Plans to put a Boeing 737-200 passenger jet aircraft on
display inside a new Wanaka museum development have been
thwarted - for the moment.
The National Transport and Toy Museum, at Wanaka Airport,
already has in its collection of 50,000 items a Fokker
Friendship and a Russian Mig-21 fighter.
But curator Jason Rhodes has his heart set on adding a 737.
He told the Otago Daily Times this week Air New
Zealand had recently taken out of service two 737-200s - a
model that first entered service in 1968.
However, his attempt to secure one was not successful.
Mr Rhodes said one was being retained by Air New Zealand for
training but would be ''cut up'' and the other would be
scrapped by an overseas company.
''They just want the components out of it. The components are
worth more than the aircraft.''
Mr Rhodes' hopes now hang on securing one of the 737-300s Air
New Zealand is disposing of later this year. He expects most
737s taken out of service would end up being scrapped.
''I'm just trying to see what we can save, because once
they're gone, we'll never see them again in this country.
''We've just got to keep trying.''
He said the biggest cost in obtaining a 737 would not be the
plane itself but the cost of flying it to Wanaka.
Mr Rhodes wants to house a 737 inside a building extension at
the museum due to be constructed later this year.
One of the issues he has is keeping the height of the new
building within the limits set by the Queenstown Lakes
It can be only 9m above ground level - exactly the height of
a 737 tail section.
So, Mr Rhodes has dug a large hole to reduce the new
building's height above the ground.
He hoped to have building consent by the end of next month
and to begin pouring concrete over the winter or spring.