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Qantas “retro jet” breaks cover

written by Gerard Frawley | November 10, 2014

After its outing by local Seattle photographers, Qantas has released this image of 737 retrojet VH-XZP. (Qantas)
After its outing by local Seattle photographers, Qantas has released this image of 737 retrojet VH-XZP. (Qantas)

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.

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Comments (9)



    Well I like it, but would might looked better if the WINGED KANGAROO was on the tail certainly that red tail looks impressive in the sky

    I would not be surprised if the whole design was implemented and this is the teaser for some time I have been thinking that the design needs a revamp


    Gordon Soling

  • Stu Bee


    Looks awesome!

  • Michael


    It really highlights the similarity in shape between the 737 and 707. Nice work Qantas, it’s very appropriate.

  • Blair Weaver


    Well done Qantas, and with the Winged Kangaroo on the Fin, it says who you are.
    Sleeker nose on this version too.

  • Lou Dingle


    I have loved all things aviation for 30 years but this is my favourite Australian aeroplane of all time. Well done QANTAS. I cannot wait to fly on VH-XZP your 75th 737. It is so fitting that it is named after former CEO James Strong too. He introduced the first 737-300 and name change from TAA to Australian Airlines. Those 737s went on to become part of the QANTAS fleet. Very apt. Great choice. Congratulations.

  • Ray E


    Hopefully QANTAS continue to role out more aircraft in retro liveries from different eras across various aircraft types.

  • Allan Fisher


    A welcome return of the “Flying Kangaroo” which first appeared in 1948 on L749 Lockheed Constellations & disappeared with the arrival of James Strong & TAA/ Australia Airlines on the scene. His name would be inappropriate 0n this Qantas livery. More relevant names could be C.O.Turner or Ron Yates, long standing QANTAS CEO’s during the expanding & profitable years

    • australianaviation.com.au


      Hi Allan,

      The flying kangaroo was dropped with the livery introduced in 1984, so well before James Strong’s time.

  • Allan Fisher



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