareebra, where it was deteriorating due to the elements. The Project involved transporting the aircraft from North Queensland to Longreach – and it had to be pulled apart to fit on the truck for transportation. The wings were cut at appropriate angles to then be put back together. The plane was then restored over a 3 month period before being trucked back to Longreach. This restoration also involved re-engineering of parts, as aircraft aren’t designed to be suspended.
The installation of the plane was an 8-day event. The fuselage and the tail came in via a crane over the top of the gallery. The plan was then hoisted while removed pieces were fixed back onto it. The space to do this in was minimal, with only 50mm from wing tip to wall. The plane is now suspended from stainless steel cables from trusses in the roof.
A difficult job, but the end result is stunning and a real talk-piece for the Hall of Fame.
Comments about this Project
“ÄSHOF has engaged Brandi Projects on several key design and installation projects over many years. The quality of communication from them has been first rate. Understanding, flexibility and the overarching drive to deliver suitable and quality projects have set Brandi Projects apart from other consultants. Complex installation in a difficult and remote location have been delivered on time and on budget every time. ASHOF would have no hesitation in recommending the organization and we look forward to working with them again to deliver world-class exhibits to our facility.”
Chief Executive Officer
Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame and Outback Heritage Centre (ASHOF)
“We’ve got it done and it is going to look great for many years to come,” he said. “I am very, very stoked. It is beautiful.”
Neil Riley Aircraft Structural Contractors.
Read some press coverage on this exhibit.
Courier Mail Royal Flying Doctor Service Plane Squeezes into Display at Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame.
ABC RFDS Queen Air Plane Hanging in the Stockman’s Hall of Fame