Qantas Fleet News
Date Posted: 14/09/2018
As part of Qantas’ fleet improvements now that the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner’s are now gracing our skies, the time has come for Australia’s iconic airline to retire another one of their Boeing 747-400 aircraft from their fleet.
VH-OJT will have the honours of being the first 747-400 to retire since the arrival of the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner to the Qantas fleet.
“Fraser Island” (VH-OJT) will operate a ferry flight on the 20th September 2018 (Thursday next week) between Sydney and Brisbane, after arriving into Brisbane the aircraft will operate its last few revenue flights. The aircraft will transport passengers from Brisbane to Los Angeles as QF55, and then return back to Brisbane from Los Angeles as QF56. This is the last rotation the aircraft will operate, and it is the second to last flight ever.
The aircraft will arrive back into Brisbane Airport at 0500hrs on the 22nd September 2018, and will later depart that evening at 1750hrs on its last ever flight from Australia. This is the last time it will see Australian soil, as well as being its final revenue flight.
VH-OJT is one of three remaining Boeing 747-400 airframes in the Qantas fleet that are fitted with Rolls Royce RB211-524G engines, the other airframes that have the same engines fitted are VH-OJS and VH-OJU.
The retiring aircraft, VH-OJT operated its first flight back on the 15th October 1999 in Seattle, and was then delivered to Qantas eleven days later flying directly from Seattle, Paine Field (PAE) to Melbourne, Avalon (AVV), with the flight number QF6002. It was then ferried to Sydney on the 5th November 1999 and later that day it operated its first ever revenue service, flying as QF11 transporting passengers from Sydney to Los Angeles.
The aircraft is scheduled to land at Los Angeles International Airport at 1330hrs on the same day, after all the passengers, crew, luggage and cargo is off loaded at Tom Bradley International Airport, the plane will be refuelled for the last time and it will begin its final journey.
The Boeing 747-400 will commence its final flight ever, operating as QF6019 from Los Angeles Airport (LAX) to Mojave Air and Space Port (MHV), the engines will be spooled up one last time taking the aircraft from the ground to the air. Once the aircraft arrives at the Mojave Air and Space Port it will be shutdown forever. Slowly the aircraft will gradually be stripped for spare parts, the engines will be removed and the fuselage will be pulled apart and what remains will be scrapped.
VH-OJT was the 50th Boeing 747 airframe delivered to Qantas Airways and also held the record of being the 115th Boeing aircraft that had been delivered to Qantas Airways.
Throughout its life it has only held the one registration since it rolled off the Boeing production line and it has been part of the Qantas fleet ever since. During its 19 years of service it has only had one cabin re-configuration. This saw the old First Class cabin removed and the new modern Airbus A380 styled seats installed, this also saw a new premium economy section added to the aircraft.
Just like that, it’s all over for VH-OJT “Fraser Island” there’s no doubt many of us have been lucky to travel on board over the last 19 years, and it’s those memories that we will have forever of this beautiful aircraft gracing our skies and taking to some amazing destinations around the world.
Thank you for your service to the Qantas fleet and for those passengers on board its last revenue flight, QF55 Brisbane to Los Angeles, please don’t leave anything behind and make sure you check the seat pocket before you leave so you don’t leave anything behind as it might be hard to get back.
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© Aussie Weekend Traveller (Bradley Hogg) 2018.