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What's your favourite 747 memory?

jastel

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Jul 19, 2012
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Had the Guy Fawkes thing into LHR once myself...not a 747 but.
The fireworks seemed really close but after I was behind the Pilots in security and asked them and they said they would have been a few miles away.
 

ajd

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My favourite memory of a QF 747 was being overbooked on a CI flight SYD-TPE-HKG, and being rebooked onto a QF flight (on a 747) that went directly SYD-HKG, and departed SYD several hours earlier, meaning that we arrived at 6pm rather than something silly like 1am as was originally planned.

I also got a bit airsick on that flight, but better to feel a bit sick and then land at your final destination, during daylight hours, after only 9-10hrs of flying, than to have to transit on to another flight and then arrive in the dark...

(Most of my 747 flying was on MH to see family in KUL, I haven't spent all that much time on QF 747s...)
 

ChrisGibbs

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Back in 1995 flying MEL-SIN-LHR on the QF9 747 service. Was flying upstairs in J and ran into the Captain on the flight and he invited me to the flight deck about 2hrs out of LHR. FO ran me through the fun bits of the FMC. Amongst many other things I was surprised to see such a big difference between the FL400 we were flying at and the 'real' GPS altitude of 43,xxxft.... Spent a couple weeks working in the UK and travelling back to MEL on QF10 LHR-SIN with a stopover in SIN then onto MEL. Ran into a different Captain on the LHR-SIN (a regular on the SYD-JNB-SYD sectors). Was staying at the Swisshotel (previously Westin) in Singapore and ran into the QF tech crew off the QF10 LHR-SIN on the squash courts and in the pool. Given they drop one of the SO's for the SIN-MEL sector was invited by the Captain to the flight deck for the take off from Singapore and landing into Melbourne. It was around the time were ATC changed over from using the aircraft registration as the call sign to using flight numbers which created a bit of confusion. The FO flew the visual approach into Melbourne at 5:00am in the morning. He was the same guy on the way from SIN-LHR as well as back from LHR-SIN-MEL... He said his roster had him go MEL-SIN-LHR-SIN-LHR-SIN-MEL. All up around 12-13 days on the road. Was surprised the same Tech crew flew sat on the ground in Melbourne for a few hours then flew the MEL-SYD sector as well.

Another QF747 memory. Did the very first commercial flight over the Antartica after the NZDC-10 Mt Erebus tragedy. It was in November 1995 on a QF747-400 from Syd-Mel-Mel-Syd. 13hrs from take off in Melbourne to landing back in Melbourne with some great views over the ice pack. Ray Heiniger (ex QF Chief Pilot) was the Captain on the flight. Captain John Dennis may also have been on the flight as well.

My least favourite memory on the QF747 was flying VH-NLH (ex BA 747). It was in service with QF for about 3 years from late 2000. If ever a plane was going to go U/S it was this one....

Not on a QF747 but flew on a BA747-100 from LHR-PHL. Got an invite from the Captain to the flight deck for departure. He was coming back onboard after doing his walk around and I was getting on the plane. He said he picked me out as I was wearing a QF747 hat and that I must have been a long way from home. It was a lunch time departure. We lined up on 27R behind a BA Concorde flying LHR-JFK and in front of that was QF2 (VH-OJB) in the original Wunala Dreaming colours flying LHR-BKK (as it did in those days). The Concorde was a hell of lot noisier that the 747 on takeoff. Lots of activity on the flight deck of the BA747 with 2 pilots and a Flight Engineer. The workload involved in getting to the right point at the right altitude at the right time to do the trans atlantic crossing was high intensity. It's not until you see the number of aircraft around you at different altitudes and in front of you that you realise the complexities involved.
 
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BD1959

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Enjoyed many a 747 sector over the years but two stick out ...

My first - in October 1986 A BA747-200 "City of Birmingham" LHR - BDA - MCO. Sitting back in row 51 I was amazed by how long the aisle was and the take-off from Heathrow was incredibly bumpy and the seat belt sign stayed-on for an age. The massive wings (relative to the 737s and props I'd experienced to that time) seemed to flex not only along their length but also width as you could see the engine pods rising and falling. Best to come was when on approach into Bermuda and the flaps extended to what seemed like twice their width with daylight between the different stages!! - the flying experience was much, much larger-scale than anything else.

Years later, my one-and-only experience on the QF747SP flying CNS-DRW (the first sector of the CNS-DRW-SIN). The -SP not only looked "abridged" from the outside - though dwarfing everything else at CNS - it seemed "stunted" inside compared to the SQ 744s (Megatops) I was more familiar with at that time.

Regards,

BD
 

Chalkie

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Gosh reading this thread has brought back so many memories for me. I was so lucky to have so many wonderful 747 memories. Here are some standouts:

1. My first trip overseas in 1987 - SYD to FRA with PR - 747 from MNL to FRA with a refuelling stop at DXB or AUH (I can't remember which now), and then on the return journey a 747 all the way FRA-SYD with LH.

2. My first QF 747 trip on QF10 SYD-LAX in 1991.

3. In 1996, flying into Kai Tak on a BA 747, LHR-HKG, on a clear day and marvelling at people's apartments and their washing on display!

4. My first F flight, on CX HKG-LAX in 1999.

5. My first (and only) visit to the cockpit inflight on NZ LHR-LAX in 2001. That is a pretty special memory, sitting in the jump seat and chatting to the Captain as we flew over the Arctic ice floes.

6. My first QF F flight on a hilarious QF93 sector, with tip top cabin crew who kept us very well fed, extremely well watered and entertained for the whole flight - which ended with a special gift bag from the F crew for me!

If memory serves, I flew on 747s with PR, LH, QF, BA, CX, NZ and SQ. I may have flown on a DL 747 on a US transcon flight (LAX-MIA or ATL in the early 90s) but I'd need to check records that are in deep storage in Ballarat and out of my reach to be sure!
 

Guvner

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QF 64 JNB-SYD. 4 years ago. Took +1 and 2 kids on a month long sojourn. Heading back to Aus with all of us in J. Left my backpack with camera and all 4 passports on the bus in JNB, didn't realise until it disappeared off in to the night.. Crew went out of their way to ensure I was reunited with minimum of fuss and stress.
There's something special about flying home on QF. It just feels right.

BA SIN-LHR, upper deck J. Lovely FA looked after my kids like they were her own. I slept like a baby for 7 hrs. Have never done that on any flight before or since.
 

OATEK

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Enjoyed many a 747 sector over the years but two stick out ...

My first - in October 1986 A BA747-200 "City of Birmingham" LHR - BDA - MCO. Sitting back in row 51 I was amazed by how long the aisle was and the take-off from Heathrow was incredibly bumpy and the seat belt sign stayed-on for an age. The massive wings (relative to the 737s and props I'd experienced to that time) seemed to flex not only along their length but also width as you could see the engine pods rising and falling. Best to come was when on approach into Bermuda and the flaps extended to what seemed like twice their width with daylight between the different stages!! - the flying experience was much, much larger-scale than anything else.

Years later, my one-and-only experience on the QF747SP flying CNS-DRW (the first sector of the CNS-DRW-SIN). The -SP not only looked "abridged" from the outside - though dwarfing everything else at CNS - it seemed "stunted" inside compared to the SQ 744s (Megatops) I was more familiar with at that time.

Regards,

BD
My first ever international flight was on a BA747-200 in October 2017 - sad to hear the news today that all remaining BA747s are to be retired immediately.
 

747sp

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I just went on the last 747 flight out of Canberra. It had spectacular views, a wonderful crew and everyone was so happy but with a tinge of sadness as we all knew it was the last flight . They told us the crew had over 500 years of experience.
 
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Some new favourite memories from today’s farewell flight in Canberra. A wonderful bittersweet experience, for crew as well as pax. Vale Wunala Dreaming.

It was my first flight since February 2020 and likely to also be my last for the year, so very special indeed.
 

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hopefulQFF

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I was coming home to Australia after a long, extremely stressful and emotionally exhausting clinical trial in the US (work). Had a very uncomfortable and long flight from JFK to DFW and was super keen for the awesome service and comfort of QF. Had been working long days for weeks on end and hadn't found time to check in online on QF8 in Economy - ended up with a middle seat. Was so keen to avoid both Y and middle seats, I asked at check in about a possible J upgrade (points preferably or even paid - I was desperate).

The check in agent was an Aussie (they were usually US staff) and politely listened to my request (and no doubt noted the exhaustion and desperation on my face!) and tapped away on the computer before telling me she was unable to process an upgrade for me but could switch my seat. I was bewildered but not going to argue (I knew there was J availability and my ticket was eligible for upgrade). She handed me my boarding pass which I took, looked at and was immediately confused. My brain struggled to work out what was going on - I was in 3A. I knew this was up the front in F, but didn't believe my eyes. I can't imagine what my face looked like - utter confusion! She laughed and said 'Enjoy your flight home'. I don't know if I've ever been so grateful to anyone. I nearly cried.

F was almost empty (4 pax?) and the crew were awesome. They made a bed up in 3E (?) and gave me more food and drink than you would usually get in 3 flights combined. However, exhaustion got the better of me and I slept for 8+ hours before reemerging to more food and drink. The best flight I ever had - op ups are rare and I truly appreciated it. Never again set foot in F (nor Y!).
 
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so many good experiences and stories after 50 years...
this may be more appropriate to the "ask the pilot" thread, but since this is all about flying the 747, I will ask here.

Just after take-off there was a characteristic "shudder" from underneath, more pronounced when sitting above the undercarriage.
I thought it may have been the brakes stopping the wheels from spinning as they retracted.
Does anyone know what it actually was ?
 

MEL_Traveller

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Apr 27, 2005
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Just after take-off there was a characteristic "shudder" from underneath, more pronounced when sitting above the undercarriage.
I thought it may have been the brakes stopping the wheels from spinning as they retracted.
Does anyone know what it actually was ?
My understanding is that the nose wheel of the 747 doesn't have brakes, so it is spinning as it is retracted and gives the characteristic spinning sound for a second or two after take-off. There are pads inside the housing that stop the spinning. The main wheels have something to stop them spinning before entering the housing, for safety reasons.
 

jules.

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Hamilton Island, Sydney, Wunala Dreaming, Lord Howe Island, Ceduna, and Nullabour - all on QF25/26 SYD ⇌ HND.

I've only been flying properly for a two years, but thanks for the memories! Like many others, I didn't think October 21st was going to be my last.
 

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Flying Fox

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Best B747 memory was with SQ flying Y from SIN - HKG.

As a young 20 year old some 20 years ago, I asked a FA if I could do the landing in the cockpit. She asked the Captain and I was told no but I was welcome to visit the cockpit during the flight when the crew were ready. I gladly accepted. I visited the crew and spent about 30mins chatting with everyone and then returned to my seat.

At top of descent the same FA returned and informed me that the Captain changed his mind and I could sit in the cockpit for the landing if I liked. Of course I said yes and I was brought into the cockpit. A second officer (my guess) was my host and he gave me a head set to listen to ATC and I was instructed not to say anything. Watched the landing standing up most of the time and then finally sat in the jump seat. Taxied to the terminal and I sat quietly whilst letting everyone carry on with their post landing work. Finally the second officer asked the Captain if I could go. I got a group photo (film in those days) and exited an empty aircraft as everyone had already disembarked.

Will take that story to my grave.
 

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