Sun, Dec 17, 2006
'City Of Canberra' Tangible Piece Of Aussie Aviation
Qantas chairwoman Margaret Jackson welcomed home the first
Boeing 707 (file photo of type below) put in service by
the airline nearly 50 years ago. Named "City of Canberra," the
47-year-old jet represents many "firsts" for the Australian
Addressing a group of 300 guests in a Qantas hangar Ms Jackson
said, "This Boeing 707 was the first jet aircraft in the Qantas
fleet, the first jet to arrive in Australia, the first Boeing jet
aircraft sold outside the United States and the first jet to fly
around the world. It is a tangible piece of our country's
incredible aviation history."
The City of Canberra first arrived in Australia in 1959. The
airline used it to transport Australian army troops to and from
Vietnam from 1965 to 72.
The airline retired the jet in the early 1970s when the Boeing
747 came on line. It was pulled from the mothballs and restored by
a team of current and retired Qantas engineers in London over the
past four years.
The venerable Boeing 707 uhsered in the so-called "jet age"
bringing intercontinental travel to the masses. Due mainly to the
airline pioneers flying Boeing's 707 in the late 1950s and 60s most
people today consider flights across vast expanses of empty ocean a
safe, viable method of travel.
Ms Jackson also had praise for the engineers who spent so much
time restoring the aircraft.
"I want to thank and congratulate all those who have given their
time and their talent to this fantastic endeavour," Ms Jackson
said. "You have given a great gift to Australia, and to aviation
The aircraft is destined for a spot at the Qantas Founders
Outback Museum in western Queensland.
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