A week in the life of a Boeing 737

Published on 6th March 2019 at 14:30

Spotting our bird: Here’s VH-VZZ aka Walpole. It was the 182nd brand new Boeing aircraft delivered to Qantas. Thanks to R. N. Smith Collection for pic

The Boeing 737 is the world’s bestselling single aisle jet aircraft. And it’s the workhorse of the Qantas domestic fleet.

Recently we checked in with our operations centre who gave us the low down on the high life of a 737.

We joined VH-VZZ, the rego of one of our “seven-threes” as they are called, for a week starting in Bali. Over the next seven days it stopped off in Sydney, Auckland, Melbourne, Wellington, Brisbane, Christchurch, Perth, Noumea, Canberra, Mt Isa and Hamilton Island.

Or for those who are fluent in airport codes, the aircraft flew: DPS-MEL-AKL-MEL-CHC-BNE-NOU-BNE-MEL-HTI-SYD-MEL-AKL-BNE-ISA-BNE-SYD-NOU-SYD-WLG-SYD-BNE-MEL-CBR-PER.

All up, it travelled over 44,000 kilometres, longer than a trip around the world. In a week.

It carried 2886 passengers, 2675 bags, almost two tonnes of mail – plus three cats, one dog, some chickens, some fish…and five kilograms of live crickets.

Along the way, it had nine scheduled maintenance checks with two inflight entertainment screens replaced, a new tyre for the right side landing gear wheel installed and regular inspections of the aircraft’s fuselage, fuel and hydraulics systems.

A busy week – but a typical one.

We have seventy-five 737s proudly sporting the Flying Kangaroo, operating a combined total of 350 services every day.

Captain Matt Hicks has been sitting in the left-hand seat of the 737 and reckons it’s all about the handling.

“I’ve operated on the 767, the 747, the A330 and the A380 but the 737 is one of the most capable aircraft in the fleet,” he said.

“It’s very fast and manoeuvrable compared with the larger jets. “It’s really a fun aircraft to fly.”

But don’t just take Matt’s word for it. The 737 is also a firm favourite with other airlines around the world.

Our mates at Boeing estimate there are two thousand 737s in the air at any one time, and one is either taking off or landing every two seconds.

A big thanks to @hkspotter for the hero pic!

More Roo Tales here.