The final Qantas 747 departure from Australia left Sydney Wednesday afternoon for Los Angeles. Before heading across the Pacific, VH-OEJ took to the sky over Sydney to leave a special message. Today’s departure marks the end of the Qantas 747 fleet’s 49 years of service.

Qantas’ 747 Farewell

Over the past week, Qantas operated three “Farewell Jumbo Joy Flights” touring Sydney, Brisbane, and Canberra with passengers on board for the final time. Today’s flight is taking the aircraft from Sydney to Los Angeles, where it will clear customs before continuing on to its final resting place in the California desert.

Follow QF7474 to Los Angeles

After making a scenic departure over Sydney and a low pass over the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS) in Wollongong, which hosts a retired Qantas 747, QF7474 turned east over the Tasman Sea to draw Qantas’ iconic kangaroo.

VH-OEJ Sydney departure and Qantas kangaroo

Measuring 275 kilometers east-west and 250 km north-south, the kangaroo took slightly less than 90 minutes to complete. When finished, VH-OEJ climbed to cruising altitude for the last time and headed out over the Pacific Ocean towards Los Angeles. After resting at LAX for a day, the very last takeoff by a Qantas 747 will send VH-OEJ to Mojave where it will join its fleet mates in retirement.

Qantas 747 receives water salute
VH-OEJ receiving a water salute before its final departure from Sydney Airport.

Ian Petchenik’s love of aviation began at an early age growing up next to Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. As Flightradar24’s director of communications and co-host of the AvTalk podcast Ian now gets to share that passion for aviation with millions of Flightradar24 users and listeners around the world.

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