Boeing 747-400 (VH-OJA) Qantas ready for "retirement" flight
Qantas he will write another tab in the aviation history book. On March 8, the withdrawal flight of the first is scheduled Boeing 747-400 (VH-OJA) from the history of the Australian air operator, on route Sydney - Illawarra. But this is not all! This flight will be the shortest and most difficult flight ever operated by a Boeing 747-400.
Boeing 747-400 (VH-OJA) is 25.7 years old. It operated its first test flight in July 1989. It arrived in the Qantas fleet on August 11, 1989. The 747-400 aircraft named "City of Canberra" is powered by 4 Rolls-Royce RB.211 engines. This aircraft entered the record book right from the delivery flight, operating non-stop London - Sydney in 20 hours, 9 minutes and 5 seconds.
Read: The longest commercial flights (classification by time)
In over 25 years of activity, Boeing 747-400 (VH-OJA) performed 13833 flights and carried 4094568 passengers. It flew 85 million kilometers, which is equivalent to 110.2 round trips to the moon. The first commercial passenger flight was operated on the Sydney - Auckland route on September 7, 1989. The last commercial passenger flight was operated on the Johannesburg - Sydney route on January 14, 2015.
On March 8, 2015, the Boeing 747-400 (VH-OJA) will take off for the last time and we hope to land safely, also for the last time, at his new "home" - Historical Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS).
Flight QF7474 will remain in aviation history as one of the shortest flights operated by a jumbo jet. For Australians, Qantas employees, and aviation fans alike, this flight will remain in memory and soul as the last operated Qantas-powered Boeing 747-400 (VH-OJA).
But for the pilots Greg matthews (Commander / Manager training & checking B747 - 15 flight hours), Peter Hagley (Technical pilot B747 - 9892 flight hours), Michael East (10 380 flight hours) and Ossie Miller (commander - 17 flight hours) this flight will remain in the memory as the most difficult. Under the command of the two commanders and the two pilots, the aircraft must land safely on runway 479/2 at Illawarra Regional Airport. The difficulty of landing comes from the fact that the runway is 16 meters long and 24 meters wide and is not equipped with ILS (Instrument Landing System).
The four pilots together have over 53 000 flight hours, experience and complex training, but they have also done 25 special training hours in the simulator for this flight. They have developed a complex plan for everything to be carried out in optimal parameters. Even Boeing has been involved in providing pressure guidance on the 16 wheels. For the impact on the runway to be as small as possible, Boeing recommended 120psi pressure on the landing gear wheels, with normal pressure being 208psi.
The aircraft will only take off 201 tons (usually has 397,2 tons) and will only carry 20 000 of fuel Kg = 25 400 liters (typically take off with 171 000 kg = 217 000 liters). It will take off at 07: 30 and fly to the ceiling 4000ft = 1219.2m. If everything goes according to plan, the flight should take about 15 minutes and the landing is scheduled for 07: 47. The approach speed was set at 244 km / h = 132 kts IAS.
The aircraft will be exhibited at the Museum of Historical Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS) and will be visited by fans and those interested in the fate of this aircraft. 3 of the existing 4 engines on the aircraft will return to Sydney to be used as spare parts for the still operational 747-400 aircraft fleet. They have few hours of flight and can still be used, and their value amounts to several million dollars. Instead, the Boeing 747-400 (VH-OJA) will receive old and outdated 3 engines in order to be fully admired and visited.
This will be the second jumbo jet preserved and exhibited in a museum. The first was a Boeing 747-200, which is now on display in Longreach, Queensland.
That being said, we are excitedly awaiting the completion of this flight and will return with information. Qantas has promised to mount GoPro cameras in the cockpit to film the Sydney take-off and the Illawarra landing, and then distribute the video on YouTube.
(Source info: aussieflyer.net / ausbt.com.au; Photo cover: planespotters.net)