February 9th 2019 marks 50 years since the first flight of the Boeing 747 and what an amazing aircraft this is.
Sadly the type seems to be slowly dying off outside the freight market with fewer airlines flying the 747 each year and many of them ending up in desert graveyards.
Here’s some of my favourite shots taken from Sydney Airport of the 747.
Atlas Air is one of the many freight companies flying through Sydney. Their livery is especially striking with the dark blue on white.
Some special 747s have visited Sydney over the years. I managed to capture a pair of Japanese Military 747-400s in Sydney. These were especially hard to get through the fence and this is the only time i’ve been told off by security for getting too close to the fence.
Of course my favourite 747 is Qantas’s 747-400 VH-OEG. This is the only 747 I’ve ever had the pleasure to fly in. I took her from Auckland to Sydney back in June 2017. You can read all about it and see all my shots here.
Of course Qantas have a number of other 747-400s flying still. Sadly they’re slowly retiring them to the desert and the last will be gone by 2020. Luckily we can still experience the greatness of them with the HARS museum having VH-OJA open to the public to explore.
Thai Airways is another carrier often seen in Sydney, they too will start phasing these amazing planes out in the near future to be replaced by newer, more efficient, though less majestic aircraft. These shots were taken on the Sydney Airport Airside Tour which helped raise funds for Kids in Need, a worth charity.
Thankfully some carriers such as UPS and Korean Airlines have embraced the new wave of 747s, the 747-8 as well as having many 747-400s in their fleets so we’ll see them flying for many more years to come. Unfortunately I seem to have lost my photos of the UPS 747-8 so here’s some shots of a -400 instead.
Finally, have a great celebration 747, you’ve changed aviation over the years and made the impossible possible so you deserve the title of Queen of the Skies that you’ve so proudly been bestowed. Let’s hope we still see you in our skies in another 50 years.