Qantas’s 737 retrojet has broken cover.
737-800 VH-XZP is due to be formally unveiled in Seattle this Sunday ahead of its arrival into Sydney on Wednesday, but the aircraft has been spotted flight testing ahead of its formal handover, wearing the airline’s iconic ochre colour scheme first introduced in 1967.
Knowing that it couldn’t keep the aircraft’s retro design secret, Qantas has released an image of the aircraft ahead of its formal reveal.
“Our kangaroo logo represents our proud history, inextricably linked with the development of commercial aviation in Australia. It has also become a symbol of ‘home’ to Australians travelling both here and abroad,” Qantas group executive for brand, marketing and corporate affairs, Olivia Wirth said when announcing the retrojet plans last month.
“A retro livery is the perfect tribute to our iconic flying kangaroo logo and its 70th anniversary.”
More photos have been posted by Flickr user Richard here, which show that the aircraft has been named James Strong. Strong, who died in March last year, was CEO of TAA/Australian Airlines between 1986 and 1989, and then CEO of Qantas from 1993 until 2001.
VH-XZP, msn 44577, will be Qantas’s 75th 737-800, and is the last 737 the airline currently has on order. The aircraft made its first flight on November 3.