QANTAS Airlines has flown the legendary Boeing 747 for the last time. After departing from Sydney en route to Lon Angeles, this aircraft flew a kangaroo pattern over the ocean to honor the Queen of the Skies. Monday, I wrote on the retirement of the 747 from British Airways, you can read that story here.
The last QANTAS 747 revenue flight departed Sydney, Australia to Los Angeles as an air freight flight. After departure, the aircraft flew south to the HARS Museum where it flew a low altitude pass while dipping her wings. From the HARS museum, the aircraft made a left turn heading east of the ocean. After a short leg, she started flying a kangaroo shape pattern over the Australian coast before continuing on to Los Angeles.
Flying The Kangaroo Pattern
Here are the flight profiles from Flightradar 24 showing how the flight crew flew the kangaroo pattern over the coast:
Statements From QANTAS
“This aircraft was well ahead of its time and extremely capable,” said Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce in a statement. “Engineers and cabin crew loved working on them and pilots loved flying them. So did passengers. They have carved out a very special place in aviation history and I know they’ll be greatly missed by a lot of people, including me.”
Joyce said it is hard to overstate the impact the 747 had for a country like Australia. The aircraft’s size helped lower airfares for a nation that is far away as Australia.
The final flight was commanded by QANTAS’s first female captain, Sharelle Quinn who said “I have flown this aircraft for 36 years and it has been an absolute privilege”.
Here is a video of QANTAS 747 VH-OEJ on a previous takeoff from Los Angeles International Airport:
The aircraft was purchased by General Electric because of the value of the engines. After unloading freight at LAX, this aircraft like other QANTAS 747s will fly to a location in the Mojave Desert in California for permanent parking.
This has truly been a sad week for avgeeks and passengers that loved flying aboard the Queen of the Skies. The “Queen” is a fitting title for the magnificent aircraft that has been in airline service for five decades. The 747s and Airbus A380s will be replaced by more efficient super twin aircraft due to economics. Retirement was inevitable, the pandemic speeded up the process.