Centennary of Style & Innovation: A time capsule in-flight and out

Home » Centennary of Style & Innovation: A time capsule in-flight and out

New on all Qantas fights from today:

The Qantas Airways safety video have turned into somewhat of a superbowl of the skies with their annual instalments of late just changing the way we look at our country and aviation safety.   Last year’s had to be the best in a long time.   This year’s safety video begins showing on flights today and is a time capsule of sorts showcasing key sites, terminals, and aircraft used throughout its history.   Keeping in tone with the personal touch we are use to, Qantas crew members present safety instructions with elaborate recreations of historical landmarks and onboard aircraft.

“This safety video is a look back at the different styles of aircraft, service and uniforms that have been part of our long history. And it calls out the contribution Qantas and its people have made to aviation, like the invention of the slide raft, as well as the national carrier’s role in connecting Australia to the world,” said CEO, Mr Alan Joyce.  “It’s really a tribute to a century of our people, the changing styles, and our innovation. The one thing that has never changed is our commitment to safety.”

The video features (play 8 minute long version beow) iconic aircraft, fashion and aviation milestones to create a 100-year time lapse from the 1920s to present day. Current Qantas staff appear in historical versions of their present-day roles with Alastair Fysh, the grandson of Qantas co-founder Sir Hudson Fysh, also making a cameo appearance.

Twelve months in the making
The final product was the result of more than 12 months development and pre-production with the video being filmed over three weeks across seven destinations including Longreach, Rose Bay (Sydney), HARS Museum at Wollongong, Melbourne, Brisbane Airport and the pink lakes of Hutt Lagoon in Western Australia.

Picture perfect

Qantas original B747 1970s Lounge.jpg

Each aircraft cabin and scene are exact replicas of originals based on the photographs and details from the Qantas Heritage collection. Avgeeks and history buffs may notice:

  • Wall panels in the 1970s upper deck taken from a retired 747-200 in the Mojave Desert, flown to Sydney and used to help recreate the Captain Cook lounge. Qantas then commissioned Instyle Interior Finishes to produce a bespoke replica of the vibrant colours and patterns of the 1970s 747 lounge furniture.
  • The original Australian Wildflower pattern on the walls of the Boeing 707.
  • An original tea set from the 1940s.
  • An original life jacket in the Rose Bay 1930s scene, one of only two remaining from this era.
  • Using original artwork and drawings from Indigenous design studio Balarinji, the 747 with the Wunala Dreaming livery was recreated using computer generated imagery technology.

Mullets, moustaches and miniskirts
Recreating a century of evolving fashion required creative problem solving.

  • Small town op shops were a treasure trove for the carefully curated wardrobe of the extras in each scene with the Longreach St Vincent de Paul proving a goldmine for the 1980s era.
  • While each of the original uniforms were authentic, some of the hair was not. Production crews used 50 wigs and 30 moustaches to capture the head-to-toe style of each era.

A custom-built slide

 The Avro 504 in the opening scene belongs to the Qantas Founders Museum in Longreach who allowed the aircraft to be taken out of its exhibition to the tarmac. The Art Director worked with an engineer to design and build a custom slide raft that could be taken off its permanent plinth and moved to the tarmac without damage

Historical Exhibition coming to a city near you:

A fully immersive exhibition showcasing the past, present and future of Qantas will tour four capital cities from this June.  Opening on 27 June at Brisbane’s Queensland Museum until 16 November 2020, the date of the 100-year anniversary.

“The story of Qantas is the story of modern Australia and the Centenary Exhibition will showcase the national carrier’s history and role in Australia like never before,” said Mr Joyce.  “Just like Qantas itself, the exhibition will begin in Queensland before taking 100 years of the Spirit of Australia across Sydney, Melbourne and Perth,”.

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The touring exhibition will be at the State Library of NSW in Sydney from December 2020 to April 2021, at Scienceworks Museum in Melbourne from June to August 2021 before its final display in Perth in December 2021 to February 2022.

The all-ages exhibition brings to life the story of Qantas through previously unseen artefacts, life-sized replicas and interactive installations. Visitors will also experience a behind-the-scenes look into Qantas’s present-day operations and a sneak preview of the future of aviation, all with free entry.

Bodies in Flight 1

The design of the exhibition has been crafted around six themes – Origins, Wings to the World, Social Spirit, Challenges, Innovation and People of Qantas – and retells the biggest stories in the history of the airline through multimedia displays.

The exhibition has been developed over the past two years and created in conjunction with Freeman Ryan Design.

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Preview of exhibition highlights

  • Scrapbooks of Fergus McMaster, Qantas co-founder.
  • An interactive recreation of Qantas’ current Integrated Operations Centre.
  • A futuristic aircraft seat made entirely of wool in collaboration with Woolmark and Qantas designer David Caon.
  • A replica 747 First Class Lounge from the 1970s.
  • A look at the effects of long-haul flight via an immersive interactive experience.


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