Qantas Airbus A380 First Landing in Melbourne - 2008

Three years after the first visit to Australia by the prototype Airbus A380, and following extensive production delays at Airbus, Qantas Airways took delivery of its first A380 in September 2008. The first commercial A380 services had already commenced a year earlier, in October 2007, by Singapore Airlines operating between Singapore and Sydney.

Airbus A380-842 cn 014 was flight tested in Europe as F-WWSK, making its first flight on 25 January 2008. It was then registered in Australia as VH-OQA Nancy-Bird Walton on 4 September 2008 and delivered to Qantas on 19 September. The aircraft was then ferried to Australia, arriving in Sydney on 21 September.

Following a few days of checking over and entry-to-service preparations, Nancy-Bird Walton commenced a period of crew training flights. The photo above shows Nancy-Bird Walton on short final for Runway 34 at 7.47 am, just prior to making the first landing in Melbourne by a Qantas A380. Note that the aircraft is painted in Qantas' new livery, introduced in July 2008. this features a more sylised and sleeker kangaroo, deletion of the gold stripe between the red and white areas, and a sleeker typeface for the company name (compare with the old livery on a Boeing 747).

The inaugural Qantas A380 commercial service departed Melbourne on 20 October 2008 non-stop to Los Angeles.

(Photo: Phil Vabre)

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