Last year, Australian flag carrier Qantas recreated the former first class lounge once found in the bubble of its Boeing 747-200 aircraft. Having served its purpose as a set in the airline’s centenary-inspired safety video, the question remained what to do with it. Qantas has now loaned the recreated lounge to the Qantas Founders Museum in Longreach.
The Boeing 747 has rapidly disappeared from the skies over the past year, with many airlines retiring the type well ahead of its time. This was the case with the remaining Qantas 747 aircraft. However, airlines worldwide are attempting to preserve 747 heritage, such as British Airways with its fleet of retro jets.
Coming to the Qantas Founders Museum
Earlier today, Qantas revealed that Australians will now be able to get up close and personal with a replica of its onboard 747-200 first class lounges. The representation was created for the airline’s centenary safety video. The airline has loaned the model to the Qantas Founders Museum located in Longreach.
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The model shows the cabin how it would have appeared in 1971. Given the interest expected in the piece, the museum has opted to place it in its main exhibition hall. It will feature alongside relevant items from the era, such as uniforms, menus, and catering equipment.
While Qantas was saying goodbye to the 747 for good, it hosted a series of goodbye flights. During these flights, funds were raised. These funds were put towards relocating the set to the museum. Once museum-goers have experienced the recreated lounge, they will be able to go and admire a 747 at the museum’s air-park.
Making a museum piece
Qantas decommissioned its retro upper deck lounge back in 1979 to introduce business class on its 747 aircraft. As a result, the airline had to make the replica lounge from scratch. Well, not entirely. Qantas went out to the Mojave Desert in search of one of its former 747-200s.
The wall panels from this aircraft were removed and flown to Australia. With the shell of the lounge ready-made, the airline was able to ensure that the recreation would be a 1:1 scale replica.
The Captain Cook Lounge
When on the 747-200, the lounge accommodated 15 passengers, accessible via a staircase from the main deck. It featured a cocktail bar with swivel seats featuring a full 360 degrees of motion. Upon visiting the lounge, passengers could drink, smoke, and dine, while socializing with fellow passengers. You can read more about the Captain Cook Lounge here.
These days lounges onboard aircraft are becoming a bit of a rarity. However, a handful of carriers do still offer something. Emirates is well known for its business and first lounge located at the rear of the Airbus A380’s upper deck. Meanwhile, Virgin Atlantic’s new A350s have a lounge area at the second set of doors, designed for Upper Class passengers.
Even Qantas pays homage to the Boeing 747-200’s lounge days on its largest aircraft, the Airbus A380. The airline has two inflight lounge areas onboard the aircraft, located on the upper level.
Are you excited to see the Qantas 747-200 lounge recreation relocated to a museum? Let us know what you think and why in the comments below!