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Help restore the Solent at MOTAT

$8,314 of $10,000 goal
Given by 43 generous donors in 6 years

Support MOTAT to continue the restoration of the only remaining Solent Mark IV Flying Boat, the 'Aranui'.


MOTAT is undertaking a major conservation project for the Solent flying-boat ‘Aranui’, to return it to its ‘coral route’ appearance, this being the heyday of Tasman Empire Airways Limited’s (TEAL) flying-boat era. It’s an artefact of international significance and an integral part of New Zealand’s Aviation History. The coral route was labelled the most romantic airline route in the world by those who flew it. TEAL introduced the service in 1951; ferrying passengers from Auckland's harbour across to Fiji, Samoa, Tahiti and the Cook Islands in luxury Solent flying boats.

The Aranui operated a Tasman and South Pacific service from 1949-1954 and then was located exclusively in the South Pacific operating the coral route until 1960. The final coral route service was flown on 15 September 1960.

Only ZK-AMO “Aranui” survived, arriving at MOTAT in 1966 making the Aranui the only remaining Short Solent Mk IV in the world.

To complete the next phase of the restoration MOTAT is seeking funding so we can restore all of the cabins. There were four on the lower deck and two on the upper deck. The upper deck included a lounge/dining area next to kitchen; the lower deck had two dressing rooms, toilets and three freight compartments.

This page has been set up to collect donations to restore this iconic aircraft.

About us

MOTAT is New Zealand’s largest museum of its kind. Located in Auckland’s Western Springs.

Celebrating NZ’s past, present, and future, MOTAT endeavours to educate and inspire the innovators of tomorrow through creative and innovative initiatives.

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Latest update

Solent 70 Years on from her first flight  3 December 2019

With its short, bulky body, it's hard to imagine the Short Solent Aranui was once one of the most luxurious tickets in the sky. November 30 marks the 70th anniversary of the Solent flying boat Aranui. It has been undergoing extensive restoration and is now on display at MOTAT..

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Latest donations

George Uhe
George Uhe on 30 Mar 2019
Guest Donor
Guest Donor on 01 Dec 2016
So excited to this project in progress
Guest Donor
Guest Donor on 29 Nov 2016
Rebecca on 05 Nov 2016
Justin van Wichen
Justin van Wichen on 22 Oct 2016

Who's involved?

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A Registered Charity has legal recognition under the Charities Act 2005.
Tax credit
Donations of over $5 are eligible for a New Zealand charitable giving tax credit.
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This page was created on 25 Sep 2015 and closed on 7 Oct 2021.