Qantas has taken original wall panels from one of its retired 747-200s stored in the Mojave desert boneyard to recreate the aircraft’s 1970s upstairs lounge.
The custom-made replica will be displayed at the Qantas Founders Museum and showcases the 1970s first-class hangout where 15 first-class passengers could drink a cocktail or smoke a cigar.
The airline said fabrics and bold colours of the decade have been “meticulously recreated” to match the originals.
Accessed via a spiral staircase, the exclusive retreat was eventually phased out in 1979 and replaced with business class seating.
Qantas Founders Museum CEO Tony Martin said, “We are excited to be able to showcase this new exhibit within the Museum which will be able to take aviation and travel enthusiasts on a walk down memory lane for generations to come.”
Qantas donated funds raised from the 747 retirement joy flights in 2020 to help cover installation costs for the installation that will feature in the main exhibition hall.
It will feature alongside the original 1970s uniform by Emilio Pucci and onboard products from the era including menus, silverware and crockery.
The attraction itself, in Longreach, only reopened on 1 July 2020 after shutting earlier in the year due to coronavirus restrictions.
Australian Aviation previously reported how the museum’s new light show exhibition, celebrating Qantas’ centenary, launched shortly afterwards.
The ‘Luminescent Longreach’ display projects a 3D animation across 635 square metres of a Boeing 747. The project’s design was the result of an 11,000-hour creative process. The show tells the history of Qantas using 3D animation, projection mapping and 360-degree immersive sound.
Qantas sold its last 747, VH-OEJ, along with five others to General Electric in 2019 and its last-known location was in the Mojave Desert boneyard.
The airport, technically IATA: MHV, is located within the Mojave Air and Space Port and has been storing aircraft since the 1970s.
The location is preferred by airlines for storage – either temporary or permanent – because the 49-degree temperatures prevent rust and precipitation can be as low as just 130mm a year.
Little has been reported as to exactly what General Electric Co plans to do with the Qantas 747s.
VH-OEJ’s final journey in July 2020 included an emotional take-off to the tune of I Still Call Australia Home.
First-leg captain Sharelle Quinn flew the aircraft over Sydney’s CBD, Harbour and beaches before heading to the HARS Museum, where she dipped its wings in a final salute to the first 747-400 housed at the attraction, VH-OJA.
Then, unexpectedly, Quinn drew a 275-kilometre x 250-kilometre Qantas Kangaroo in the sky.
Hundreds of thousands of Twitter and Instagram users shared Qantas’ official post of the stunt, with many more likely to have also shared similar pictures and animations of the journey.
When it finished, VH-OEJ climbed to cruising altitude and headed for Los Angeles, where it touched down at 1:23pm after 15 hours in the air.
The two final trips followed three special flights for customers departing the week before in Sydney, Brisbane and Canberra.
Proceeds from those ticket sales were donated to the HARS Aviation Museum in NSW and the Qantas Founders Museum in Longreach, Queensland. Both currently have 747s on public display.
Aside from Qantas, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and KLM all announced plans to fast-forward the retirement of their 747s.