N4247K Winky's Fish


Type: R7V-1 (L-1049B-55-75) Super Constellation
C-121J Super Constellation (redesignated)
MSN: 4144
Previous Identities: 131643
Owner: Qantas Founders Museum, Longreach, QLD


History:


08DEC53 Delivered to the United States Navy as type R7V-1 Bureau Number 131643. (Source: 1)
DEC53 Operated by Fleet Tactical Support Squadron (VR-1) Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland. Tail code RP-643.
(Source: 1)
c.55 Operated by Airborne Early Warning Squadron, Atlantic (VW-15) Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland. (Source: 1)
62 Redesignated C-121J. (Source: 1)
by APR62 Operated by the Pacific Missile Range, Point Mugu. (Source: 1)
  Named "Ole Blue from Point Mugu". (Source: 1)
MAY74 Stored at MASDC Davis Monthan by this date. (Source: 1)
29JUL74 Struck off charge by Pacific Missile Range. (Source: 1)
11FEB81 Listed for sale by the Dept of Defense. Total Time: 14,217 hours. (Source: 1)
MAY81 Sold to Northern Peninsula Fisheries and registered N4247K. (Source: 1)
JUN81 Delivered to Arlington, Washington State. (Source: 1)
  The aircraft was to be used during the Alaskan fish hauling season but certification difficulties delayed its entry into service and the aircraft remained idle at Arlington missing several subsequent seasons. The aircraft was named Winky's Fish in honour of the president of Northern Peninsula Fisheries, William "Winky" Crawford. (Source: 2)
OCT87 The aircraft was sold to World Fish and Agriculture Inc. of Cold Bay, Alaska (another Crawford company). (Source: 2)
16NOV87 The aircraft staged through Majuro (Marshall Islands) en route from Arlington to Palau, Philippines. It was intended that the aircraft would fly a cargo of fresh tuna fish from Palau to Nagoya twice weekly. To support this contract, William Crawford acquired a second Super Constellation (C-121C c/n 4175 N73544) but in the event this aircraft never joined the operation and is now operated in Europe as the Breitling Super Constellation HB-RSC. (Source: 2)
24NOV87 The aircraft arrived in Nagoya, Japan with a load of fish from Palau. (Source: 2)
88 The aircraft only operated a few services and by early 1988 was impounded at Manila under a court order from the customer George Tan on the grounds of non-performance of the contract. The operation had been predicated on hauling 38,000 pounds of fish on each flight but the aircraft could only carry 33,000 pounds. What really killed the operation was the non-availability of the required grade of AVGAS in Nagoya. Consequently the Connie had to carry return fuel in drums, a burden which reduced the payload to only 15,000 pounds. (Source: 3)
MAR88 The aircraft was noted parked at Manila with a broken right windscreen. (Source: 3)
MAY88 The writer approached the Chief Executive of Qantas, Mr John Menadue, with the suggestion that Qantas charter N4247K for an appearance at the Bicentennial Air Show at RAAF Richmond in October 1988. It was proposed that the aircraft would be repainted in Qantas colours for the event. As a result, the Qantas General Manager Operations, Captain Alan Terrell, a former Connie pilot and always a keen supporter of the various proposals to bring a Connie to Australia, attempted to arrange a charter. Unfortunately, the Connie was embroiled in litigation and was not able to leave the Philippines.
07JUL14 It was announced that the Manila International Airport Authority intended to hold an auction to clear the airport of several abandoned aircraft including the Super Constellation. (Source: 4)
12SEP14 The auction was held at Manila Airport on this date and the Super Constellation was sold to the Qantas Founders Museum, Longreach, Qld.
MAR-APR15 The aircraft was dismantled and moved off Manila Airport to be stored nearby pending sea transport to Australia. (Source: 5)
12DEC16 The dismantled aircraft was moved from Manila Airport to the Port of Manila. (Source: 5)
08MAY17 The dismantled aircraft was loaded on to the ‘BBC Maine’ at the Manila International Container Port. The ship sailed for Townsville the same day. (Source: 5 & 6)
19MAY17 The ‘BBC Maine’ docked in Townsville. (Source: 6)
23MAY17 The aircraft arrived by road at the Qantas Founders Museum in Longreach. Everything except the engines and the fuselage were unloaded on this day. (Source: 5)
24MAY17 The engines and the fuselage were unloaded at the Qantas Founders Museum in Longreach. (Source: 5)


SOURCES
1
Marson Peter J., The Lockheed Constellation Series, Air-Britain, 1982
2
Propliner #33 Winter 1987.
3
Propliner #34 Spring 1988.
4
Pettersen, Ralph www.conniesurvivors.com
5
Qantas Founders Museum.
6
www.vesselfinder.com

 


Issue Date Remarks
9 25JUN17
Added 5 images of the interior. Thanks to Tom Harwood.
8 14JUN17
Added 10 images of the arrival at Longreach. Thanks to Tom Harwood.
7 25MAY17
Added the arrival in Longreach.
6 19MAY17
Added details of the sea voyage from Manila to Townsville.
5 15JAN17
The aircraft has been moved to the Port of Manila.
4 02MAR16
Added an image of the aircraft at Manila in FEB90.
3 25FEB16
Revised presentation of type.
2 19APR15
Added a series of images of the Manila recovery thanks to Chris Nelson and Geoff Reichelt.
1 25SEP14
Original issue


Return to the Constellation Menu




Return to the Lockheed File