VH-EAB Southern Horizon


Type: L-1049E/01-82-119 Super Constellation
L-1049G/02-82 Super Constellation (converted)
L-1049H/01-82 Super Constellation (converted)
MSN: 4581
Subsequent Identities: N9715C


FEB55 Built as L-1049E-55-81 but converted to L-1049E/01-82-119 on the production line.
24FEB55 CofR No 2802 issued to Qantas Empire Airways as VH-EAB.
26FEB55 First flown.
04MAR55 Delivered to Qantas as VH-EAB "Southern Horizon". Export CofA No E-27667 issued. Was to be VH-EAP "Southern Breeze". More details.
05MAR55 Departed Burbank on delivery to Sydney via Honolulu, Canton Island and Nadi (flight time 32:36)
08MAR55 Arrived Sydney.
02APR55 Entered service (to Vancouver).
20AUG55 Flew to Paya Lebar (Singapore) for the opening of the new airport. Capt Ralph Bruce.
03NOV56 Departed Athens carrying the Olympic flame to the Melbourne Games. The flame arrived in Darwin on 05NOV56.
15JUL57 Withdrawn from service for "C" overhaul and fitment of weather radar.
11AUG57 Returned to service.
23JAN58 Withdrawn from service for conversion to L-1049G/02-82 and fitment of tip tanks.
06FEB58 Returned to service.
03APR58 Operated the first L-1049 service from Brisbane to London.
26MAY60 Stripped for conversion to freighter.
03JUN60 Departed Sydney for Ontario, California for conversion to L-1049H/01-82 freighter by Lockheed Air Service.
16AUG60 Departed Ontario for Portland.
19AUG60 Departed Portland for Sydney.
21AUG60 Arrived Sydney.
13SEP60 Entered service as a freighter to London via the Kangaroo Route.
19JUN61 Departed Sydney for London and subsequently withdrawn from service.
26AUG61 Test flown.
26AUG61 Departed Sydney for Hong Kong with a replacement engine for VH-EAO.
62 Used as a static classroom at Sydney with engines removed.
24MAR63 Departed Sydney on its last Qantas service, a horse charter to Christchurch, Nadi, Honolulu and San Francisco. On completion of the charter the aircraft positioned to Burbank.
25MAR63 Arrived Burbank. Flight time 34:54.
27MAR63 Struck off Australian Register. Total Time 18,104:35. Sold to Boeing and then to Airmotive Inc as N9715C.
31JUL64 Re-registered N93164 to California Airmotive Corp.
05AUG64 Sold to West Coast Airmotive Corp.
APR66 Noted at Lima, Peru leased to Galaxy Trading Corp and named "San Patricio".
07SEP66 Re-registered N4192A to California Airmotive.
27FEB68 Sold to Lee J. Matherne.
17MAR68 Flew to Lisbon, Portugal as ZP-TBV (bogus registration) and titles of Transcontinental Airlines SA (an unofficial company) and carrying the Panamanian flag. It is reported to have been used in support of the Biafran Government during March 1968. If indeed it did operate on the Biafra Airlift it was clearly short-lived as the aircraft was back in Miami by June 1968.
13JUN68 Noted stored at Miami in Transcontinental titles but minus registration.
23AUG68 Re-registered N442LM and painted with Wings Inc titles.
69 Leased to Bolivian Airways TABSA as N442LM.
SEP69 For sale by Atlantic Airways at Opa Locka, Florida.
15DEC69 Sold to Lance W. Dreyer.
24SEP70 Re-registered N11SR.
15OCT70 Transferred to Transnational Cargo Inc (a Dreyer company).
30JUL71 Transferred to Unum Inc (a Dreyer company). The aircraft was stored at Port of Spain, Trinidad until at least Feb 73.
26OCT73 Sold to Transglobal Leasing Inc (Andy Voyna) and ferried to Fort Lauderdale.
11OCT74 Sold to PM Leasing Inc (Capt Duncan Baker) and subsequently named "Janet" in honour of Duncan Baker's wife. Operated freight charter flights from Miami to South America.
75 PM Leasing transferred from Miami to London. As of early 75 the aeroplane was reported as having a total time of 18,000 hours.
14MAR75 Departed Miami for Brussels arriving the following day.
16MAR75 Arrived at Jersey.
28MAR75 Leased to Lanzair (Channel Islands) Ltd.
APR75 Departed for the Sudan with a cargo of tobacco but diverted to Athens with a failed engine. The cargo was offloaded at Athens and N11SR was ferried to Nimes, France for an engine change. Nimes was the base of fellow Constellation operator Compagnie Air Fret.
10MAY75 Returned to Jersey.
18MAY75 N11SR departed from Gatwick for the Biggin Hill Air Fair where it performed several flypasts. As a result of a serious oil leak from number three engine, the aircraft returned to Gatwick on three engines without having landed at Biggin Hill.
23MAY75 A permit was issued for a three engine ferry to Nimes for rectification of the number three engine.
18JUN75 The aircraft returned to Athens to collect the abandoned cargo of tobacco. Having determined that the cargo had been illegally imported, the Greek authorities confiscated it and N11SR returned to Nimes empty.
02JUL75 Arrived Shannon from Nimes.
04JUL75 The aircraft taxied at Shannon with a load of calves for Venice but was denied a take-off clearance because of perceived irregularities with its documentation. A fire tender was despatched to block the runway but it was too late and N11SR departed for Venice. It was reported that after becoming airborne the aircraft requested the departures frequency only to be informed that: "The only frequency you'll get is the police frequency"! Ironically, it later emerged that the paperwork had been in order after all. On returning to Shannon to collect another load of calves, Lanzair became embroiled in a legal dispute which featured prominently in the local news media.
01AUG75 Cattle flights from Shannon resumed with a trip to Venice. The aircraft subsequently positioned to Larnaca, Cyprus to uplift a promised cargo to Shannon. The aircraft landed at Larnaca trailing smoke from a broken oil seal.
12AUG75 The aircraft returned to Shannon empty, the promised cargo having failed to materialise.
23AUG75 Lanzair's final cattle charter from Shannon was cancelled because of engine problems. During July and August the aircraft had operated eight cattle charters.
SEP75 Duncan Baker travelled to the U.S. where he bought four new engines and a pair of Super Constellation tip tanks from California Airmotive. These tip tanks had come from the scrapped Super Constellation N9723C which, coincidentally, was once VH-EAP with Qantas.
OCT75 The tip tanks were fitted and two engines changed by Shannon Repair Services. The tip tanks were required for a proposed series of trips to South America. The aircraft was in the hangar for the entire month. It is reported that Lanzair invested $100,000.00 in the aeroplane during 1975.
15NOV75 Departed Shannon for Coventry but made an emergency landing back at Shannon when a propeller ran away after take-off.
16NOV75 Departed Shannon for Coventry.
23NOV75 The aircraft arrived at Southend from Coventry and departed to Jersey a few hours later after uplifting some drums of oil.
NOV75 The aircraft departed for Nigeria but diverted to Casablanca with a failed engine. The aircraft was temporarily abandoned at Casablanca pending rectification of the failed engine and resolution of diplomatic problems arising out of the unannounced arrival.
28MAR76 Returned to Shannon after being released. The aircraft landed trailing smoke.
29MAY76 The aircraft was loaded with two spare engines, various spares, tools and fork lift trucks and departed for Jersey.
08JUN76 Departed Jersey for Athens to take up a contract to transport pre-fabricated fibreglass buildings to Kuwait and Damascus twice a month.
18JUN76 The aircraft departed from Athens destined for Kuwait with a cargo of pre-fabricated fibreglass buildings. It was reported that the nosewheel tyres broke up on take-off. Nine and a half hours later, N11SR landed at Kuwait in the middle of a sandstorm. As a result of alleged irregularities with the aircraft's clearance, a heavy fine was imposed on Lanzair. Unable to pay the fine and unable to otherwise secure the release of N11SR, the aeroplane was abandoned at Kuwait.
JUL81 At the instigation of the author, and with the support of Qantas, N11SR was inspected by a Kuwait Airways licenced engineer with a view to preserving the last remaining Qantas Super Constellation in Australia. The engineering report indicated that the aircraft was "well beyond any possibility of being flown again" and that the aircraft "would require surface transportation".
APR82 Cancelled from US Register.
02MAY82 N11SR was inspected in Kuwait by Stephen Piercey who reported that the aircraft, although externally damaged, was complete and the interior was largely untouched since its arrival. Life rafts, flight plans and a flight bag still remained on board. As several doors and exits had been left open, the interior was thickly coated with desert sand. The aircraft was to be sold at auction on this date but the sale was postponed to the following day. Steve Piercey was told that there had been a bid of 12,000 Dinars received and that there was talk of using the aircraft as a restaurant!
APR83 Advice received from Stephen Piercey that N11SR had been moved from Kuwait Airport leaving behind pieces such as fins. It was presumed that the aeroplane had been broken up.
JUN83 Advice received from a contact in Kuwait that N11SR was "bought at a cheap rate by the Ministry of Defence for training purposes".
90/91 It has been reported in "Flypast" magazine (October 1996, p.68-69) that N11SR survived until the airfield was bombed during the Gulf War. Apparently it had been used for firefighting drills at the military base, although it is not known if the aeroplane was actually burned. The report states: "It remains in a derelict condition and is too far gone even to attempt a restoration".
10JAN06 The wreckage of the aircraft was photographed at Ahmed Al Jaber Airbase. (See thumbnails above)

The wreckage of N11SR was gifted to the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS) by the Kuwait Ministry of Defence. HARS intend to ship the wreckage back to Australia at the earliest opportunity. Some components will be restored for display in the HARS Museum. Any salvageable parts will be used to support the operation of C-121C VH-EAG.

The recovery by HARS did not eventuate. HARS subsequently gave their blessing to a recovery expedition organised by volunteers from the Qantas Founders Museum.

A team from the Qantas Founders Museum departed Brisbane for Kuwait with the intention of recovering display artefacts from the former VH-EAB. The team comprised David Evans, Don Hill, Mike Greig and Greg Boyce. Some of the larger items recovered included the right wing tip tank, an entry door, a section of fuselage, engine cowlings and one of the fins. Many other smaller components were also recovered.

19NOV18 Items recovered from the wreck of VH-EAB were trucked from Ahmed Al Jaber Air Base to Ali Al Salem Air Base where they were loaded on to an RAAF Lockheed C-130J Hercules for transportation to Al Minhad Air Base in Dubai. It is most appropriate that these items should have made their first flight in 42 years aboard a latter day Lockheed aeroplane. The fin could not be accommodated on the Hercules so it will be transported at a later date.
22NOV18 Items recovered from the wreck of VH-EAB were trucked from Al Minhad Air Base to Dubai.
24NOV18 Qantas A380 VH-OQD Fergus McMaster which was in Dubai for repainting, departed for Sydney as Qantas 6012 with the artefacts from VH-EAB in the forward hold. The operating crew of VH-OQD included David Evans, Don Hill and Mike Greig.
25NOV18 The historical significance of the cargo being carried by Qantas 6012 was recognised by Sydney ATC with a new callsign "Southern Horizon". VH-OQD was cleared to land at Sydney as "Southern Horizon Super".
  Soon after arrival in Australia, the wing tip tank, fuselage section and entry door were displayed temporarily at the Qantas headquarters at Mascot.
c.APR19 The recovered artefacts were transported to Longreach for display at the Qantas Founders Museum.

Why the LAV Tip Tank?

Issue Date Remarks
15 28DEC22
14 26NOV22
Added a slideshow of images.
13 28JAN21
Added an image of the recovered fuselage section and door thanks to Tom Harwood.
12 17JAN21
Added a new page on the LAV Tip Tank.
11 22AUG19
Added a reference at 23NOV75 thanks to Keith Burton.
10 16AUG19
Added an image of N11SR at Shannon in 1975 thanks to Peter Gates.
9 15DEC18
Added details of the expedition to Kuwait to recover components from the former VH-EAB. Thanks to David Evans and the QFM.
8 12NOV18
Some components from the aircraft will be recovered by the Qantas Founders Museum for display at Longreach.
7 25FEB16
Revised presentation of type.
6 29DEC15
Added an image of the aircraft wearing BOAC titles. Thanks to Peter Gates.
Added four images of the wreckage in Kuwait. Thanks to Ken Jackson.
5 02NOV07
Added confirmation that the wreckage has been acquired by HARS for display in Australia.
4 13FEB06
Added a sequence of photos of the wreckage taken by Mark Pinneo.
3 19JAN06
Added a photo which confirms that the aeroplane has been destroyed. Thanks to Henk de Waard for providing closure.
2 13SEP00
Clarified planned allocation of VH-EAP "Southern Breeze" to this aeroplane.


This page is dedicated to the memory of Stephen Piercey.

Stephen, a much-respected aviation journalist and photographer, was the founder of Propliner magazine. Super Connie N11SR was one of his favourite subjects. Apart from the obvious charisma of this aeroplane and its operators, it was a particular favourite of Steve's, as it was the first Super Connie that he ever flew on. The amount of detail which appears in this history is only possible because of Steve's dedication to his subject. This Connie is also a particular favourite of the author, having campaigned for a number of years to secure the preservation in Australia of this, the last Qantas Connie. Indeed, for a time, Steve and the author were the only registered bidders for the May 1982 auction! Steve's dedication was such that he actually travelled to Kuwait to attend the auction. The attached photographs of N11SR in Kuwait were posted to the author by Steve, literally within hours of his return from Kuwait. Sadly, Steve was killed on 20th May 1984 when an air-to-air photo sortie tragically ended in a midair collision.

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