Here's a couple of "NEW" Australian classics that've recently been worked up over at HJG .... and which will be available from there very soon.
Presented below .... and with a little of history about each too ....QANTAS AIRWAYS B707-338C VH-EAG "Alice Springs" - LAST FLIGHT (1979)
Between 1959 and 1970 Australia's national airline .... QANTAS AIRWAYS (Queensland And Northern Territories Air Service) operated a total of 36X B707 aircraft.
13X of of these were examples of the rare/short fuselage B707-138 aircraft .... the first batch of these being 6X aircraft (VH-EBA - EBG) that were delivered to the airline between June and October of 1959, each which we built to the original B707-120 specification .... featuring the short tail-fin, original wing configuration, and powered by P&W JT3C-6 turbojet engines.INITIAL QANTAS B707-136/B FLEET (delivered as -138 aircraft during 1959 .... converted to -138B specifications between 1960 and 1961
VH-EBA City of Melbourne
VH-EBB City of Sydney
VH-EBC City of Canberra
VH-EBD City of Brisbane
VH-EBE City of Perth
VH-EBF City of Adelaide
VH-EBG City of Hobart
Whilst both the airline and the Australian traveling public were "impressed" by the performance of these aircraft which shortened traveling times on QANTAS's international routes by 50% .... the public were less impressed by the noise and exhaust smoke exhibited by their early water/methanol injected P&W JT3C-6 turbojet engines, and which prompted a 1959 commentator to joke that these aircraft must be "steam powered" aerial locomotives
A further 6X examples of these aircraft were delivered to QANTAS AIRWAYS between 1961 and 1964 (VH-EBH - EBM), each of which were built to the later/modified B707-120B specification .... featuring the lengthened/standard tail-fin with powered rudder, elevator, and aileron controls, B720 type inboard LE wing gloves, and powered by cleaner, quieter, and more fuel efficient (for the time) and powerful P&W JT3D-1 fan-jet engines engines. ADDITIONAL QANTAS B707-138B FLEET (delivered as -138B aircraft between 1961 and 1964
VH-EBH City of Darwin
VH-EBK City of Newcastle
VH-EBL City of Geelong
VH-EBM City of Launceston
QANTAS's original 7X B707-138's were each upgraded to -138B/-120B specification between 1960 and 1961 .... and which forced the airline to lease-in DH 106 COMET 4 aircraft from BOAC (G-APDC, -APDH, -APDL, -APDM, -APDP, -APDR, and G-APDT each being operated by QANTAS as individual leases during this period) in order to maintain uninterrupted schedules over its international routes whilst its B707's were being upgraded. Each of the leased COMET 4's supported a hybrid livery featuring "QANTAS" fuselage titles as well as the airlines "Winged Kangaroo" tail logo .... both being applied over the standard BOAC fuselage and tail livery of the period.
QANTAS AIRWAYS might never have become a B707 operator had history played out differently. As the worlds leading airlines began transitioning into jet equipment during the late 1950's .... QANTAS had already similarly realized it would need to follow suite in order to remain competitive and meet its future global expansion plans. It initially considered the DH 106 COMET 4 .... but which was later deemed too small and range impaired to suit the airlines requirements (particularly in regard to its services spanning both the Pacific and Indian Oceans). Therefore the airline initially favored the DC-8 (more-so given DOUGLAS's reputation as a civil aircraft producer .... since BOEING at this time was still attempting to build its reputation .... and since LOCKHEED didn't at this time offer an alternative civil jet aircraft although QANTAS had been well satisfied with it's CONSTELLATION's and was already an L-188 turboprop operator). However .... upon the airlines approach to it, DOUGLAS was reluctant to compromise its established early DC-8 specifications in order to meet QANTAS's requirements (the truth was that DOUGLAS simply couldn't afford to do so .... through not only having to build a completely new production facility at Long Beach, California, USA, for the DC-8, but also, having to additionally fund DC-8 development "itself" after having lost the USAF tanker competition/contract to BOEING. By comparison BOEING, seeking to secure a foothold within the global civil aviation market, and for its B707 also, was only too keen to reconfigure its basic B707-120 configuration to meet the airlines range requirements (BOEING, aided by US government subsidies through it having won the KC-135 tanker competition/contract could more easily afford to) .... and which resulted in the "B707-138" .... essentially a B707-120 shortened by 10FT and sacrificing payload for range (and which later provided the BOEINGS's foundation for the B720 too), but, also being certified for the same MGW as the B707-120. Upon acquiring the B707 .... QANTAS never looked back .... the type remaining the mainstay of the airlines fleet until the arrival of its first B747-200B's from 1971.
The B707-138B served QANTAS until 1969. At least 3 of these rare aircraft (only 13X such airframes were ever produced by BOEING .... each being delivered to QANTAS AIRWAYS) remain in existence today .... 1X aircraft having been resurrected from storage at Southend, in the UK (sponsored by QANTAS AIRWAYS .... given this aircraft was considered "historic" having been "the airlines very first" B707 as well as "the very first" B707 exported by BOEING) was overhauled by a team of volunteer and ex-QANTAS engineers between 2004 and 2006 and then flown back to Australia, where it remains on exhibition today at the QANTAS FOUNDERS MUSEUM at Longreach, Queensland, Australia; 1X aircraft which remains under the ownership of celebrity John TRAVOLTA (N707JT "Jett Clipper Ella") as a private/VIP transport, and 1X aircraft that was owned and operated by the Democratic Government Of The Congo (9Q-CLK) until fairly recently and with whom it's served as a VIP transport.
Then from 1965 QANTAS took delivery the larger and longer ranging B707-320C .... and which replaced its B707-138B fleet before the end of 1969.QANTAS B707-320C FLEET (delivered between 1965 and 1969
VH-EBN City of Parramatta
VH-EBO City of Townsville
VH-EBP Alice Springs
VH-EBQ City of Ballarat
VH-EBR City of Wollongong
VH-EBT City of Bendigo
VH-EBU City of Broken Hill / City of Wollongong / City of Parramatta
VH-EBV City of Tamworth
VH-EBW City of Armidale
VH-EBX Port Moresby / City of Port Moresby / City of Parramatta
VH-EAA City of Toowoomba
VH-EAB City of Canberra / Winton
VH-EAC City of Sydney / Longreach
VH-EAD City of Melbourne / City of Newcastle / City of Ballarat
VH-EAE City of Brisbane / Swan Hill
VH-EAF City of Adelaide / City of Townsville / City of Armidale
VH-EAG City of Hobart / Alice Springs
VH-EAH City of Perth / City of Launceston
VH-EAI City of Darwin / Kalgoorlie
VH-EAJ City of Geelong / City of Broken Hill QANTAS B707-320C FLEET (leased aircraft operated between 1970 and 1971
VH-EBZ City of Swan Hill
A total of 23X B707-320C aircraft were operated by QANTAS AIRWAYS though 2X of these aircraft were short term leases only .... VH-EBZ which was leased from AER LINGUS (EI-ASO "St.Canice") from 1970 until 1971 .... and N7099 which was leased from BRANIFF INTERNATIONAL AIRWAYS (where it supported this airlines "DK.Blue" Jelly Bean themed livery of the late 1960's) during 1971.
The last of the airlines B707-320C's remained in service until March 1979 .... when VH-EAG ("Alice Springs") operated "the last ever scheduled" QANTAS B707 service, as QF 50 from SYD to AKL and return, on March 25th 1979 (my civil aviation photography career which I still continue to undertake today .... some 41 years later .... commenced at AKL on this very same day and for the sole purpose of recording this final flight). For this last ever scheduled QANTAS B707 service VH-EAG supported a fuselage legend reading .... "LAST FLIGHT MARCH 1979 OVER 300 MILLION MILES BY QANTAS 707 FLEET".
Upon its departure from AKL the aircraft performed a low-level high speed pass over the airport prior to proceeding on to SYD. VH-EAG was then sold to the RAAF (A20-627 "Windsor Town") and with whom it operated as both a tanker and VIP transport until its withdrawal from service on February 21st 2001
At the time of its withdrawal from QANTAS service B707-338C, VH-EAG, had accumulated 38,013 hours total flying time with 14,498 cycles. At this stage of it's operational history QANTAS AIRWAYS also then became "the only major airline in the world" operating a fleet composed of solely B747-200B aircraft.QANTAS B707-320C VH-EAG OPERATIONAL HISTORY
B707-338C, VH-EAG , C/N # 19627, L/N # 707 was rolled out at BOEING, Seattle, on April 2nd 1968. It first flew on April 30th 1968 and was handed over to QANTAS AIRWAYS .... named "City of Hobart" .... on May 11th 1968. It was entered onto the Australian civil air register .... as "VH-EAG" .... on May 16th 1968 .... and operated its delivery flight to Australia that same day as QF 051, operating from SEA to SYD (via HNL) under the command of captains C.FOX and L.CLARK (assisted by F/O M.BLACKLEY; Navigators R.CHILVERS and W.SHORT; F/E E.FARGAS; and C/A R.CURLEY), where it arrived on May 18th 1968. On June 11th 1968 this aircraft became the "very first" B707 to land at MEL's then new Tullamarine International Airport .... from where it also then operated publicity and courtesy flights under the command of captain D.HARDEN, and prior to operating its "first commercial service" for QANTAS AIRWAYS from SYD, to BNE, AKL, and SYD on June 23rd 1968. On May 30th 1973 this aircraft participated in a formation flight with a QANTAS B747-200B .... and on February 22nd 1974 it was renamed "Alice Springs". Between December 27th and 29th 1974 this aircraft operated 2 emergency airlift services in aid of the city of Darwin (the first flight accommodated some 271 evacuees plus crew .... whilst 226 evacuees and crew were accommodated aboard the second service) following the devastating impact of "Cyclone Tracy" on December 24th/25th 1979. VH-EAG then operated "the last" QANTAS B707 service through BNE on February 2nd 1979 .... as QF 95/96 operating from SYD to BNE, POM, BNE, and back to SYD. On February 13th 1979 it operated an ADL to ADL scenic tourist flight over the Antarctic continent .... and on March 24th 1979 it operated "the last" QANTAS B707 service to CHC from SYD and return. On March 25th 1979 VH-EAG operated "the last ever" scheduled QANTAS B707 service ..... operating from SYD, to AKL, and back to SYD, as QF 50 under the command of captains P.OAKLEY and G.MALLOY. Upon its return to SYD this aircraft then operated a 1 hour enthusiasts flight under the command of captain J.BLAIR .... as a parting our tribute in honor of QANTAS's 20 years of association with the B707. Then on March 26th 1979 this aircraft was "unexpectedly pressed back into service" with QANTAS .... as QF 16 and QF 16P .... in order to airlift 104 PAX (stranded as the result of an ATC strike) from SYD to MEL, and then 4 PAX from MEL to SYD .... and which ultimately became "the very last ever" QANTAS B707 services both which were operated under the command of captain A.WIKESS. VH-EAG was then sold to the RAAF on April 7th 1979 .... initially entering RAAF service in basic QANTAS livery (orange-ocher fuselage stripe and red tail with fuselage/wing roundels, but, devoid of "ROYAL AUSTRALIAN AIR FORCE" titles) as A20-627 and named "Windsor Town".
A20-627 was modified to tanker/transport configuration later during 1979. In service with 37 SQDN RAAF it was primarily used for military personnel and equipment deployments/redeployments within Australia and overseas plus VIP travel for Australian federal government Ministers and Ministerial Staff along with their supporting press contingents. Between October 6th and 9th 1982 it became the official transport for HRH Queen Elizabeth 2 .... operating from LON to BNE for the official closing of the 12th British Commonwealth Games .... and then operating an official service from BNE to CBR also carrying the queen .... both royal services being operated under the "REGAL ONE" call-sign. A20-627 was withdrawn from RAAF service on February 21st 2001 and used for spares recovery. The aircraft was dismantled at RAAF Richmond .... for a time its preserved forward fuselage section was exhibited at the RAAF Museum at at Point Cook, Victoria, Australia, whilst its tail and rudder section currently displayed at the QANTAS FOUNDERS MUSEUM at Longreach, Australia. The aircrafts remaining center section was retained by the AUSTRALIAN MINISTRY OF DEFENSE, at Holdsworthy Barracks, NSW, Australia, where it is used for military counter-terrorism training. On June 16th 2015 it was announced the aircrafts forward fuselage section would be transferred to the HISTORIC AIRCRAFT RESTORATION SOCIETY (HARS), at NSW, Australia, and where it will reportedly support dual QANTAS and RAAF period liveries on either side. ANSETT AIRLINES B727-277 ADV LR VH-ANA - LAST FLIGHT (1997)
Most of the worlds major airlines began transitioning to US-built civil jet aircraft during the late 1950's .... particularly in regard to their long-range trans-oceanic and trans-continental operations (both the B707 and DC-8 being the most popular equipment choices for these types of services) .... but .... from the early 1960's the US-civil aircraft producers were also developing jet equipment for short/medium haul type domestic operations in the form of both the B727 and DC-9 .... developed by BOEING and McDONNELL-DOUGLAS respectively.
Australia's QANTAS AIRWAYS acquired long-range B707-138 jets during 1959 .... followed by the superior performance and even longer-ranging B707-320C from 1965.
Then From 1964 jet equipment also became the backbone of the fleets of Australia's 2 domestic airlines .... ANSETT ANA and TRANS AUSTRALIA AIRLINES .... both of which acquired B727-100's.
Along with DC-9-30's, F-27's, and F-28's, ANSETT AIRLINES operated a total of 22X B727's between 1964 and 1997 ....INITIAL ANSETT B727-100 FLEET (delivered between 1964 and 1965
VH-RMFANSETT B727-100C FLEET (delivered between 1969 and 1970
From 1972 ANSETT began to acquire B727-200 ADV's .... and which ultimately replaced its original B727-100 fleet members.INITIAL ANSETT B727-200 ADV FLEET (delivered between 1972 and 1980
VH-RMK (occasionally operated by POLYNESIAN AIRLINES and COOK ISLANDS INTERNATIONAL in ANSETT livery)
VH-RMN (jointly operated by both POLYNESIAN AIRLINES as "Fuatino" and COOK ISLANDS INTERNATIONAL as "Tumutevarovaro" from 1987 until 1992)
VH-RMO "Spirit of North Queensland"
VH-RMX (converted to pure freighter configuration during 1983)
An additional 4 B727-200 ADV LR aircraft were also acquired by the airline during 1981 ....ADDITIONAL ANSETT B727-200 ADV LR FLEET (delivered during 1981
The B727 remained ANSETT's work horse well into the 1990's .... and by which time the airline had also acquired A320-200, B737-200, B737-300, B767-200ER aircraft during the 1980's .... followed by B747-300, B747-400, and B767-300 aircraft during 1990's as the result of further redevelopment and its fatal expansion into international markets but which also ultimately contributed to its demise (almost at the cost of its by then parent company AIR NEW ZEALAND too) during 2002.
ANSETT AIRLINES operated its "last ever" B727 service on April 20th 1997. This final service was operated by VH-ANA .... between ADL and MEL and under the command of captain L.GRIFFITHS. For this last ever scheduled ANSETT B727 service VH-ANA supported a fuselage legend reading .... "ANSETT AUSTRALIA FAREWELL THE BOEING 727 SERIES OF JETS 33 YEARS OF SERVICE 1964-1997"
and below which each of the airlines 5 logos used throughout its B727 era were also featured).
VH-ANA was sold to FIRST SECURITY BANK June 3rd 1997 .... then leased CONTINENTAL MICRONESIA from December 19th 1997. After a period of overseas operation this aircraft then returned to the Australian civil air register .... as VH-VLI .... when it entered service with AUSTRALIAN AIR EXPRESS on November 29th 2002, then NATIONAL JET EXPRESS from November 26th 2003. It was then sold to CSDS AIRCRAFT SALE & LEASING on March 28 2009 .... then onsold to AIRMARK ASIA on August 15th 2009 .... and then leased to NEPTUNE AIR as 9M-NEP from October 6th 2009.ANSETT AUSTRALIA B727-277 ADV VH-ANA OPERATIONAL HISTORY
B727-277 ADV, VH-ANA , C/N # 22641, L/N # 1753 became the first of 4 B727-200 ADV LR aircraft operated by ANSETT AIRLINES. This aircraft first flew from BOEING, Seattle, USA, on May 29th 1981 .... supporting the BOEING test registration N827BV. It was entered onto the Australian civil air register as "VH-ANA" on June 2nd 1981 .... registered to ANSETT TRANSPORT INDUSTRIES/ANSETT AIRLINES OF AUSTRALIA. VH-ANA operated its delivery flight from SEA to MEL (via SFO, ITO/Hawaii, PPG/American Samoa, NAN/Fiji) on June 11th 1981 under the command of captains W.HANRAHAN and J.WELSH (assisted by F/E J.GILLET) .... arriving at MEL on June 14th 1981. It operated its "first" revenue service with ANSETT on June 20th 1981 .... as AN 50 from MEL to BNE. On June 29th 1981 this aircraft operated ANSETT's first scheduled SYD/PER service. This aircraft then operated "the last commercial service" into Eagle Farm Airport at BNE on March 19th 1988 .... and then operated "the very first commercial service" from the then new Brisbane International Airport on March 20th 1988. It was leased to EAST WEST AIRLINES from January 1992 until May 27th 1993. On July 4th 1992 VH-ANA suffered rear fuselage damage when its #2 engine exploded upon departure from BNE ....ATSB INCIDENT REPORT - B727-277 ADV VH-ANA - JULY 4TH 1992https://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/in ... 199202582/
The aircraft was out of service for some 58 days whilst repairs were effected prior to its return to service later during 1992.
It was sold to INTREPID AVIATION PARTNERS on December 13th 1996 .... then leased back to ANSETT. VH-ANA operated ANSETT's "final revenue B727 service" .... operating as AN 110 from ADL to MEL on April 20th 1997 under the command of captain L.GRIFFITHS. The aircraft then operated 4 special farewell flights .... as AN 4727 .... as the airlines tribute to the B727 and its staff whom had supported these aircraft for the airline over the years. It was was then formally retired from ANSETT service and returned to INTREPID AVIATION on April 26th 1997. On May 28th 1997 this aircraft was ferried to the USA .... operating from MEL to MIA (via PPG/American Samoa, ITO/Hawaii, and SAN) under the command of captains L.GRIFFITHS, P.TERRILL, and L.FORSTER .... and was cancelled from the Australiann civil air register and then entered onto the US civil air register as "N6393X" on June 3rd 1997 .... being registered to FIRST SECURITY BANK. This aircraft was then converted (reportedly incorrectly modified though) to a pure freighter configuration .... by PROFESSIONAL MODIFICATION SERVICES .... then leased to CONTINENTAL MICRONESIA from December 19th 1997 .... registered "N627DH". It was returned to DHL on November 10th 1999 then leased to SWIFTAIR from December 1st 1999 as "EC-HIG" .... and whom operated this aircraft on behalf of DHL. This aircraft was returned to DHL on November 2nd 2002 .... then sold to TRANSAUSTRALASIAN AIR EXPRESS PTY LTD and re-registered "VH-VLI" (named "Tania") on November 14th 2002 and was ferried from QLA/UK to MEL (via LCA, DXB, BLR, SIN, and DRW) operating as XME 7024. VH-VLI then entered service with AUSTRALIAN AIR EXPRESS on November 29th 2002 .... operating its first revenue service from MEL to CNS (via BNE and TSV) as XM 7091.
AUSTRALIAN AIR EXPRESS was renamed "TRANS AUSTRALIAN AIR" on March 20th 2003. VH-VLI was then registered to NATIONAL JET EXPRESS (JETEX) on November 26th 2003. This aircraft then operated it last revenue service for JETEX .... operating from PER to MEL as JTE092 on December 31st 2008. It was then withdrawn from service and stored at MEL. Its intended sale to HEAVYLIFT AIR CARGO never eventuated and this aircraft remained in storage at MEL until mid 2009 .... supporting a plain white livery devoid of any titles. It was then registered to CSDS AIRCRAFT SALE & LEASING on March 28th 2009 .... then sold to AIRMARK ASIA and on August 15th 2009 for lease to NEPTUNE AIR. This aircraft was cancelled from the Australian civil air register and re-registered "9M-NEP" .... then ferried from MEL to KUL (PHE and SZB) on August 20th 2009. 9M-NEP (ex VH-ANA) entered service with NEPTUNE AIR on October 6th 2009 and with whom it (reportedly) remains in service today.