Australian Aviation’s Dave Soda took this photo of an unusual Kalitta Air 747 landing in Sydney last week.
The 747-4H6(BCF), N741CK msn 24315, departed Singapore on 10 May at 9:26pm as flight K4835 and landed in Sydney the next day at 6:27am.
Kalitta Air is a cargo airline headquartered in Michigan, which operates an all-freighter fleet of 777Fs, B747-400s and B767-300ERs. The aircraft itself was originally delivered to Malaysian Airlines as 9M-MHL in 1989.
In April, Australian Aviation reported how Qantas took 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.
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.
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