30 years ago, the second segment of the delivery flight of Qantas' first Boeing 747-438 (VJ-OHA, named City of Canberra) departed London Heathrow for Sydney, the first unrefueled non-stop flight from England to Australia. Qantas flight 741 (QF7441 in some documentation) set two FAI records, for distance (17,039 km) and speed over a recognised course (845.58 km/h).
The flight crew consisted of Captain David Massey-Green and three other senior Qantas captains, Ray Heiniger, George Lindeman, and Rob Greenop. They were accompanied by Boeing Training Captain Chet Chester. Two cabin crew and sixteen passengers were also aboard the flight.
Many special steps were taken to accomplish the record flight. Rolls-Royce specially selected four RB.211-524G engines to be installed on the aircraft. Shell supplied a special high-density fuel and the aircraft's fuel tanks were filled to the overflow point. The aircraft was towed to the hold point of runway 28R (now designated 27R) before starting the engines. Although the aircraft was outfitted with a full passenger cabin, non-essential items such as galley equipment were left off.
Today's Featured Map shows the path from Qantas 741's flight plan. The planned flying time was 19 hours 52 minutes; headwinds that were stronger than expected prior to reaching Cocos Island resulted in an actual flying time of 20 hours 9 minutes.
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Karl L. Swartz.
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