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Qantas unveils Boeing 787-9 painted in centenary livery

written by WOFA | October 15, 2019

A supplied image of Qantas Boeing 787-9 VH-ZNJ in special centenary livery. (Qantas)
A supplied image of Qantas Boeing 787-9 VH-ZNJ in special centenary livery. (Qantas)

Qantas has released pictures of its soon-to-be-delivered 10th Boeing 787-9 that features a special livery celebrating the airline’s upcoming centenary in 2020.

The 787-9 VH-ZNJ Longreach has emerged from the paintshop at Boeing’s Everett facility, Qantas said in a statement on Tuesday (Australian time).

The fuselage features the number 100 that incorporates the flying kangaroo logo forward of the wings.

It also has the airline’s different logos since its foundation as the Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services (QANTAS) in 1920.

Qantas logos (from left) 1920-1930, 1930-1944, 1944-1947. (Qantas)
Qantas logos (from left) 1920-1930, 1930-1944, 1944-1947. (Qantas)
Qantas logos (from left) 1947-1968, 1968-1984, 1984-2016 and 2016-present day. (Qantas)
Qantas logos (from left) 1947-1968, 1968-1984, 1984-2016 and 2016-present day. (Qantas)

“The story of Qantas is the story of modern Australia, and the logos on this livery tell that story from the beginning,” Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Our centenary celebrations are all about honouring our past with an eye on the future, so it’s very fitting that this special livery will be worn by our newest state-of-the-art Dreamliner.”

Qantas said the aircraft would be handed over to Qantas in November and would then be ferried to London to operate the second of three Project Sunrise research flights. [vc_gallery interval=”0″ images=”78609,78612,78610,78613,78611″ img_size=”750×420″ title=”Boeing 787-9 VH-ZNJ (Images from Qantas)”]


The first of these research flights, which aimed to test different approaches to crew and passenger wellbeing for Qantas’s proposed ultra-long haul services, was due to occur on Friday, October 18, when 787-9 VH-ZNI was scheduled to fly nonstop from New York JFK to Sydney.

Flight QF7879 was due to take off from New York JFK at 2100 local time on Friday and land at Sydney at 0710 two days later.

The aircraft operating the ultra-long haul sector, VH-ZNI Kookaburra, had its first flight on October 3, according to Jennifer Schluld’s Twitter page. It then had another test flight on October 9.

There were only 40 people expected to be on board QF7879, comprising researchers from Monash and Sydney universities, as well as chief executive Alan Joyce and other Qantas staff alongside invited media.

From a pilot’s perspective, Qantas Captain Lisa Norman said in August the research flights would aim to replicate what a pilot would experience on a typical rostering pattern that included these ultra-long haul routes.

“We will try and accomodate a normal pattern for the pilot,” Captain Norman explained to Australian Aviation at Qantas’s 2018/19 full year results presentation on August 22.

“So the pilot will fly from maybe Brisbane or Melbourne up to Los Angeles for example, they will have their rest that we do now. They will fly to New York, they will have the rest that they do now. And then we will do the New York-Sydney.

“We are monitoring all this preflight, in-flight and post flight.

“About a week beforehand we will probably start testing the pilots and their sleep patterns and asking them questions and things like that.”

New York-Sydney measured 8,646nm, according to the Great Circle Mapper, while London-Sydney was 9,188nm.

Both routes were expected to take 18.5 hours, according to figures from Qantas.

The Boeing website listed the 787-9 with a range of 7,530nm when configured with 296 passengers. However, with about 40 people on the flight, Captain Norman said there was “no question of it doing the sector”.

The airline said the pilots would wear an electroencephalogram to track brain wave patterns and monitor their alertness.

Meanwhile, from a passenger perspective, Qantas said scientists from Sydney University’s Charles Perkins Centre would monitor sleep patterns, food and beverage consumption, lighting, physical movement and inflight entertainment to assess impact on health, wellbeing and body clock. The passenger would also be wearing technology devices.

Qantas has said previously it was aiming to make a decision whether to proceed with Project Sunrise and make an aircraft order by the end of calendar 2019.


  • Mike


    Oops typo gremlin….Boeing is located in Everett. (Everitt is more often used in a person’s name.) I can understand a typo occurring because I too was very excited to read about the B787 Centenary livery! Great article and pics! Thanks!



      Hi Mike,
      Apologies for the typo. The story has been updated. Thank you for reading.

  • Mike


    What is the cause of the white patches on the red painted, aft portside fuselage in the landing photo of VH-ZNI? The earlier starboard side photos of the same aircraft show shiny fresh red paint. Is it ice formation perhaps? I’ve not seen this on any other B787s.

    • Andrew


      Looks like a reflection.

  • Bryon


    Aircraft looks great, such a shame that they couldn’t also include some form of recognition for the TAA/Australian Airlines historical side of things…

    • PaulE


      I agree completely. It would be a wonderful tribute to the heritage of the expanded airline during and after privatisation when TAA/Australians Airlines was incorporated into Qantas.
      Perhaps painting a 717 in one of the TAA liveries would be a fitting tribute. It would remind us of the DC9’s and 727’s.

      • AlanH


        What a great idea! Re-introduce the T-jet! I love the retro liveries of the two Retro-Roo 737s and I see a few other airlines are following suit too now.

  • Kieran Rogan


    The picture is missing Qantas’s second last logo!

    • Shane


      In AA’s defence, the Qantas press release and associated graphic also missed the logo you refer to.
      It was used from 2007 thru 2016, unveiled to launch the A380. Superseded by the current “Silver Roo”.
      Can’t say I noticed the Blue winged logo from the graphic on the B787? Maybe another angle will reveal it?

  • Mike


    Kieran, the logo you mentioned might have been missed out in the graphic showing the evolving QANTAS logos, however it thankfully does appear on the actual aircraft as seen in the series of photographs of VH-ZNJ.

  • john doutch


    The flight “was” scheduled (appears in a couple of places). Should that not read “is”. Pedantic yes, but one needs to be in a “press release”. cheers

  • Hein Vandenbergh


    Totally uninspiring. What a missed opportunity!

  • Mike


    Hi Andrew, if you go to the Twitter link of the photo mentioned, you can see quite a sharp image of VH-ZNI and it definitely is not reflections of any kind on the red painted aft fuselage.
    I am quite curious to know exactly what has caused the white patches. From the photo it looks very much like areas covered with frost, though the “patchwork” locations are odd.
    I have seen ice patches on the wing surfaces of aircraft during refuelling and these do look similar. The aft fuselage location therefore is still not explained. I would appreciate if some knowledgeable AA reader could offer a plausible explanation for the “patches”! Thanks!

  • Stephen Smith


    If you magnify the image the smaller bottom patch is too rectangular in shape to be ice.

  • AlanH


    “Project Sunrise” to New York? I have to ask why? Just fly to a reachable port (Fiji or Hawaii sounds nice), stick the pax in a transit lounge, top up the fuel, change crews and keep going. Wouldn’t add much to the overall trip length when it is so long anyway.

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