As Qantas officially retires the last of their Boeing 747 aircraft from the airline’s fleet, the Queen of the Skies has officially touched down in Los Angeles, ahead of its final resting place in the Mojave Desert.
Flight QF747 went out with a bang – or a hop – as the jumbo jet made its way off Australia’s east coast, and across the Pacific Ocean on Wednesday.
Qantas' 747 touches down in LAX for the last time before being retired to the Mojave Desert. https://t.co/XY8CCP0rwP pic.twitter.com/hGXYf4sy0d
After 50 years of service, the Boeing 747 aircraft will no longer service the Australian airline, which have now sent their final jumbo jet to California – where several others now sit in the Mojave Desert’s aircraft graveyard.
Flight QF7474, a Boeing 747-400, started its final flight out of Sydney at 2pm local time, flying over the Harbour Bridge and the city’s CBD, before dipping down along the northern and eastern suburb beaches as well as the HARS Museum in Albion Park.
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Qantas’ last 747 will now be parked at the Mojave Desert. Picture: Mike Fiala/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images
RELATED: Qantas retires last of their Boeing 747 from fleet
The retirement of the final 747 aircraft has come six months early for Qantas due to the impact of the pandemic on air travel. The jumbo jet will be replaced by a “more fuel efficient” aircraft when overseas travel recommences for Australians, which Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce predicts will be midway through 2021.
“Time has overtaken the 747 and we now have a much more fuel efficient aircraft with even better range in our fleet, such as the 787 Dreamliner that we use on Perth-London and hopefully before too long, the Airbus A350 for our Project Sunrise flights non-stop to New York and London,” he said.
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The last Qantas 747 plane took off from Sydney on Wednesday. Picture: Christian GillesSource:News Corp Australia
The now out-of-service aircraft will be stored at the Mojave Desert, which is used as a storage facility because the dry desert climate prevents any form of corrosion.
Large Boeing, Airbus, McDonnell-Douglas, and Lockheed aircraft owned by major airlines are stored at times at Mojave. While some are parked and stripped for parts, others are refurbished and returned to active service.
While some aircraft that find themselves in the Mojave Desert are stripped for parts, others are refurbished to be put back into service. Picture: Mike Fiala/Getty Images.Source:Getty Images
Qantas operated a total of 65 747 aircraft including the 747-100, 747-200, 747-SP, 747-300, 747-400 and the 747-400ER and each had specific capabilities such as increased thrust engines and increased takeoff weight to allow longer range operations.
In 1979, Qantas became the first airline to operate an all Boeing 747 fleet.
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