A golden jubilee for the Queen of the Skies – Qantas’ Boeing 747

Although Qantas now operates A380s and 787s between the UK and Australia, many Qantas 747s have been seen over the years at Heathrow.

If you’ve ever flown internationally with Qantas, chances are you would have done so on a Boeing 747. The four-engine, twin-aisle, wide-body, double-storey jet has been a beloved member of the Qantas fleet since they first took delivery of one in 1971.

The Jumbo was such a good fit that Qantas was operating an all-747 fleet ten years later and they have flown almost every type of the 747 over the years, from the Special Performance series (a smaller, sportier edition) to the 747-400ER (an extended range aircraft that allowed the airline to fly non-stop across the Pacific).

But all good things must come to an end. The 747, and its distinctive hump-shaped upper deck is becoming a rarer sight at airports around the world, and a new generation of twin-engine aircraft is taking its place. This changing of the guard is bittersweet for AV geeks, but fewer engines mean less maintenance and lower fuel costs.


Travellers will never forget the Jumbo, though. It carried the flying kangaroo for decades.

It well-and-truly put Qantas on the map as a major global airline. And most importantly, it made international travel so much more comfortable and affordable for passengers. It’s a legacy that the more efficient aircraft taking its place will continue.

Feeling nostalgic? Check out this ad from the 1970s.

Feel like trying something new? Visit

To experience the Qantas 787 from London Heathrow non-stop to Perth or the award-winning Qantas A380 via Singapore and connect on to four cities in Australia.

Modern day Qantas A380 over Sydney

Modern day Qantas A380 over Sydney



Leave a Comment!

Not a member?

You need to be a member to interact with Silversurfers. Joining is free and simple to do. Click the button below to join today!

Click here if you have forgotten your password

Community Terms & Conditions

Content standards

These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.

You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.

Contributions must:

be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.

Contributions must not:

contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.

Nurturing a safe environment

Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.

We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!