Qantas will donate its first Boeing 747-400 to Australia’s Historical Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS), which will open it for public display at Illawarra Regional airport, just out of Sydney.
The 1989-built aircraft, registered VH-OJA (MSN 24354), will be officially handed over to HARS on 15 March, following a short delivery flight from Sydney airport.
HARS is home to Australia’s largest collection of flying and static historical aircraft, and is run by 450 volunteers.
Powered by Rolls-Royce RB211 engines, VH-OJA broke a record on delivery it flew non-stop from London to Sydney in 20 hours, 9 minutes and 5 seconds. The record still stands.
Pilots who flew Qantas' first Boeing 747-400
“The record breaking flight of this Boeing aircraft was a technical and symbolic achievement because it showed what was possible with the latest generation of aircraft and that spirit of innovation still drives us today,” says Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce.
“We are excited that by gifting this newly retired aircraft to the HARS museum, we’re helping create a local tourism attraction as well as preserving a bit of our past.”
HARS operates a Lockheed Super Constellation in Qantas colours, and also has other aircraft including a PBY Catalina, Douglas DC-3 and AH-1 Cobra in its collection.
Qantas has previously donated a 747-200 to the Qantas Founders Museum in Longreach, Queensland.