Proud to preserve iconic Qantas history

Proud to preserve iconic Qantas history

Watpac is possibly the only construction company in the world to have built a large roof over a parked Jumbo Jet.

This extraordinary project is the centrepiece of a major upgrade of the Qantas Founders Museum (QFM) in Longreach, the spiritual home of the Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services.

Watpac was set the task of building the 8000 square metre roof over the Air Park which is home to a collection of legendary Qantas aircraft including the mighty Boeing 747.

The $11 million project was executed over the heat of summer when tourist numbers decline.

QFM Deputy Chair Graeme Wills acknowledges the scale of the challenge. “We gave Watpac a very small window to construct from September to April, our hottest months. We had flies, we had insects, we had wind and we had rain,” he said.

Watpac General Manager for Queensland and the Northern Territory, Drew Brockhurst said conditions were not the greatest challenge. “I think the challenge was actually building the structure over the top of the planes that were there. We couldn’t move the 747 so we had to build it over the top and that was the real challenge for our guys, but our subcontractors, the best in the business, they came through for us,” Drew said.

Once the roof and viewing platform were in place, QFM installed vision and audio technology to provide an amazing light and sound show that tells the story of Qantas.

QFM CEO Tony Martin believes the show is unique. “There is nothing like this anywhere else in the world, it is an entirely immersive experience that won’t disappoint.”

“We have created the QPAC (Queensland Performing Arts Complex) of the Outback,” Tony said.

For Watpac, the roof project was part of a rewarding journey with QFM and Queensland history.

“It was a great experience for Watpac to be involved again with QFM. We built the original stage in Longreach and to come back and build the roof over the iconic Jumbo 747 was fantastic for us,” Watpac’s Drew Brockhurst said.

Qantas Founders Museum and Watpac pooled resources for this video that captures a taste of the extraordinary light show experience.

For more on the show and for bookings, visit:

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