The Royal Australian Air Force Boeing 707 A20-261 was awaiting the scrapper at RAAF Amberley in Queensland, Australia when Tom Vaughn, boss of Turbine Motor Works, decided to try to rescue it.
A year later, Tom and a team of engineers headed out to Amberley, together with our camera crew, whom Tom had asked to record the project. Sent on ahead were four JT3Ds and the heavy equipment needed to reengine the 707 and get it back in the air.
Our unrestricted access to every aspect of the restoration of the 707 gives you an amazing insight into how a fifties jetliner works, plus a real sense of being there, as we go through the highs and lows of engine run, rejected take-offs, bug-fixing and flight testing.
Then all we had to do was get back home. Just crossing Australia to Darwin took nearly four hours. Next day, we left for the Maldives, surviving oil leaks and a 90 degree, 23 knot, crosswind when landing at Male. Then on to Cairo and finally Manston in Kent. Again, Tom's wish to record the event gave us superb access; three cameras in the cockpit and two in the cabin, where we even removed several rows of seats to get a better view!
Refining our 32 hours of film into a more manageable record, led to the idea of this DVD, which also supports the long term future of the 707 and Tom's ambition to enable the general public to fly on it and share the adventure.
In NTSC DVD format and region-free. Runtime is about 1 hour and 50 minutes.