Really great to see another special livery in Central Queensland, and on Sunday 17 November
, local plane spotter Michael F was on hand at Gladstone Airport to capture some great photos of Alliance Airlines Fokker F-70 jet VH-QQW paying a visit wearing a special livery commemorate the 100th anniversary of the first flight to Australia from England.
VH-QQW made its first visit to CQ on Friday 15 November
, also operating into Gladstone Airport.
On Sunday, it made two visits, completing the VOZ2909/2908/2911/2910 flights from and back to Brisbane on behalf of Virgin Australia Airlines.
VH-QQW was ferried back to Australia in late September into Perth following a period of maintenance in Europe including re-painting into this livery designed by the world acclaimed Netherlands design house Lila Design. After operating in the Western Australian capital until early November, VH-QQW was then one of the star attractions at the RAAF Base Edinburgh Air Show. VH-QQW was then ferried to Brisbane where it appears to have now commenced operations.
As mentioned, VH-QQW has been painted into a livery to commemorate a significant Australian aviation event in the form of the 100th anniversary of the arrival of the first aerial flight from England on 10th December 1919.
At 3:40pm on December 10 1919, Ross Smith landed the "Vimy" at Port Darwin’s Fannie Bay airfield - exactly 27 days and 20 hours after departing Hounslow airfield in London. The Great Air Race had been won, as had the 10,000-pound Australian Government prize. The crowd at Fannie Bay was overcome with excitement!
Hudson Fysh and Paul McGinness, representing the Australian defence department, were the first to officially welcome the four airmen. On 16 November 1920 Fysh and McGinness with grazier Fergus McMaster founded Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services Ltd (QANTAS). No doubt inspired by the heroic achievements of the Vimy crew, the previous year.
The crew of the aircraft - Captain Ross MacPherson-Smith, Lieutenant Keith Macpherson, Sergeant Walter Henry Shiers and Sergeant James Mallett - are commemorated on the Ross Smith Memorial at Fannie Bay in Darwin.
Finally, it's worth noting that Alliance Airlines continues to operate fellow Fokker F-70 jet VH-NUU in its distinctive Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) 'Pink Lady' colour scheme, as well as Fokker F-100 VH-FGB in its attractive livery celebrating the 90th anniversary of the first trans-Pacific crossing completed in 1928 by four aviators including Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith in his Fokker F.VIIb/3m Trimotor named "Southern Cross".
Alliance is Australasia’s leading provider of contract, charter and allied aviation services currently employing in excess of 590 full time staff. The business currently operates a fleet of 23 Fokker F-100, 10 Fokker F-70LR jet aircraft and five Fokker F-50 turboprops with additional fleet units scheduled to enter service during the remainder of 2019. Alliance has world leading operational performance, a key attribute sought by its customers. The Company has operational bases in Brisbane, Townsville, Cairns, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Darwin and Rockhampton.
Sincere thanks to local plane spotter Michael F for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos of a great looking visitor to CQ!
Photos taken by Michael Fleetwood ©