1:72 scale model of a Qantas Empire Airways Boeing 707-138, made for the Museum by Mr B.D Hede. It was received in 1959, shortly after the first QEA 707's were delivered to Australia.

Aircraft History:
Developed from the Model 367-80 first flown in 1954, the first Boeing 707 flew at Seattle on 20 December 1957 and entered airline service the following year. The British-built De Havilland Comet had demonstrated the potential of the four-engine jet airliner in the early 1950s but catastrpohic structural failures of several Comets in mid-flight slowed progress in Britain and allowed American aircraft manufacturers such as Boeing to establish a dominant position in jet airliner development, which has only recently been challenged by Airbus Industries in Europe. The Boeing 707 quickly became the most popular long-haul domestic and international jet airliner, allowing intercontinental limited stop or non-stop services with greater speed and comfort than the piston-engined aircraft types that it replaced. Typical Sydney-London flight times could be cut from 63 hours in a piston-engined Lockheed Super Constellation to just 33 hours in a Boeing 707. While still expensive, international air travel was now possible for many Australians and increasingly immigrants arrived by air.

The Australian government-owned Qantas Empire Airways placed an order for seven Boeing 707-138 aircraft in 1956. The 707-138 was a shortened fuselage model designed specifically for Qantas. The first Qantas 707 aircraft, VH-EBA, was delivered to QEA in 1959 with the others following shortly thereafter. VH-EBA was the first turbojet aircraft to be given a civilian registration in Australia. Crew training took place at Avalon airfield near Geelong, Victoria. Due to limited runway length, the 707 was not permitted to operate from Melbourne's Essendon airport on international flights which stimulated pressure for a new airport to be built. QEA had to fly Melbourne passengers to Sydney on domestic services to connect with the London flight, the first of which left on 15 October 1959. A Sydney-Tokyo 707 service began in November 1961. The new 707 fleet were later marketed as 'V-jets' and carried this name on their tails. During the Vietnam war, Qantas 707s were frequently used to fly Australian troops in and out of Saigon. In Melbourne, 707 spare parts were made by the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation at Fishermen's Bend. The RAAF also operated the 707 from 1979 after taking delivery of two ex-Qantas aircraft. Additional 707s were later purchased and converted as air-to-air refuelling tankers to support the RAAF strike capability. Qantas' first 707, VH-EBA was purchased in the UK by a syndicate in 2005 and flown back to Australia. It is now on display at the Qantas Founders Museum in Longreach, Queensland.

Physical Description

Wooden aeroplane model with white painted body and silver undercarriage. The name QANTAS is painted in red and there is an Australian flag on both sides.

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