Naming of Qantas aircraft

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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]
  • 1951 Short Sandringham S.25 Flying Boat – "Pacific" theme – Pacific Warrior, Pacific Chieftain, Pacific Voyager and Pacific Explorer.[6]
  • 1954 Lockheed L-1049 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.[7] Also, the Super Constellation L-1049F restored by the Historic Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS) was named "Southern Preservation", in the theme of the original aircraft.
  • 1959 Lockheed L-188 Electra – "Pacific" theme – Pacific Electra, Pacific Explorer, Pacific Endeavour and Pacific Enterprise[9]

City names continued on all Qantas ordered and delivered Boeing 747, Boeing 747SP and Boeing 767 aircraft until 2008.

Wunala Dreaming at Kai Tak Airport
  • 1989 Boeing 747-400 – in addition to their usual city names, all Boeing 747-400 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 commenced operations : Longreach, Queensland.[13]
  • In 1993 Qantas obtained a domestic route network when Australian Airlines (formerly Trans Australia Airlines) was merged into Qantas. Australian Airlines had used different naming conventions and these names were carried over.
    • 1986 Boeing 737-300 – inspirational names – Courageous, Advance, Adventure, Boldness, Challenge, Daring, Enterprise, Intrepid, Progress, Success, Valiant, Victory, Resolute, Fortitude, Endeavour and Gallant[14]
  • 1993 – Aboriginal Art – six aircraft have been painted with five different Aboriginal liveries and named accordingly; initially to celebrate the 1993 International observance of International Year of the World's Indigenous People.[15] There has been some criticism of Qantas for using Indigenous names and imagery as Indigenous Australians are under-represented in its workforce.[16][17][18]
    • Wunala Dreaming (Boeing 747-400 VH-OJB[19] and Boeing 747-400ER VH-OEJ[20]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.[21] Wunala means kangaroo.[15]
    • Nalanji Dreaming (Boeing 747-300 VH-EBU[22]) was also painted to a design by John and Ros Moriarty and was launched in 1995.[15] The aircraft has been retired.
    • Yananyi Dreaming (Boeing 737-800 VH-VXB[23]) launched in 2002;[24] the artwork was by Rene Kulitja, a Pitjitjantjarra woman from Mutitjulu, near Uluru.[17] repainted into corporate livery - September 2014.
    • Mendoowoorrji (Boeing 737-800 VH-XZJ[25]) was designed by John and Ros Moriarty based on the 2005 painting 'Medicine Pocket' by West Australian Aboriginal artist Paddy Bedford and launched in November 2013.[26][27]
    • Emily Kame Kngwarreye (Boeing 787 Dreamliner VH-ZND[28]) was inspired by the 1991 artwork ‘Yam Dreaming’, painted by the late artist, Emily Kame Kngwarreye. The painting captures the essence of the yam plant, an important symbol in Emily’s Dreamtime story, and an important food source in her home region of Utopia, 230 kilometres north east of Alice Springs.
  • 2014 Boeing 737-800 – Aircraft in Historical Qantas Livery – James Strong and Retro Roo II. The first aircraft appears in the Qantas 1971 to 1984 livery and the second aircraft appears in Qantas' first jet livery used from 1959 to 1961.


  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. Archived from the original on 12 September 2009. Retrieved 21 August 2010.
  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 Archived from the original on 28 August 2006. Retrieved 8 January 2007.
  6. ^ "Australian Short Flying Boat Register". Aussie Airliners. Retrieved 2013-04-20.
  7. ^ "A Carnation By Any Other Name". The Lockheed File. Retrieved 2006-12-17.
  8. ^ "Australian de Havilland DHC-3 Otter Register". Aussie Airliners. Retrieved 2014-03-11.
  9. ^ "L-10 Electra". The Lockheed File. Retrieved 2006-12-17.
  10. ^ Hicks, Ron (2006-12-15). "707 calls Australia home once more". The Australian. Retrieved 2008-07-23.
  11. ^ "The Qantas Boeing 707-138B Fleet". VH-JET#1 & Her Sisters. Retrieved 2010-08-21.
  12. ^ "The Qantas Boeing 707-338C/327C/349C Fleet". VH-JET#1 & Her Sisters. Retrieved 2010-08-21.
  13. ^ "Longreach". Australian Stockman's Hall of Fame and Outback Heritage Centre. 2007. Archived from the original on 19 July 2008. Retrieved 23 July 2008.
  14. ^ a b "Boeing 737 - Australia". Retrieved 2010-08-21.
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ Squires, Nick (17 September 2000). "Aborigine fury as 'false image' sells Olympics". The Daily Telegraph - republished by European Network for Indigenous Australian Rights. Archived from the original on 21 July 2008. Retrieved 23 July 2008. 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.
  17. ^ 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.
  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. 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. ^ "CASA Aircraft Register (VH-OJB)". Civil Aviation Safety Authority.
  20. ^ "CASA Aircraft Register (VH-OEJ)". Civil Aviation Safety Authority.
  21. ^ Bartlett, Anne (2001). The Aboriginal Peoples of Australia. Lerner Publications. p. 25. ISBN 0-8225-4854-2.
  22. ^ "CASA Aircraft Register (VH-EBU)". Civil Aviation Safety Authority.
  23. ^ "CASA Aircraft Register (VH-VXB)". Civil Aviation Safety Authority.
  24. ^ "QANTAS at a glance" (PDF). Qantas. March 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 23 July 2008.
  25. ^ "CASA Aircraft Register (VH-XZJ)". Civil Aviation Safety Authority.
  27. ^ "Photo gallery: Qantas' new Boeing 737-800 in Aboriginal livery". Retrieved 2013-11-09.
  28. ^ "CASA Aircraft Register (VH-ZND)". Civil Aviation Safety Authority.
  29. ^ Qantas Media Release 3852
  30. ^ "Qantas Dreamliner Fleet Names Revealed". Qantas. Retrieved 2017-06-21.
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