Post by aerofoto - HJG Admin on Feb 5, 2020 7:47:40 GMT
"Aussie Au Revoir's - B707-338C VH-EAG/A20-627, B727-77 VH-RME, B727-277 ADV VH-ANA/VH-VLI, B727-276 ADV VH-TBR, DC-9-31 VH-CZA, and DC-9-31 VH-TJU
Aircraft are merely machines .... tools/assets with which airlines/operators go about their daily business in order to make money .... transporting people and freight from Point-A to Point-B .... and facilitating holidays/vacations, reunions, and/or otherwise oiling the wheels of commerce and industry the process. Aircraft are designed, built, and enter service with operators all around the globe .... but .... as technology, and the world we live in advances, once new aircraft types quickly become old technology and are, by necessity, replaced with newer and more modern/advanced aircraft types of superior efficiency and capability. The following presentation focuses on the last examples of 3 major aircraft types to remain in Australian service (in the form of the B707, B727, and DC-9) and which literally ushered "the great southern continent" into the jet age and effectively pioneered the extremely high standards of Australian aviation and service that are mostly taken for granted today .... as the excellence of Australian civil aviation continues evolving into the future.
QANTAS AIRWAYS B707-338C VH-EAG "Alice Springs" - LAST FLIGHT (March 25th 1979).
Between 1959 and 1970 Australia's national airline .... QANTAS AIRWAYS (Queensland And Northern Territories Air Service) operated a total of 36X B707 aircraft.
13X of these aircraft were examples of the rare/short fuselage B707-138 .... the first batch of these being composed of 6X aircraft (VH-EBA - EBG) that were delivered to the airline between June and October of 1959, each which were built to the original B707-120 specification .... featuring the short tail-fin, original wing configuration, and powered by P&W JT3C-6 turbojet engines.
INITIAL QANTAS B707-136/B FLEET (delivered as -138 aircraft during 1959 .... converted to -138B specifications between 1960 and 1961 ....
VH-EBA "City of Melbourne"
VH-EBB "City of Sydney"
VH-EBC "City of Canberra"
VH-EBD "City of Brisbane"
VH-EBE "City of Perth"
VH-EBF "City of Adelaide"
VH-EBG "City of Hobart"
Whilst both the airline and the Australian traveling public were "impressed" by the performance of these aircraft .... which shortened
traveling times on QANTAS's international routes by 50% .... some public spectators were less impressed by the horrendous noise and extensive exhaust smoke exhibited by their early water/methanol injected turbojet engines .... and which ultimately prompted a 1959 commentator to joke that these aircraft must be "steam powered"
A further 6X examples of these aircraft were delivered to QANTAS AIRWAYS between 1961 and 1964 (VH-EBH - EBM) .... each of which were built to the later/modified B707-120B specification .... featuring the lengthened/standard tail-fin with powered rudder, elevator, and aileron controls, B720 type inboard LE wing gloves, and powered by cleaner, quieter, and more fuel efficient (for the time) and powerful P&W JT3D-1 fan-jet engines engines.
ADDITIONAL QANTAS B707-138B FLEET (delivered as -138B aircraft between 1961 and 1964 ....
VH-EBH "City of Darwin"
VH-EBK "City of Newcastle"
VH-EBL "City of Geelong"
VH-EBM "City of Launceston"
QANTAS's original 7X B707-138's were each upgraded to the same -138B/-120B specification between 1960 and 1961 .... and which forced the airline to lease-in DH 106 COMET 4 aircraft from BOAC (G-APDC, -APDH, -APDL, -APDM, -APDP, -APDR, and G-APDT each being operated by QANTAS as individual leases during this period) in order to maintain uninterrupted schedules over its international routes whilst its original 6 B707's were each being upgraded. Each of the leased COMET 4's supported a hybrid livery featuring "QANTAS" fuselage titles as well as the airlines "Winged Kangaroo" tail logo .... both being applied over the standard BOAC fuselage and tail livery of the period.
QANTAS AIRWAYS might never have become a B707 operator had history played out differently. As the worlds leading airlines began their transition to jet equipment during the late 1950's .... QANTAS had already similarly realized it would need to follow suite in order to remain competitive and meet its future global expansion plans. It initially considered the DH 106 COMET 4 .... but which was later deemed too small and range impaired to suit the airlines requirements (particularly in regard to its services spanning both the Pacific and Indian Oceans). Therefore the airline initially favored the DC-8-30 (more-so given DOUGLAS's reputation as a civil aircraft producer .... since BOEING, at this time, was still attempting to build its reputation and since LOCKHEED didn't, at this time, offer an alternative civil jet aircraft although QANTAS had been well satisfied with it's CONSTELLATION's and was already an L-188 turboprop operator). However .... upon the airlines approach to it, DOUGLAS was reluctant to compromise its established early DC-8 specification in order to meet QANTAS's requirements (the truth was that DOUGLAS simply couldn't afford to do so .... through not only having to build a completely new production facility at Long Beach, California, USA, for its DC-8 production, but also, having to additionally fund DC-8 development "itself" after having lost the USAF tanker competition/contract to BOEING. By comparison BOEING, seeking to secure a foothold within the global civil aviation market, and for its B707 also, was only too keen to reconfigure its basic B707-120 configuration in order to meet the airlines range requirements (BOEING, aided by US government subsidies through it having won the KC-135 tanker competition/contract could more economically afford to do so) .... and which resulted in the "B707-138" .... essentially a B707-120 shortened by 10FT and sacrificing payload for range (and which also provided BOEING's basic foundation for its later B720 too), but, also being certified for the same MGW as the B707-120. Upon acquiring the B707 .... QANTAS never looked back .... and the type remained the mainstay of the airlines fleet until the arrival of its first B747-200B's from 1971.
The B707-138B served QANTAS until 1969. At least 3 of these rare aircraft (only 13X such airframes were ever produced by BOEING .... each being delivered to QANTAS AIRWAYS) remain in existence today .... 1X aircraft having been resurrected from storage at Southend, in the UK (sponsored by QANTAS AIRWAYS .... given this aircraft was considered "historic" having been "the airlines very first" B707 as well as "the very first" B707 exported by BOEING) was overhauled by a team of volunteer and ex-QANTAS engineers between 2004 and 2006 and then flown back to Australia, where it remains on exhibition today at the QANTAS FOUNDERS MUSEUM at Longreach, Queensland, Australia; 1X aircraft which remains under the ownership of celebrity John TRAVOLTA (N707JT "Jett Clipper Ella") as a private/VIP transport; and 1X aircraft that was owned and operated by the Democratic Government Of The Congo (9Q-CLK) until fairly recently and with whom it's served as a VIP transport.
Then from 1965 QANTAS took delivery the larger and longer ranging B707-320C .... and which replaced its B707-138B fleet before the end of 1969.
QANTAS B707-320C FLEET (delivered between 1965 and 1969 ....
VH-EBN "City of Parramatta"
VH-EBO "City of Townsville"
VH-EBP "Alice Springs"
VH-EBQ "City of Ballarat"
VH-EBR "City of Wollongong"
VH-EBT "City of Bendigo"
VH-EBU "City of Broken Hill" / "City of Wollongong" / "City of Parramatta"
VH-EBV "City of Tamworth"
VH-EBW "City of Armidale"
VH-EBX "Port Moresby" / "City of Port Moresby" / "City of Parramatta"
VH-EAA "City of Toowoomba"
VH-EAB "City of Canberra" / "Winton"
VH-EAC "City of Sydney "/ "Longreach"
VH-EAD "City of Melbourne" / "City of Newcastle" / "City of Ballarat"
VH-EAE "City of Brisbane / Swan Hill
VH-EAF "City of Adelaide" / "City of Townsville" / "City of Armidale"
VH-EAG "City of Hobart" / "Alice Springs"
VH-EAH "City of Perth" / "City of Launceston"
VH-EAI "City of Darwin" / "Kalgoorlie"
VH-EAJ "City of Geelong" / "City of Broken Hill"
QANTAS B707-320C FLEET (leased aircraft operated between 1970 and 1971 ....
VH-EBZ "City of Swan Hill"
A total of 23X B707-320C aircraft were operated by QANTAS AIRWAYS though 2X of these aircraft were short term leases only .... VH-EBZ which was leased from AER LINGUS (EI-ASO "St.Canice") from 1970 until 1971 .... and N7099 which was leased from BRANIFF INTERNATIONAL AIRWAYS (where it supported this airlines "DK.Blue" Alexander GIRARD livery of the late 1960's) during 1971.
The last of the airlines B707-320C's remained in service until March 1979 .... when VH-EAG ("Alice Springs") operated "the last ever scheduled" QANTAS B707 service, as QF 50 from SYD to AKL and return, on March 25th 1979 (my civil aviation photography career which I still continue to undertake today .... some 41 years later .... commenced at AKL on this very same day and for the purpose of recording this final flight). For this last ever scheduled QANTAS B707 service VH-EAG supported a fuselage legend reading .... "LAST FLIGHT MARCH 1979 OVER 300 MILLION MILES BY QANTAS 707 FLEET". Upon its departure from AKL the aircraft performed a low-level high speed pass over the airport prior to proceeding on to SYD. VH-EAG was then sold to the RAAF (A20-627 "Windsor Town") and with whom it operated as both a tanker and VIP transport until its withdrawal from service on February 21st 2001
At the time of its withdrawal from QANTAS service B707-338C, VH-EAG, had accumulated 38,013 hours total flying time with 14,498 cycles. At this stage of it's operational history QANTAS AIRWAYS also then became "the only major airline in the world" operating a fleet composed of solely B747-200B aircraft .... and which remained the case until 1985 when the airline took delivery of its first B767-200ER (VH-EAJ).
QANTAS AIRWYS B707-338C VH-EAG/A20-627 OPERATIONAL HISTORY.
B707-338C, VH-EAG , C/N # 19627, L/N # 707 was rolled out at BOEING, Seattle, on April 2nd 1968. It first flew on April 30th 1968 and was handed over to QANTAS AIRWAYS .... named "City of Hobart" .... on May 11th 1968. It was entered onto the Australian civil air register as "VH-EAG" on May 16th 1968 and operated its delivery flight to Australia that same day as QF 051 .... operating from SEA to SYD (via HNL) under the command of captains C.FOX and L.CLARK (assisted by F/O M.BLACKLEY; Navigators R.CHILVERS and W.SHORT; F/E E.FARGAS; and C/A R.CURLEY), where it arrived on May 18th 1968. On June 11th 1968 this aircraft became the "very first" B707 to land at MEL's then new Tullamarine International Airport .... from where it also then operated publicity and courtesy flights under the command of captain D.HARDEN, and prior to operating its "first commercial service" for QANTAS AIRWAYS from SYD, to BNE, AKL, and SYD on June 23rd 1968. On May 30th 1973 this aircraft participated in a formation flight with a QANTAS B747-200B .... and on February 22nd 1974 it was renamed "Alice Springs". Between December 27th and 29th 1974 this aircraft operated 2 emergency airlift services in aid of the city of Darwin (the first flight accommodated some 271 evacuees plus crew .... whilst 226 evacuees and crew were accommodated aboard the second service) following the devastating impact of "Cyclone Tracy" on December 24th/25th 1979. VH-EAG then operated "the last" QANTAS B707 service through BNE on February 2nd 1979 .... as QF 95/96 operating from SYD to BNE, POM, BNE, and back to SYD. On February 13th 1979 it operated an ADL to ADL scenic tourist flight over the Antarctic continent .... and on March 24th 1979 it operated "the last" QANTAS B707 service to CHC from SYD and return. On March 25th 1979 VH-EAG operated "the last ever" scheduled QANTAS B707 service ..... operating from SYD, to AKL, and back to SYD, as QF 50 under the command of captains P.OAKLEY and G.MALLOY. Upon its return to SYD this aircraft then operated a 1 hour enthusiasts flight under the command of captain J.BLAIR .... as a parting tribute in honor of QANTAS's 20 years of association with the B707. Then on March 26th 1979 this aircraft was "unexpectedly pressed back into service" with QANTAS .... as QF 16 and QF 16P .... in order to airlift 104 PAX (stranded as the result of an ATC strike) from SYD to MEL, and then 4 PAX from MEL to SYD and which ultimately became "the very last ever" QANTAS B707 services .... both which were operated under the command of captain A.WIKESS. VH-EAG was then sold to the RAAF on April 7th 1979 .... initially entering RAAF service in basic QANTAS livery (orange-ocher fuselage stripe and red tail with fuselage/wing roundels, but, devoid of "ROYAL AUSTRALIAN AIR FORCE" titles) as A20-627 and named "Windsor Town".
A20-627 was modified to tanker/transport configuration later during 1979. In service with 37 SQDN RAAF it was primarily used for military personnel and equipment deployment/redeployment within Australia and overseas plus VIP travel for Australian federal government ministers and ministerial staff along with their supporting press contingents. Between October 6th and 9th 1982 it became the official transport for HRH Queen Elizabeth 2 .... operating from LON to BNE for the official closing of the 12th British Commonwealth Games .... and then operating an official service from BNE to CBR also carrying the queen .... both royal services being operated under the "REGAL ONE" call-sign. A20-627 was withdrawn from RAAF service on February 21st 2001 and used for spares recovery. The aircraft was dismantled at RAAF Richmond .... for a time its preserved forward fuselage section was exhibited at the RAAF Museum at at Point Cook, Victoria, Australia, whilst its tail and rudder section are currently displayed at the QANTAS FOUNDERS MUSEUM at Longreach, Australia. The aircraft's remaining center section was retained by the AUSTRALIAN MINISTRY OF DEFENSE, at Holdsworthy Barracks, NSW, Australia, where it is used for counter-terrorism training. On June 16th 2015 it was announced that the aircraft's forward fuselage section would be transferred to the HISTORIC AIRCRAFT RESTORATION SOCIETY (HARS), at NSW, Australia, and where it will reportedly support dual QANTAS and RAAF period liveries on either side.
ANSETT AIRLINES OF AUSRALIA B727-77 VH-RME - LAST FLIGHT (September 12th 1978).
Most of the worlds major airlines began transitioning to US-built civil jet aircraft during the late 1950's .... particularly in regard to their long-range trans-oceanic and trans-continental operations (both the B707 and DC-8 being the most popular equipment of choice for these types of services) .... but .... from the early 1960's the US-civil aircraft producers were also developing jet equipment for short/medium haul type domestic operations in the form of both the B727 and DC-9 .... developed by BOEING and McDONNELL-DOUGLAS respectively.
Australia's QANTAS AIRWAYS acquired long-range B707-138 jets during 1959 .... followed by the superior performance and even longer-ranging B707-320C from 1965.
Then from 1964 jet equipment also became the backbone of the fleets of Australia's 2 domestic airlines .... ANSETT ANA and TRANS AUSTRALIA AIRLINES .... both of which acquired B727-100's.
Along with DC-9-30's, F-27's, and F-28's, ANSETT operated a total of 22X B727's between 1964 and 1997/
INITIAL ANSETT AIRLINES OF AUSTRALIA B727-100 FLEET (delivered between 1964 and 1965 ....
ANSETT AITLINES OF AUSTRALIA B727-100C FLEET (delivered between 1969 and 1970 ....
VH-RME not only became ANSETT's first B727, but also, the last standard B727-100 aircraft to remain in service with the airline (although B727-100C, VH-RMS, served the airline in both PAX and air freight capacities until January 29th 1980). ANSETT ultimately acquired a fleet of 3 B727-100 and 2 convertible -100C aircraft between 1964 and 1970.
ANSETT AIRLINES OF AUSTRALIA B727-77 VH-RME OPERATIONAL HISTORY.
B727-77, VH-RME, C/N # 18743, L/N # 78 was entered onto the Australian civil air register on September 1st 1964 .... and first flew from BOEING, Seattle, USA, on September 21st 1964. This aircraft operated its delivery flight from SEA to MEL (via SFO, HNL/Hawaii, CIS/Canton Island, and NAN/Fiji) on October 13th 1964 under the command of captains A.LOVELL, J.McROBBIE, and A. McNAUGHTON (assisted by F/E's M.PERRY and A.WILLIAMS .... and BOEING captains S.L.WALLICK, R. ALLSOP, and E.HARTZ .... along with navigator W.C.KENNEDY) .... arriving at MEL on October 16th 1964. VH-RME's delivery flight to Australia became historically significant through being the first crossing of the Pacific Ocean, by a 3-engined aircraft, since Australian aviation pioneers Charles KINGSFORD-SMITH and Charles ULM undertook their epic trans-Pacific flight from the USA/Oakland to Australia/BNE (operated via Kauai/Hawaii and Suva/Fiji) on FOKKER F-VIIB/3M TRIMOTOR VH-USU (named "Southern Cross") between May 31st 1928 and June 9th 1928. VH-RME operated its first revenue service for ANSETT .... between MEL and SYD on November 2nd 1964 .... and operated its last revenue service for the airline between BNE and MEL, as AN 25, on September 12th 1978, and was then withdrawn from service and stored at MEL having accumulated some 43,110 hours total flying time.
It was sold to INTERNATIONAL AIR LEASES on January 18th 1979 and ferried from MEL to MIA/USA (operating via NOU/Noumea, PPG/American Samoa, ITO/Hawaii, and LAX) where it arrived on January 20th 1979 .... under the command of captains M.WEATON and E.MacKAY (assisted by F/E J.CRAGO and navigator R.S.McEWEN) .... and supporting a legend on it port nose section reading "GOOD BYE VH-RME ! 1964 - 1979 AUSTRALIA's FIRST DOMESTIC JET" .... applied over the airlines definitive red/black/white delta livery of the period. This aircraft was then leased to MEXICANA DE AVIACION (XA-MEG named "Tajin") from June 18th 1979 until November 6th 1981. It was next leased to TRANSBRASIL AIRLINES (PT-TCE .... and with whom it supported the airlines Rainbow livery with green wings and fuselage titles) from December 20th 1981 .... and then sold to the airline on April 1st 1986. It was next sold to CORSAIR (N8140V) on May 16th 1989 .... then leased to TOROS AIRWAYS SYSTEM (TC-AJY named "Emre Hong") from May 30th 1989 .... and was transferred to AVENGAIR during June 1990. From July 1990 it was leased to ACES COLOMBIA (HK-3651X) .... and sub-lased to HELICOL COLOMBIA from August 1990. This aircraft was then sold to HANAIR (HH-JEC named "Toussaint Louverture") during April 1992 .... then leased to SERVICIOS AEREOS ROUTOS ORIENTE (XA-SDH) from July 17th 1992 .... and leased to QAUSAR DE MEXICO (XA-SIR) from August 1st 1993. It was withdrawn from service on October 22nd 1994 and stored at Opa Lock, Florida, USA .... then sold to FLORIDA NATIONAL AIR SALES & SERVICE on May 26th 1995 and later scrapped.
ANSETT AUSRALIA B727-277 ADV LR VH-ANA - LAST FLIGHT (April 20th 1997).
From 1972 ANSETT began to acquire B727-200 ADV's .... and which ultimately replaced its original B727-100 fleet members.
INITIAL ANSETT AITLINES OF AUSTRALIA B727-200 ADV FLEET (delivered between 1972 and 1980 ....
VH-RMK (occasionally operated by both POLYNESIAN AIRLINES and COOK ISLANDS INTERNATIONAL in ANSETT livery)
VH-RMN (jointly operated by POLYNESIAN AIRLINES as "Fuatino" and COOK ISLANDS INTERNATIONAL as "Tumutevarovaro" from 1987 until 1992 and .... supporting a split identity livery with PH livery on its port side and KC livery on its starboard side)
VH-RMO "Spirit of North Queensland"
VH-RMX (converted to pure freighter configuration during 1983)
An additional 4 B727-200 ADV LR aircraft were also acquired by ANSETT during 1981.
ADDITIONAL ANSETT AUSTRALIA B727-200 ADV LR FLEET (delivered during 1981) ....
Only 1 of the ANSETT B727 fleet( VH-RMO "Spirit Of North Queensland")was ever named .... except in the case of another one of the airlines -200 fleet (VH-RMN "Tumutevarovaro/Fuatino") whilst serving with both COOK ISLANDS INTERNATIONAL and POLYNESIAN AIRLINES.
The B727 remained ANSETT's work horse well into the 1990's .... and by which time the airline had also acquired A320-200, B737-200, B737-300, B767-200ER aircraft during the 1980's .... followed by B747-300, B747-400, and B767-300 aircraft during 1990's as the result of further redevelopment and expansion into international markets but which also ultimately contributed to its demise (almost at the cost of its by then parent company and STAR ALLIANCE partner AIR NEW ZEALAND) during 2002.
ANSETT operated its "last ever" B727 service on April 20th 1997. This final service was operated by VH-ANA .... between ADL and MEL and under the command of captain L.GRIFFITHS. For this last ever scheduled ANSETT B727 service VH-ANA supported a fuselage legend reading .... "ANSETT AUSTRALIA FAREWELL THE BOEING 727 SERIES OF JETS 33 YEARS OF SERVICE 1964-1997" and below which each of the airlines 5 logos used throughout its B727 era were also featured).
VH-ANA was sold to FIRST SECURITY BANK June 3rd 1997 .... then leased CONTINENTAL MICRONESIA from December 19th 1997. After a period of overseas operation this aircraft then returned to the Australian civil air register .... as VH-VLI .... when it entered service with AUSTRALIAN AIR EXPRESS on November 29th 2002, then NATIONAL JET EXPRESS from November 26th 2003. It was then sold to CSDS AIRCRAFT SALE & LEASING on March 28 2009 .... then on-sold to AIRMARK ASIA on August 15th 2009 .... and then leased to NEPTUNE AIR as 9M-NEP from October 6th 2009.
ANSETT AUSTRALIA B727-277 ADV VH-ANA/VH-VLI OPERATIONAL HISTORY.
B727-277 ADV, VH-ANA , C/N # 22641, L/N # 1753 became the first of 4 B727-200 ADV LR aircraft operated by ANSETT AIRLINES .... the airline eventually acquiring a total of 17 B727-200's. This aircraft first flew from BOEING, Seattle, USA, on May 29th 1981 .... supporting the BOEING test registration N827BV. It was entered onto the Australian civil air register as "VH-ANA" on June 2nd 1981. VH-ANA operated its delivery flight from SEA to MEL (via SFO, ITO/Hawaii, PPG/American Samoa, NAN/Fiji) on June 11th 1981 under the command of captains W.HANRAHAN and J.WELSH (assisted by F/E J.GILLET) .... arriving at MEL on June 14th 1981. It operated its "first" revenue service with ANSETT on June 20th 1981 .... as AN 50 from MEL to BNE. On June 29th 1981 this aircraft operated ANSETT's first scheduled SYD/PER service. This aircraft then operated "the last commercial service" into Eagle Farm Airport at BNE on March 19th 1988 .... and then operated "the very first commercial service" from the then new Brisbane International Airport on March 20th 1988. It was leased to EAST WEST AIRLINES from January 1992 until May 27th 1993. On July 4th 1992 VH-ANA suffered rear fuselage damage when its #2 engine exploded upon departure from BNE ....
ATSB INCIDENT REPORT - B727-277 ADV VH-ANA - JULY 4TH 1992
The aircraft was out of service for some 58 days whilst repairs were effected prior to its return to service later during 1992.
It was sold to INTREPID AVIATION PARTNERS on December 13th 1996 .... then leased back to ANSETT. VH-ANA operated ANSETT's "final revenue B727 service" .... operating as AN 110 from ADL to MEL on April 20th 1997 under the command of captain L.GRIFFITHS. The aircraft then operated 4 special farewell flights .... as AN 4727 .... as the airlines tribute to the B727 and its staff whom had supported these aircraft over the years. It was was then formally retired from ANSETT service and returned to INTREPID AVIATION on April 26th 1997. On May 28th 1997 this aircraft was ferried to the USA .... operating from MEL to MIA (via PPG/American Samoa, ITO/Hawaii, and SAN) under the command of captains L.GRIFFITHS, P.TERRILL, and L.FORSTER .... and was cancelled from the Australian civil air register and then entered onto the US civil air register as "N6393X" on June 3rd 1997 .... being registered to FIRST SECURITY BANK. This aircraft was then converted (reportedly incorrectly modified though) to a pure freighter configuration .... by PROFESSIONAL MODIFICATION SERVICES .... then leased to CONTINENTAL MICRONESIA from December 19th 1997 .... registered "N627DH". It was returned to DHL on November 10th 1999 then leased to SWIFTAIR from December 1st 1999 as "EC-HIG" .... and whom operated this aircraft on behalf of DHL. This aircraft was returned to DHL on November 2nd 2002 .... then sold to TRANSAUSTRALASIAN AIR EXPRESS PTY LTD and re-registered "VH-VLI" (named "Tania") on November 14th 2002 and was ferried from QLA/UK to MEL (via LCA, DXB, BLR, SIN, and DRW) operating as XME 7024. VH-VLI then entered service with AUSTRALIAN AIR EXPRESS on November 29th 2002 .... operating its first revenue service from MEL to CNS (via BNE and TSV) as XM 7091.
AUSTRALIAN AIR EXPRESS was renamed "TRANS AUSTRALIAN AIR" on March 20th 2003. VH-VLI was then registered to NATIONAL JET EXPRESS (JETEX) on November 26th 2003. This aircraft then operated it last revenue service for JETEX .... operating from PER to MEL as JTE092 on December 31st 2008. It was then withdrawn from service and stored at MEL. Its intended sale to HEAVYLIFT AIR CARGO never eventuated and this aircraft remained in storage at MEL until mid 2009 .... supporting a plain white livery devoid of any titles. It was then registered to CSDS AIRCRAFT SALE & LEASING on March 28th 2009 .... then sold to AIRMARK ASIA and on August 15th 2009 for lease to NEPTUNE AIR. This aircraft was cancelled from the Australian civil air register and re-registered "9M-NEP" .... then ferried from MEL to KUL (via PHE and SZB) on August 20th 2009. 9M-NEP (ex VH-ANA) entered service with NEPTUNE AIR on October 6th 2009 and with whom it (reportedly) remains in service today.
Between the late 1940's and early 1990's the Australian Federal Government maintained a 2 airline policy. This policy forced both ANSETT AIRLINES OF AUSTRALIA and TRANS AUSTRALIAN AIRLINES (later AUSTRALIAN AIRLINES prior to being merged into QANTAS AIRWAYS during 1992) into co-existence over the Australian domestic air services network .... essentially operating almost the very same aircraft types, fleet sizes and staffing, and daily service schedules too. In theory this duopoly policy served to ensure that neither of these 2 major carriers could ever have what might be perceived to be an unfair monopoly/supremacy in regard to Australian domestic air services, but, in practice it also became an effective legal barrier which prevented new entrants into Australian civil aviation scene and which otherwise might then compete with both principle Australian domestic carriers. This policy did not begin to be relaxed until the mid 1980's when ANSETT ordered B767-200ER's .... and TAA ordered A300B-4's .... both for their respective domestic services. TAA became AUSTRALIAN AIRLINES during 1986 .... and was eventually merged into QANTAS during 1992 .... and which then resulted in QANTAS the flying Australian domestic air services .... whilst ANSETT struggled to compete throughout the 1990's (losing money under both TNT and NEWS CORPORATION .... and later AIR NEW ZEALAND ownership) and into this new millennium until it finally collapsed during early 1992 .... almost causing the demise of its parent company and STAR ALLIANCE partner AIR NEW ZEALAND as well.
ANSETT OF AUSTRALIA AIRLINES DC-9-31 VH-CZA - LAST FLIGHT (June 17th 1982).
ANSETT AIRLINES OF AUSTRALIA took delivery of its first DC-9-31 (VH-CZA) on March 17th 1967 and ultimately acquired a fleet of 12 of the type .... a fleet strength equal to TRANS AUSTRLAIA AIRLINES DC-9-31 flight line forced by the Australian federal governments 2 airline policy.
ANSETT DC-9 FLEET (delivered between 1967 and 1971 ....
VH-CZD (leased to AIR VANUATU from October 1981 until May 1982 .... operated in definitive ANSETT livery with "AIR VANUATU" titles and later full AIR VANUATU livery)
Unlike the TAA tradition none of the ANSETT DC-8 fleet was ever named.
These aircraft operated alongside ANSETT's B727-100's, -200's, F-27's, and F-28's for some 15 years .... primarily servicing the airlines shorter routes to major cities/destinations along Australia's extensive eastern seaboard and to Tasmania.
The airline was awarded "official carrier" status for the XII British Commonwealth Games and in the 1981 and 1982 lead up to, and during, this event the its entire fleet supported the games logo with an "OFFICIAL CARRIER OF THE XII COMMONWEALTH GAMES BRISBANE 1982"" legend on both sides of the lower forward fuselage of each aircraft. ANSETT commenced the disposal of it's DC-9 fleet from 1981 .... with the last of the type (VH-CZA) remaining in service until June 1982.
ANSETT AIRLINES OF AUSTRALIA DC-9-31 VH-CZA OPERATIONAL HISTORY.
DC-9-31, VH-CZA, C/N # 47003, L/N # 86 became the first of 12 DC-9's delivered to ANSETT AIRLINES OF AUSTRALIA between March 1967 and November 1971 .... it also became the first DC-9 to be delivered to Australia and the last of the type to remain in ANSETT service by June 1982. This aircraft first flew on March 2nd 1967 .... and was used to train Australian crews in the USA prior to being ferried to Australia. It was entered onto the Australian civil air register as VH-CZA on March 17th 1967. VH-CZA operated its delivery flight from LGB to MEL (via HNL, CIS/Canton Island, NAN/Fiji) on April 22nd 1967 .... under the command of captains M WHEATON and K.ASHMEAD, assisted by navigator W.C.KENNEDY and MDC pilot A.FREIBURG .... arriving at MEL on April 24th 1967. It operated its first revenue service for the airline on April 30th 1967 .... and remained in service with the until June 17th 1982 when it operated its last revenue service for ANSETT between LST and MEL, as AN 56, under the command of captain N.DAY. This aircraft was adorned with extensive farewell tributes for this last ANSETT service. On the aircraft's lower port side fuselage/nose section these tributes read as follows ....
"THIS DC-9 CARRIES THE BEST WISHES FROM CITIZENS OF SOME OF THE AUSTRALIAN CITIES SHE SERVED FOR A JOB WELL DONE
.... with additional farewell tributes on this aircraft's lower port side forward fuselage section reading as follows ....
"FAREWELL AUSTRALIA !
ANSETT's LAST DC-9 TO BE RETIRED
SINCE 1967 SHE HAS LOGGED
FUEL USED 134 MILLION LITRES
MAINTENANCE MAN HOURS 744,610
TEA - COFFEE 3,247,556
.... whilst also supporting the XII British Commonwealth Games logo with the "OFFICIAL CARRIER OF THE XII COMMONWEALTH GAMES BRISBANE 1982" legend on this aircraft's lower starboard side forward fuselage section.
This aircraft was sold to CORSAIR INC for lease the US NAVY on September 17th 1982 .... then on-sold to MARFREELESS INC on September 18th 1982 (N3281G). It was ferried from MEL to PHX (via NAN/Fiji, PPG/American Samoa, and HNL on September 27th 1982 under the command of captains N.DAY G.SCHMIDT, assisted by F/E B.BERKINSHAW. It was overhauled by AIR INTERNATIONAL INC at PHX during September 1987 in order to meet USN requirements .... then ferried from PHX to NQA/Tennessee and then leased to the USN (162390 named "City Of Memphis" .... and operated as a C-9B) from September 27th 1982. It was sold to McDONNELL-DOUGLAS (N535MD) on July 20th 1990 .... then on-sold to AERONAUITCA LEASING on July 20th 1990 ...,. and leased to AIRBORNE EXPRESS (N946AX ... operated as a DC-9-30PF) from July 20th 1990 .... and then transferred to ABX AIR on August 15th 2003 and operated for DHL. It was stored at ROW/New Mexico from December 2009 .... then sold to STEWART INDUSTRIES on November 6th 2011 .... and later scrapped at ROW.
TRANS AUSTRALIA AIRLINES DC-9-31 VH-TJU "John Roe" - LAST FLIGHT (November 17th 1989).
Again the Australian federal governments 2 airline policy ensured that TRANS AUSTRALIA AIRLINES also operated DC-9's .... alongside ANSETT. The airlines first DC-9-31 (VH-TJJ) was delivered on April 11th 1967 .... just a few weeks after ANSETT's first aircraft although the first batches of these aircraft for both airlines were built by McDONNELL-DOUGLAS and underwent pre-delivery flight testing during the same period. TAA .... like ANSETT .... had acquired a fleet of 12 DC-9-31's by 1971.
TAA DC-9 FLEET (delivered between 1967 and 1971 ....
VH-TJJ "Hamilton Hume"
VH-TJK "Douglas Mawson"
VH-TJL "Angus McMillan"
VH-TJM "Robert Downs" (supported TAA "Coral Islander belivery between 1979 and 1981)
VH-TJN "Paul Strezlecki"
VH-TJO "William Wentworth"
VH-TJP "Charles Kingsford Smith"
VH-TJQ "John Flynn"
VH-TJR "George Bass"
VH-TJS "Douglas Mawson"
VH-TJT "Joseph Hawdon"
VH-TJU "John Roe"
TAA's DC-9's operated alongside its A300B-4's, B727-100's, -200's, F-27's for a longer period than those in service with its ANSETT rival .... for some 22 years .... but similarly serviced the airlines shorter Australian eastern seaboard routes to principle cities/destinations as well as Tasmania.
The airline was awarded "official carrier" status for the Australian hosted defense of the America's Cup challenge of 1987 and in the 1986 lead up to, and during, this event its entire fleet supported the America's Cup logo with a "TRANS AUSTRALIA AIRLINES - OFFICIAL AUSTRALIAN AIRLINE AND SPONSOR - AUSTRALIA's DEFENSE - AMERICA'S CUP 1987" legend on forward fuselage of each aircraft and adjacent to DOOR 1L. TAA commenced the disposal of its DC-9 fleet from 1981 .... with the last of the type (VH-TJU) remaining in service until November 1989.
TRANS AUSTRALIA AIRLINES DC-9-31 VH-TJU OPERATIONAL HISTORY.
DC-9-31, VH-TJU, C/N # 47552, L/N # 640 became the last of 12 DC-9's delivered to TRANS AUSTRALIA AIRLINES between April 1967 and October 1971. It also became the last DC-9 to remain in TAA service by November 1989. This aircraft first flew on August 19th 1971. It was entered onto the Australian civil air register as "VH-TJU" (named "John ROE") on October 14th 1971. VH-TJU operated its delivery flight from LGB to MEL (via ITO/Hawaii, PPG/American Samoa, and BNE) on October 15th 1971 .... arriving at MEL on October 17th 1971. It operated its first revenue service for the airline between MEL and CBR on October 26th 1971 .... and operated its last service in the original/1970's era TAA livery on August 2nd 1981 .... and was rolled out in new/final 1960's era TAA livery at MEL on August 29th 1981 .... although its service re-entry was delayed until October 31st 1981 due to industrial action at the airline. TAA was rebranded AUSTRALIAN AIRLINES on August 4th 1986 although this aircraft continued to support its TAA livery/branding throughout the remainder of its service to the airline. On August 23rd 1989 it was grounded at HBT and placed into storage due to the nationwide Australian pilots strike of 1989 .... although it was then ferried from HBT to MEL on November 2nd 1980 and returned to service prior to the full conclusion of this dispute .... becoming the only TAA DC-9 to return to service following the course of this major industrial action. It operated its last revenue service for TAA between BNE and MEL, as TN 479, on November 17th 1989 .... and also became the very last DC-9 to remain in scheduled PAX service in Australia. Upon its withdrawl from service this aircraft had accumulated some 44,729 hours total flying time with 48,186 cycles. VH-TJU was sold to AUSTRALIA AIRCRAFT SALES on November 20th 1989 .... then sold to AIRBORNE EXPRESS (N942AX) and ferried from MEL to ILM/USA on November 28th 1989 (via NAN/Fiji, PPG/American Samoa, ITO/Hawaii, and LBG/USA) .... where it was then sold to the WILMINGTON TRUST CO on November 28th 1989 and leased to ABX AIR from November 30th 1989 .... and with whom it commenced service on February 20th 1990 (as a Hush-Kitted DC-9-30PF). It was withdrawn from service during November 2006 .... after enduring a period in storage at CVG/USA .... then scrapped at GUS during 2012.
Although the retirement of VH-TJU represented the conclusion of DC-9 PAX services within Australia .... the type remained in service with IPEC AIR FREIGHT whom operated 2 DC-9-30F's on air freight services within Australia, and across the Tasman to AKL/NZ, between 1982 and 1993.
AUSTRALIAN AIRLINES B727-276 ADV VH-TBR "Bert Hinkler" - LAST FLIGHT (December 31st 1992).
Just as ANSETT had begun to equip itself with B727-100's from 1964 .... TRANS AUSTRALIA AIRLINES was similarly obliged to equip itself with B727-100's too (after having initially favoured the HS TRIDENT) .... along with DC-9-30's also and just as was the case with ANSETT. TAA operated a total of 21X B727's between 1964 and 1986.
INITIAL TAA B727-100 FLEET (delivered between 1964 and 1970 ....
VH-TJA "James Cook"
VH-TJB "John Forrest"
VH-TJC "Arthur Phillip"
VH-TJD "Gregory Blaxland"
VH-TJE "Mathew Flinders"
VH-TJF "William Dampier"
TAA also operated a single B727-100C between 1969 and 1989 ....
VH-TBS "Ernest Giles"
.... and also briefly operated a single B727-100F between 1983 and 1984 ....
VH-LAP "Phar Lap" (operated for BLOODSTOCK AIR SERVICES)
From 1972 TAA began to acquire B727-200 ADV's .... again in conjunction with ANSETT .... and which ultimately replaced its original B727-100 fleet members from 1976.
TAA B727-200 ADV FLEET (delivered between 1972 and 1976 ....
VH-TBG "Chrles Sturt"
VH-TBH "Freeman Cobb"
VH-TBI "Macdouall Stuart"
VH-TBJ "Joseph Banks"
VH-TBK "John Fawkner" (supported TAA "Central Australian" livery between 1979 and 1981)
VH-TBL "Jogn Eyre"
VH-TBM "lbery Namtjira"
VH-TBN "Carolyn Chisholm" (also operated by AIR VANUATU "Spirit Of Vanuatu" during 1989)
VH-TBO "Arthur Phillip"
VH-TBP "John Macarthur"
VH-TBQ "Lawrence Hargrave"
VH-TBR "Bert Hinkler"
VH-RMZ "Frank Hann" (leased from ANSETT from May 1st 1984 until December 1st 1984)
The B727 remained in service with TAA until December 1992 .... operating alongside the airlines A300B-4's, DC-9-30's, and F-27's .... and by which time it had become AUSTRALIAN AIRLINES from August 1986.
AUSTRALIAN AIRLINES disposed of it's last 3 DC-9-30's during 1989. It began acquiring B737-300's from June 1986 .... and B737-400's from February 1990. The airline operated its "last ever" B727 service on December 31st 1992. This final service was operated by VH-TBR .... between SYD and MEL and under the command of captain T.D.WILTSHIRE.
VH-TBR was sold to EXTEX INTL on March 26th 1993 (XA-SIE) .... then sold to AERO EJECUTIVOS on April 13th 1993 .... and entered service with AEROEXO on May 1st 1993. It was leasd to AVIACSA from June 2000 .... then withdrawn from service and stored at Monterey, Mexico, from December 2005.
TRANS AUSTRALIA AIRLINES/AUSTRALIAN AIRLINES B727-276 ADV VH-TBR OPERATIONAL HISTORY
B727-277 ADV, VH-TBR , C/N # 22069, L/N # 1661 became the last of 12 B727-200's delivered to TAA between December 1972 and and September 1980. This aircraft was rolled out on August 18th 1980 first flew from BOEING, Seattle, USA, on September 6th 1980. It was entered onto the Australian civil air register as "VH-TBR" (named "Bert HINKLER") on September 19th 1980. VH-TBR operated its delivery flight from SEA to MEL (via HNL, PPG/American Samoa, and CHC/New Zealand) .... arriving at MEL on September 23rd 1980. It operated its "first" revenue service with TAA on September 26th 1980. On August 3rd 1983 it operated its last service in the original TAA livery .... and was rolled at in the new/final 1980's era TAA ("Camel Hump" titles) livery at MEL August 29th 1983 .... and returned to service with the airline on September 2nd 1983.
TAA was rebranded AUSTRALIAN AIRLINES on August 4th 1986. VH-TBR was rolled out in the new airlines livery at MEL on February 12th 1988 .... and returned to service with the airline on February 13th 1988 .... with its ownership being formally transferred to AUSTRALIAN AIRLINES on July 11th 1988. VH-TBR operated is final revenue service for the airline between SYD and MEL .... operating as TN403 .... on December 31st 1992 and under the command of Captain T. D. WILTSHIRE (the airlines General Manager of Flight Operations) .... and was then withdrawn from service and stored at MEL having accumulated 35,013 hours total flying time with 24,283 cycles. VH-TBR was both the last B727 to be delivered to TAA and the last remain in service with AUSTRALIAN AIRLINES. Unlike was the case with ANSETT's final B727-200 and DC-9-30 flights .... VH-TBR did not support any last/final flight legends/tributes at the time of its retirement from AUSTRALIAN AIRLINES service.
This aircraft was then ferried from MEL to DFW (via NAN/Fiji, APW/Western Samoa, and HNL) on March 24th 1993. It was sold to EXTEX INTERNATIONAL on March 26th 1993 .... then sold to AEROEJECUTIVOS/AEROEXO (XA-SIE) on April 13th 1993. It was leased to AVIACSA from December 1994 .... then .... returned to AEROEXO during June 1995 .... and was stored at IAH from August 1995. This aircraft then returned to AVIACSA service on October 13th 2000 ..... and was fitted with WL's during September 2009. It was withdrawn from AVIACSA service and stored at MTY during February 2006 .... and was repossessed by AEROEXO during April 2006 whilst remaining in storage at MTY. This aircraft was partially broken up (its wings were removed) at MTY during July 2009 .... and its fuselage then used as a cabin services trainer.
The progressive passing of these last examples of the B707, B727, and DC-9 from Australian service each represented the end of yet another proud era in Australia's civil aviation history. These aircraft ushered Australia into the jet age .... and literally built the countries international and domestic airways system between the late 1950's and late 1990's .... in the form of those services operated by QANTAS AIRWAYS, ANSETT AUSTRALIA, and TRANS AUSTRALIA AIRLINES/AUSTRALIAN AIRLINES. The aeronautical nostalgia may now no longer be existent for their departure albeit that Australian skies and airports will also now likely be little cleaner and quieter for their departure .... whilst the superior standards of service introduced by these aircraft will continue .... and continue to be further improved upon in the future too albeit with newer and more modern/advanced aircraft types
Special thanks to Erik INGRAM for his assistance in making this feature possible
DISCLAIMER: The information presented within this feature was accumulated from sources all too numerous to acknowledge individually .... as well as from personal recollections/recordings too. It is all "public information". Neither the author nor HJG lay claim to any of the information contained within this feature. This information is presented here for both "historic and educational" purposes only.