Naming of Qantas aircraft

Naming of Qantas aircraft

The naming of Qantas aircraft has followed various themes since 1926.

  • 1949 Douglas DC-4 - Trader Theme — Pacific Trader, Norfolk Trader, New Guinea Trader, Hong Kong Trader, Malayan Trader, Australian Trader, Philippine Trader.[5]
  • 1954 Super Constellation - Southern Theme — Southern Aurora, Southern Boomerang, Southern Breeze, Southern Constellation, Southern Dawn, Southern Horizon, Southern Melody, Southern Mist, Southern Moon, Southern Prodigal, Southern Sea, Southern Sky, Southern Spray, Southern Star, Southern Sun, Southern Tide, Southern Wave, Southern Wind and Southern Zephyr.[6]
  • 1959 Lockheed Electra - Pacific Theme — Pacific Electra, Pacific Explorer, Pacific Endeavour and Pacific Enterprise [7]

City names continued on all Qantas ordered and delivered aircraft types right through to 2008.

Wunala Dreaming at Sydney Airport
  • 1989 Boeing 747-400 - in addition to their usual city names, all of these aircraft carry the word "Longreach" as part of the livery. This is actually a double meaning - it signifies both the "long reach" of the aircraft (i.e. they have a long range), and the town where Qantas began - Longreach, Queensland.[11]
  • 1993 - Aboriginal Art - three aircraft have been painted into striking Aboriginal liveries and named to celebrate the 1993 International observance of International Year of the World's Indigenous People.[13]
    • Wunala Dreaming (Boeing 747-438ER VH-OJB and VH-OEJ after retirement of OJB) (OJB was repainted into regular Qantas livery) The design was by John Moriarty and his wife Ros (Balarinji Designs), the design features the spirits of Indigenous Australians in the form of kangaroos travelling through the red desert landscape.[14] Wunula means kangaroo.[13]
    • Nalanji Dreaming (Boeing 747-338 VH-EBU) was also painted by John and Ros Moriarty and was launched in 1995.[13] The aircraft was scrapped in 2007 ref.
    • Yananyi Dreaming (Boeing 737-838 VH-VXB) launched in 2002;[15] the artwork was by Rinyi, a Pitjitjantjarra woman from Mutitjulu, near Uluru.[16]
    • There has been some criticism of Qantas of using Indigenous names and imagery as Indigenous Australians are underrepresented in its workforce.[17][16][18]
  • Nancy-Bird Walton - the first woman to fly a commercial aviation service in Australia.
  • Hudson Fysh - one of the founders of Qantas and the airline's first Managing Director.
  • Paul McGinness - one of the founders of Qantas.
  • Fergus McMaster - one of the founders of Qantas and the first Chairman of the Company.
  • Lawrence Hargrave - inventor of the box kite, linking four of these together in 1894 to fly 16 feet.
  • Charles Kingsford Smith - Australian aviator, who made the first trans-Pacific flight from the USA to Australia in 1928, and founded Australian National Airways Limited.
  • Charles Ulm - Co-pilot on Kingsford Smith's record-breaking trans-Pacific flight between the USA and Australia in 1928 and co-founder of Australian National Airways Limited.
  • Reginald Ansett - Founder of Ansett Airways Pty Ltd.
  • David Warren - Inventor of the Black Box Flight Recorder.
  • Bert Hinkler - Pilot of first solo flight from Britain to Australia in 1928.
  • John and Reginald Duigan - First Australians to design, construct and fly a powered aircraft, in 1910.
  • Phyllis Arnott - First Australian woman to gain a commercial pilot's license.
  • Keith Macpherson Smith and Ross Macpherson Smith - Winners of the 'Air Race' between London and Australia in 1919.
  • Lester Brain - Piloted the first scheduled Qantas flight in 1925 and ferried the first wartime Catalina flying boat delivered by Qantas Empire Airways in 1941. He was appointed General Manager of Trans Australia Airlines in 1946.
  • Lores Bonney - First woman to fly solo around Australia in 1932 and the first woman to fly solo from Australia to England, in 1933.
  • Norman Brearley - Founder of Western Australian Airways Limited, which operated Australia's first scheduled air service on 5 December 1921.
  • P G Taylor - Navigator and co-pilot alongside Charles Kingsford Smith and Charles Ulm on many record-breaking flights between Australia and the United States and England and Australia. Taylor was awarded the Empire Gallantry Medal in 1937 for one of the most revered acts of bravery in the history of aviation.
  • Scotty Allan - Co-pilot alongside Charles Ulm and P G Taylor on the 1933 record-breaking flight from England to Australia and later joined Qantas and flew DH86 aircraft on the Brisbane-Singapore route.
  • John Flynn - Founder of the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
  • Gaby Kennard - First Australian woman to fly solo around the world in 1989.


  1. ^ "Qantas to Name First A380 After Nancy Bird Walton" (Press release). Qantas. 16 October 2005. Retrieved 2008-07-23. 
  2. ^ a b "Establishing Q.A.N.T.A.S". QFOM. Retrieved 2010-08-21. 
  3. ^ "The Catalinas". Qantas. Archived from the original on 2006-12-29. Retrieved 2007-01-08. 
  4. ^ "Constellation". The Lockheed File. Retrieved 2006-12-17. 
  5. ^ "Douglas DC-4 & DC-6 Australian". Aussie Retrieved 2007-01-08. 
  6. ^ "A Carnation By Any Other Name". The Lockheed File. Retrieved 2006-12-17. 
  7. ^ "L-10 Electra". The Lockheed File. Retrieved 2006-12-17. 
  8. ^ Hicks, Ron (2006-12-15). "707 calls Australia home once more". The Australian.,20867,20929129-23349,00.html. Retrieved 2008-07-23. 
  9. ^ "The Qantas Boeing 707-138B Fleet". VH-JET#1 & Her Sisters. Retrieved 2010-08-21. 
  10. ^ "The Qantas Boeing 707-338C/327C/349C Fleet". VH-JET#1 & Her Sisters. Retrieved 2010-08-21. 
  11. ^ "Longreach". Australian Stockman's Hall of Fame and Outback Heritage Centre. 2007. Retrieved 2008-07-23. 
  12. ^ a b "Boeing 737 - Australia". Retrieved 2010-08-21. 
  13. ^ a b c "95/103/1 Aircraft model, stand and print, Boeing 747-400, 'Wunala Dreaming', Qantas Airways, plastic / metal / wood / paper, designed by John and Ros Moriarty of Balarinji Studio in Australia and made by Scalecraft Models in New Zealand, 1993-1994". Powerhouse Museum Collection. Powerhouse Museum. Retrieved 2008-07-23. 
  14. ^ Bartlett, Anne (2001). The Aboriginal Peoples of Australia. Lerner Publications. p. page 25. ISBN 0822548542. 
  15. ^ "QANTAS at a glance". Qantas. March 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-23. 
  16. ^ a b Megaw, Vincent (March 2002). "Whose Art is it anyway? or Some random thoughts on 20 years of collecting Indigenous Australian art for a small university art museum (pages 88-94) within The Fourth National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Visual Arts Conference - Appendix: Conference proceedings" (pdf of 173 pages). Retrieved 2008-07-23. "[page 92] All too often the art work— and this also goes for whitefella art — becomes so much wall-paper. Jenny Green has written of ‘the hegemony of the dot’ but sometimes it seems more like the enthralment of the dot. Every now and again the Empire strikes back, whether, small scale, in Turkey Tolson Tjupurrula's ‘Two women’ story’, where the canvass was supplied by a pair of Addidas trainers , an entry in a fund-raiser where a number of artists, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous were invited to contribute artists’ statements using sneakers as their medium. Another Indigenous entrant was Bororroloola-born and Flinders University-educated John Moriarty. Moriarty’s Balarinji Designs have provided the art work for ‘Wunala Dreaming’ and its two sister Qantas 747s; the third and most recent design has been supplied by a Pitjitjantjarra woman from Uluru, though with one might still wonder how much of the positive and international feed-back accruing to the airline has benefited the Indigenous community as a whole." 
  17. ^ Squires, Nick (2000-09-17). "Aborigine fury as 'false image' sells Olympics". The Daily Telegraph - republished by European Network for Indigenous Australian Rights. Retrieved 2008-07-23. "Earlier this year Qantas, the national airline, featured a picture of a beaming 10-year-old Aborigine girl in an advertising campaign titled "The Spirit of Australia". ... highlights the difficulties companies face in employing Aboriginal imagery. Qantas has used Aboriginal dot painting designs on two of its Boeing 747s, called 'Wunala Dreaming' and 'Nilanji Dreaming'.
    The company says that it is a leading sponsor of Aboriginal art exhibitions, and has had an employment programme for Aborigines since 1988. Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders, however, make up just over one per cent of its workforce."
  18. ^ Berry, Esther (2005). "Philip Pullman: Postcolonial Dark Materials, the Daemon and the Search for Indigenous Authenticity" (pdf (11 pages)). Papers from the Buddha of Suburbia: Proceedings of the Eighth Australian and International Religion, Literature and the Arts Conference 2004. October 1–3, 2004. The Sydney eScholarship Repository (University of Sydney) republishing from RLA Press. pp. pages 274–5. Retrieved 2008-07-23. "No longer are we stealing children for the study of Dust, but rather we are thieving Indigenous spirituality and traditions that are marketable within the worlds of tourism and advertising; within the world of art where, as cultural theorist, Celia Lury, asserts, ‘Dreamings [have] become the new multicultural ‘high’ gallery art.’ As Gobblers, we guzzle down images of Qantas Australiana rhetoric: the company’s current advertising campaign, the ‘Spirit of Australia’, imprinted on the bodies of company airplanes now painted in authentic Indigenous Dreaming designs – Nalanji Dreaming, Wunala Dreaming and the most recent Yananyi Dreaming – while the real bodies of Aborigines as sites of social in[ter]cision, ‘power and knowledge’ are displaced in national space when they do not correspond with our [post]colonial ‘fantasy’ of a ‘manageable,’ ‘multicultural’ Australia." 
  19. ^ Qantas Media Release 3852

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