John Travolta to fly into Illawarra on Boeing 707 he donated to the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society

Hollywood star John Travolta arrives in Melbourne in 2003.
Hollywood star John Travolta arrives in Melbourne in 2003.

John Travolta will fly to Albion Park in November on board the Boeing 707 aircraft he has donated to the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society.

In 2017, it was revealed John Travolta had donated the aircraft to the Albion Park museum.

However, transporting the plane to the Illawarra was delayed because of costs involved in maintaining the aircraft and flying it to the region as a transport category airline.

HARS president Bob De La Hunty said with cooperation from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority a team of engineers from HARS had undergone a process of inspection with an alternative means of compliance.

"Our expectation and target is going to be November," Mr De La Hunty said.

Travolta, a qualified pilot and Qantas ambassador, won't be flying the plane but he will be a part of the crew.

John Travolta officially hands over his Boeing 707 to HARS members Peter Elliott (left), John Dennis and Frank Bowden at Brunswick's Golden Isles Airport in Georgia USA on Sunday. Picture: Andy Zakeli / www.lenswork.com.au

John Travolta officially hands over his Boeing 707 to HARS members Peter Elliott (left), John Dennis and Frank Bowden at Brunswick's Golden Isles Airport in Georgia USA on Sunday. Picture: Andy Zakeli / www.lenswork.com.au

"He has taken time out of his movie commitments for the whole of November to have some flexibility with dates," Mr De La Hunty said.

Mr De La Hunty said HARS had decided to fly the plane here under a private category which means it will not cost as much.

"We were originally going to try and keep the plane in transport category which is like an airliner.

"The cost [under a private category] will be considerably less. We don't need to do lots of things that are going to cost millions of dollars," he said.

"It is still an expensive operation. We have been gratified by people visiting HARS who have given us $50 here and $100 there.

"Some people have given us $1000. We don't need the millions we did to begin with but we certainly need a few hundred thousand".

Mr De La Hunty said if HARS chooses to continue to fly the prized aircraft they can then do the more expensive work once it is based at Albion Park.

HARS president Bob De La Hunty first spoke with actor John Travolta about his Boeing 707 on a flight in 2009. Picture: Adam McLean

HARS president Bob De La Hunty first spoke with actor John Travolta about his Boeing 707 on a flight in 2009. Picture: Adam McLean

He donations were still welcome from anyone who would like to contribute.

"Our team will be flying it as an Australian registered aircraft. We have experienced 707 pilots here who flew them and flew this particular one as well in Qantas service. And engineers as well," he said.

The team that will fly the Travolta 707 to Illawarra Regional Airport include Don Hindle, Dick Elliott, Reg Darwell and Warren Goodhew.

Mr De La Hunty said a big day will be planned for its arrival in November with the help of Shellharbour City Council.

He said things had come a long way since his original discussion with Travolta.

"I took him for a flight on Connie up the coast from Sydney and he told me he was not going to be wanting his 707 any longer and was going to give us the right of first refusal," he said.

"We have stayed in contact with him and he is very keen to see us save and preserve the aircraft. He is very supportive and looking forward to coming".

Anyone who would like to contribute to the cost of transporting the Boeing 707 to the Illawarra can contact HARS.

Subscribe to our newsletter