Qantas’ Sydney Jet Base hosted a Qantas Group fleet review on the weekend to showcase Jetstar’s new Boeing 787-8. An all Boeing affair, on display were 717 VH-NXG, 737-800 VH-XZB, 747-400 VH-OJM, 767-300ER VH-OGG, and 787-8 VH-VKA, with unprecedented access to explore the aircraft.

The 747 and 787 were parked in Hangar 416, which can hold two B747 sized aircraft parked at a 45 degree angle to each other. Visitors were given the chance to compare the leap in engine technology with the cowlings on the B747-400’s Rolls Royce RB211-524G and a General Electric GEnx engine on the 787 open for inspection.

Located at the north-eastern end of Sydney Airport, the Arthur Baird Jet Base – Baird was one of the original founders of Qantas and its first engineer – contains five aircraft hangars – 96, 191, 245, 271, 416 – built to accommodate aircraft from the group’s Bombardier Q200s to the A380.  Supporting the Group’s engineering operation is an off-airport parts supply system from which a component can be picked, packed and delivered to the Jet Base or Qantas Domestic terminal within 6 minutes, ensuring engineering delays to aircraft are minimised.

Hangar 96 is Qantas’ A380 capable hangar, which allows a single A380 or two B747-400s to be positioned side by side. The upgraded hangar was opened in 2007, after work was completed to increase the opening width of the hangar doors to accommodate the A380’s wingspan, while modification work also included raising and modifying part of the roof, installing additional foam deluge fire systems under the wing positions and pits and trenches in the floor to provide services connections to the underside of the fuselage.

Qantas’ other heavy maintenance and engineering bases are located at Avalon (B747), Brisbane (A330, B737, B767,) and Tamworth (Bombardier Dash-8s).

Special thanks to Qantas for an excellent day.