Wednesday, July 22, 2020

The Final Qantas Airways Boeing B747-400(ER) VH-OEJ Departs Australian Shores for the Final Time!

On Wednesday 22 July, the sixth and final Qantas Airways Boeing B747-400(ER) registered VH-OEJ made a much publicised and highly emotional departure from Australian shores for good marking the end of an almost 50 year association between Qantas and the 4-engine Boeing 'jumbo jet'.

Named 'Wunala', VH-OEJ departed Sydney as QFA7474 from Runway 16Right, looped around to fly over Runway 07 before heading out to Maroubra, north along the coast to Bondi, looping into Sydney Harbour via the Heads and out to Gladesville Bridge before looping around again to exit the Harbour in the opposite direction.

It then headed south to south to overfly the HARS Museum and B747-400 VH-OJA at the Albion Park Regional Airport.

VH-OEJ then headed out over the Pacific Ocean and drew a 'Flying Kangaroo' off the coast before setting course to the USA.

VH-OEJ had also completed a fitting swansong the previous week with 'farewell jumbo joy flights' operating from Sydney, Brisbane and Canberra - as pictured below.

At just over 17 years old, VH-OEJ was delivered to Qantas in August 2003 wearing the distinctive traditional Aboriginal 'Wunala Dreaming' livery.  It was the second Qantas B747-400 to carry the 'Wunala Dreaming' livery after VH-OJB.

Like the other Qantas B747-400ER jumbo jets, VH-OEJ is powered by General Electric (GE) CF6 engines.

In January 2012, VH-OEJ was re-painted into the 'New Roo' Qantas livery and took up the name 'Wunala' with a black kangaroo directly under the name at the front of the aircraft.

VH-OEJ also wore 'Proudly Supporting the Socceroos' titles in 2014/2015.

And '2016 Olympic Games' in 2016.

Central Queensland plane spotters sadly never had the pleasure of photographing VH-OEJ.

It is sad to see the jumbo jet era all but over in Australia.

UPDATE!  On Saturday 25 July, VH-OEJ continued from Los Angeles to Mojave Desert in the United States of America again as QFA7474.

Photos taken by Dominic O' Donnell, Simon Coates, Tony Haynes and Lloyd Fox  ©

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