These mobile stairs were designed by Qantas for the introduction of the Boeing 707 in 1959. George Roberts OAM was heavily involved in their design as recorded in his biography:
(Byrnes, Paul 2000 Qantas By George! The Watermark Press, Sydney p.171)

"He remains particularly proud of the motorised passenger stairs that he commissioned from Hastings Deering automotive engineers at Lidcombe. With hydraulics, the stairs could be raised or lowered to the doors of different aircraft. Mounting them on a specially designed chassis using Ford components made them fully transportable. They were also demountable to allow shipping on a DC-3 or DC-4, and fully roadworthy. In fact, when the first one was ready, George simply drove it from Lidcombe to Mascot, a big red and white staircase on wheels. All the major Australian airlines soon adopted the design, as did Pan Am, Air New Zealand and Malaysian Airways."
  Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II visited Brisbane for EXPO 88. Qantas staff who later prepared the HD stairs for donation to QAM stated that the stairs had been used by Her Majesty during her 1988 visit.
  On this date, the QAM members comprising the "Sentosa Rescue Mission" were photographed on the newly restored stairs at Brisbane Airport.
  The restored stairs were trucked from Brisbane Airport to Caloundra.

Tribute to George Roberts OAM



Compiled by Ron Cuskelly


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