Help restore the Solent at MOTAT
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.
MOTAT is New Zealand's largest transport and technology museum of its kind and offers a fun and exciting learning experience for visitors of all ages.
The core vision is to “use New Zealand’s heritage, kiwi ingenuity, transport, technology and associated stories in a creative and interactive way to educate and inspire the innovators of tomorrow.”
With our changing exhibitions, school holiday experiences, unique MOTAT events and live activities, MOTAT is a great place for a family day out. The magic MOTAT experience is a rich learning environment for all ages and tells stories about New Zealand aviation, energy, communications, rail, road transport, tramways and emergency and defence.
Spread across 40 acres at our two sites, MOTAT Great North Rd and MOTAT Meola Road, visitors can explore and discover the achievements that have helped shape New Zealand, from the 1800s to today. We have an extensive collection of items and possess very rare treasures which are of national significance to the people of New Zealand.
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In the past few months the aviation team has been working to get the Short Solent Mk IV Flying Boat ready for its move into the Aviation Display Hall. We are grateful to the aviation team for all their continued hard work. The exterior painting has nearly been completed, ready for her move into the Aviation Display Hall in March 2019. The Solent will be moved into her proper place, on display alongside her cousin the Sunderland Flying Boat. Once the Solent is inside the Aviation Display Hall we will continue to restore the interior of the flying boat.
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This page was created on 25 Sep 2015 and closes on 31 Dec 2019.