Residents around Sydney and the NSW south coast will be able to make a final farewell to the Queen of the Skies, as the Boeing 747 completes its last flight before retiring from the Qantas fleet.
After 50 years of service, the Boeing 747 aircraft will no longer service the Australian airline, which will be sending the iconic aircraft to California – where several others now sit – to be parked and stripped for parts in the aircraft graveyard in the Mojave Desert.
Flight QF7474, a Boeing 747-400, will take a final flight out of Sydney at 2 pm local time flying over the Harbour Bridge, the city’s CBD, northern and eastern suburb beaches as well as the HARS Museum in Albion Park.
Greg Fitzgerald, who will be the co-pilot for today’s final flight, said today will mark the end of a significant chapter in Australia’s aviation history.
“Everybody in Australia, everybody in the world knows the shape of the 747,” he told ABC Breakfast.
“It’s like Aeroplane Jelly and Vegemite – it’s always been there. We don’t know life without the 747.”
Qantas received its first 747 jumbo jet in August 1971, makes international travel for Australians possible for millions because of their size, range and reliability.
The aircraft, in addition to being a passenger plane, has been used in the past for numerous rescue missions – including flying 674 passengers out of Darwin in the aftermath of Cyclone Tracy and, more recently, hundreds of stranded Australians home from the COVID-19 epicentre of Wuhan in February this year. (news.com.au)