Growing up in the 1960s I was fascinated by planes. For a budding plane-spotter it was great time to be alive. The first generation of narrow body jets was in the air; 707, DC8, 727, DC9 and VC10. And about to emerge from the drawing boards as the decade closed were the 747, DC10, L1011, the first wide body jets.
During the late 70s and early 80s I spent many hours at Tullamarine photographing the big jets. International travel was not as common as today and many airlines did not fly to Melbourne. Still I managed over the years to capture a few 747s. And I was at Tullamarine when the first Qantas 747 to visit Melbourne landed. And a few years later my father organised a tour of a Qantas 747 at the gate as he knew someone who worked for the airline.
Unlike many people who attended the Qantas Farewell in Sydney on Monday 13 July 2020 I have only travelled on a few Qantas 747s. My first flight was on a 747-300 to Hawaii. Then I flew twice to Brisbane on a 747-SP. And finally, on a 747-400 to San Francisco. I have travelled on other airlines 747s however; British Airways, United and Air New Zealand.
There have been three great aircraft in commercial aviation history to date; the DC3, Boeing 707 and perhaps the greatest, the 747. So sad to see her leave although the 747 will still live on as a freighter but it will not be the same.