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Plane preservation progress

60's time capsule

About 18 months ago I wrote about the preservation of an old plane whose story is inextricably bound with the history of mass tourism in Mallorca. Back in the 60's the Convair CV 990 Coronado, a 1000 kph member of the Spantax (Spain's first charter airline, and based in Mallorca) fleet, brought millions of people to the island on package holidays.

Humming Beatles' tunes and hoping to catch a glimpse of George Best and Susan George on a pedalo the tourist masses brought new wealth to Majorca as it was called then, and changed the island forever.

In 1988 Spantax went bankrupt and 11 Coronados were abandoned at Palma airport. Ten were broken up for parts and scrap, with just one remaining virtually untouched as it was parked in the military part of the airport.

Now it's being restored because of its significant part in the modern history of Mallorca and new photos of it reveal that it is like a time capsule from the 60's. Take a look at the passenger cabin; the colours, seats, ashtrays in the arms, signage and overhead lockers (or lack of them.) It's like a nostalgic look back to a time when people behaved themselves on flights, stewardesses served tea and coffee from flasks, and there was room in the hold for all our luggage and a load of furry donkeys!

Outside, the story isn't so good; the tyres are deflated, the tail is damaged, the turbines are rusty, the plane is filthy and some of the windows have cracks. However the volunteers restoring the plane - Amics de Son Sant Joan – are working diligently to bring back the Convair's former glory and are raising funds by hiring out the plane as a location for films set in its glory days.

I wonder if Danny Boyle knew about it for 'Yesterday?'

You can keep tabs on the Coronado's progress on the association's Facebook Page. Good luck to them, it's a really worthwhile project as there are only 4 examples of this aircraft remaining in the entire world!