This week Qantas will perform a series of 747 joy flights ahead of the departure of its last jumbo to the California desert after 49 years of faithful service.
There will be no cheers just tears.
Below we publish some never before seen pictures of the airline’s fleet of 747s that has numbered 77 over the past 49 years.
She has carried millions of Aussies to the world.
Here is the airline’s first 747-200B over Boeing’s factory at Everett, Washington State.
And here is the first Qantas 747 posing with one of the airline’s 707s, along with the Boeing 737 demonstrator in Australia for a sales tour. Boeing would sell over 200 737s in Australia to Ansett, Australian Airlines, Qantas, and Virgin Australia as well as the Air Force.
Qantas’s 747-200Bs initially featured the Captain Cook Lounge for First Class passengers on the upper deck.
Qantas’s first 747 did a tour of Australia in 1971 and this is the scene at Perth Airport where tens of thousands turn out to see the Qantas 747 jumbo.
On the ground, an adoring public was able to get up close and personal with the giant Qantas 747.
Qantas opted for the 747SP to perform two missions – get into New Zealand’s Wellington Airport with its short runway and cross the Pacific nonstop.
Boeing’s Everett factory north of Seattle in the late 80s when Qantas took delivery of its first 747-400 that could fly nonstop across the Pacific and from Singapore to London nonstop. Note the Qantas 747-400 at the bottom right.
Qantas’s 100th Boeing aircraft a 747-400.
Qantas painted two 747s with magnificent aboriginal inspired designs. Wunala Dreaming was inspired by the natural colours of Australia, from the bright reds of Central Australia, to the purple-blues of desert mountain ranges, and the lush greens of Kakadu.
Nalanji Dreaming, below, is a celebration of the balance and harmony of nature in Australia. The artwork Nalanji Dreaming reflects the lush colour palette of tropical Australia. The themes of the coast and reef were designed to complement the Red Centre and Northern Territory and motifs of Wunala Dreaming, launched the previous year.
Aviation royalty at the handover of Qantas’s first 747-400ER. L:R Boeing Commercial Airplanes then-president Alan Mullaly, Qantas Ambassador-at-Large John Travolta, and the airplane’s chief design, the late Joe Sutter.