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Exclusive: Inside Qantas 747 stored in boneyard for eight years

written by Adam Thorn | May 20, 2021

Incredible footage has emerged showing the decrepit remains of a Qantas 747 that has been stored in a Californian boneyard for more than eight years.

TikTok user Ashley Hall took the below video of VH-OJQ, which took its final flight from LA to Victorville in November 2012 as flight QF6021.

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The video shows a battered cockpit and falling-apart cabin that would have sweltered in 40-degree temperatures during multiple summers.

Website aussieairliners.org says Qantas took delivery of the aircraft on 20 July 1992, and was later named City of Mandurah.

Qantas sold its last 747, VH-OEJ, along with five others to General Electric in 2019 and its last-known location was in the separate Mojave Desert boneyard.

Desert boneyards are 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.

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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.

@ashxkillz

Double Decker Plane! #qantas747 #qantasairlines #retiredplane #747400 #n951jm #boneyard #doubledecker #workflow #747

♬ original sound – Ashley Hall

Then, unexpectedly, Quinn drew a 275-kilometre x 250-kilometre Qantas Kangaroo in the sky.

Last month, Australian Aviation reported how Qantas took taken original wall panels from one of its retired 747-200s stored a desert boneyard to recreate the aircraft’s 1970s upstairs lounge.

Ashley’s Halls video showed inside a 747 stored in the desert for eight years.

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.

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3 Comments

  • Tinai

    says:

    My home. The place I grew up on -in the graveyard. Fact yes. But heartbreaking beyond description for those of us that know her heartbeat.

  • Luke Manicaros

    says:

    Can the many old aircraft be recycled into houses
    In appropriate locations in each naton?
    Better than long term storage outcomes and eventual challenges of turning them into waste?!

  • Gavin Boyd

    says:

    What a dam pity and disappointment that hardly anyone at all will give the Reg Ansett Museum in Hamilton Victoria the same amount of support or even recognition that they deserve, but there has always been enough money and government support for anything to do with former government owned and operated TAA/Qantas alliance ! We need some people that are willing to give ,support effectively and regularly , and people that are of bigger significance in all communities . The Ansett Museum needs at least $15.000.000.00 ( fifteen million dollars )if they are to get a hold of one of its former F 50 FOKKER s back off the overseas airline that bought from virgin Australia, get it back here, then dewing it, have it transported back to the Museum , then have it lifted up and over Reg es origanal Hanger and onto a completely new concrete pad out the back of the Museum , then have a completely new museum built out front a lot further to cover Regis origanal Hanger, to protect it and of course take away all the add ons they have had over the years and cover everything that they hold as well as go right out the back to cover a F50 FOKKER Turbo Prop which can be placed on a slow revolving platform . All this can be done, it’s by no means ( a can’t do situation ) because all the governments over the years have done that and a lot more. So compared to what they have supported , spent on and done, it’s not much.
    Y

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