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Retro Roo to be on display at Avalon Airshow

written by | February 23, 2015

Lining up at Melbourne for the return service to Brisbane. (Victor Pody)

Fans of Qantas’s retro jet will be able to get an up close and personal look at the distinctive Boeing 737-800 at the Avalon Airshow.

The airline has confirmed to Australian Aviation it is sending the aircraft, which features the airline’s iconic ochre livery of the 1970s and early 198os and referred to as the Retro Roo, to the Airshow.


The Boeing narrowbody, registration VH-XZP and named after former chief executive James Strong, is due to land at Avalon Airport at about 0810 local time on Tuesday.

It will on static display for the duration of the event, which runs until Sunday. The aircraft was the 75th and last 737-800 Qantas had on order.

While patrons will not be able to walk through the cabin, they will be able to take photos alongside the aircraft.

Qantas took delivery of the 737 in November 2014 and the appeal of the retro livery was evident at official reception at the airline’s Mascot base, with many long-serving staff who were working at the airline during the 1970s and 1980s in tears when VH-XZP rolled into the hangar.


Meanwhile, in keeping with the Avalon 2015’s theme of “Heroes of the Sky”, the exhibit at the Qantas Founders Museum in Longreach which honours the airline’s founders Paul McGinness and Hudson Fysh is being sent to Avalon where it will be put on display.

A replica of a Bristol F2B/Bristol Fighter aircraft that World War One veterans McGinness and Fysh flew when they served in the Australian Flying Corps will also be on display at the Airshow.

Qantas founders Hudson Fysh (left) and Paul McGinness (right). (Qantas)
Qantas founders Hudson Fysh (left) and Paul McGinness (right). (Qantas)

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  • Blake


    The Air Show is always military heavy so it’s great to see some commercial aircraft there.

  • David


    There should be a Jetstar 787-8 there too

  • Richard


    Pity QF B747-400 VH-OJA could not be on display. A fitting farewell to the record holder.

  • franz chong


    This is a good thing.Never flew on a Qantas plane in that scheme but the rest of my family did over the years.I am only familiar with the colors from 1984 to the present day.

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