A light show like nothing else in the world has opened for public viewing in Longreach today, shining a light on the century-old history of the airline that Queensland gave the world.
Luminescent Longreach makes use of the historic aircraft gathered together by the Qantas Founders Museum at Longreach and uses them as the canvas upon which 3D animation and illustrations weave a narrative of the daring spirit of early aviation, through world wars and distant places, to the present day.
In the planning since federal government funding was announced in December 2017 but conceived of years earlier, the spectacular night time light and sound experience in which visitors stand among iconic aircraft as world class projection mapping and 360 degree immersive sound bring the 100-year story of Qantas to life, is a bright light in a difficult year for outback Queensland tourism.
"There is nothing like this anywhere else in the world, it is an entirely immersive experience that won't disappoint," Qantas Founders Museum CEO Tony Martin said.
The show projects onto 635 square metres of the museum's mighty Boeing 747 and was designed, directed and produced over 18 months by Buchan's specialist Brand Experience team, who spent over 11,000 hours to create the experience and another 2000 hours to install.
Buchan Senior Associate Anthony Rawson is extremely proud of the finished experience and has found working in Longreach deeply rewarding.
"It's a privilege to be working for Qantas Founders Museum in the airline's centenary year when so much of Qantas' rich history is being re-told to new generations," Mr Rawson said.
"Beyond retelling the Founders' story among remarkable aircraft, it has been immensely satisfying to have created a new place for Longreach to host cultural, commercial and entertainment events of many kinds," he said.
Luminescent Longreach is projected under the museum's new airpark precinct, which includes a Boeing 747, 707, Super Constellation and DC3.
"Not only do we have a new evening offering for tourists to encourage them to stay another night in our town, but we have also created the QPAC of the outback," Mr Martin said.
Combined, the Airpark Roof Project and Luminescent Longreach is a $14.3 million dollar project.
The 8000 square metre airpark roof costing $11.3m was fully funded by the federal government and will protect museum-goers and exhibits from the harsh outback sun.
The light show is stage two of the project and was supported by the Queensland Government with a $3m grant.
Museum deputy chair, Graeme Wills said the major undertaking elevates the not-for-profit museum to one of the best in the state.
"It's an important milestone in our museum's development to cater to changing and growing tourism markets while also ensuring the preservation of the Qantas story and the museum's precious aircraft," he said.
Bookings for Luminescent Longreach are essential as spaces are limited.
Buchan has thanked Iningai custodian Suzanne Thompson for her show-opening narration and Welcome to Country, and John and Ros Moriarty, and Rachel Taylor of Balarinji for working with them on the Wunala Dreaming sequence and granting them permission to use the artwork.
The Airpark Roof was designed by NRA-Co-Lab.