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Flightline 3/TBD

Boeing Field circa 1959
Boeing Field circa 1959
Photo: Boeing Historical Archives

Back to Boeing Field in the Fifties, this time with a Qantas 707-138 front and center. The -138 was a specially shortened version of the first production -120 model, specially ordered by Qantas to increase the range of the 707. Three fuselage frames were removed from both in front and behind the wings, shortening the plane by 10 feet.

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VH-EBA rolled out of the Boeing plant on February 11th 1959, and her first flight was on March 20th. After a three day flight from Seattle, the plane arrived in Sydney on July 20th and was soon christened “City of Melbourne”. VH-EBA was soon flying from Sydney to far-flung locales such as San Francisco, New York and London until 1961, when she was returned to Seattle to have the original JT3C-6 engines replaced with up-rated JT3D-1 models. Back in service by September of ‘61, the plane flew with Qantas for six more years before being sold to Pacific Western Airlines in October of 1967. After eleven years with PacWest, she was place in storage before again being sold, this time to Tiger Air. Converted to an executive configuration, the plane changed hands several times between 1978 and 2006, including time in the Saudi Air Force flying ambassador to the US, Prince Bandar. The plane was finally acquired by the Qantas Foundation Memorial and flown back to Australia for the last time, and is now on display at the Qantas Founders Outback Museum.

The VH-EBA registry has been reused twice since 1967, being first applied to a (now scrapped) Boeing 747-238B, and more currently an Airbus A330-202, which is still flying for Qantas today.

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