Connie down under

Leave it to the astute readers of General Aviation News to know where the rarest of rare birds are.

After we published a story on the Airline History Museum’s recent troubles with an engine failure on what was thought to be the last airworthy Lockheed Constellation, we learned that there is another airworthy Connie — on the other side of the world.

Reader Keith Myers told us about an airworthy Connie that belongs to the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS) at Illawarra Regional Airport on the east coast of Australia.

HARS was formed in 1979 with the mission to restore to airworthy condition planes that have played a significant role in both military and civilian Australian aviation history.

The society’s Super Connie was recovered from Davis Monthan AFB and flown to Australia in 1996. In response to an email query about the status of the Connie, Tony Duggan, HARS administrative assistant, cheerfully replied that the Super Connie was not only in airworthy condition, but had flown a few sorties the day before, accompanied by the HARS PBY Catalina and a pair of C-47s in “beautiful spring weather.”

HARS has 22 aircraft and is in the process of building a museum to house its exhibits, as well as to provide room for the maintenance and restoration departments.

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