Qantas A380s to Honour Our Aviation Pioneers

Sydney, 16 November 2008

Qantas today announced the names of its fleet of 20 A380 aircraft, honouring pioneers of Australian aviation.

Qantas Chief Executive Officer Designate, Mr Alan Joyce said that today - the airline's 88th birthday - was a fitting date to honour men and women who had contributed to the development of aviation in Australia.

"I am delighted that some of our greatest aviation trail blazers and their families have agreed to allow Qantas to name our A380 fleet in their honour," he said. "Today, we are bringing aviation's past together with its future."

"We have been overwhelmed with the support from the public since we announced the A380 naming program and all of the names that people have suggested have been very worthy.

"We have taken some of those suggestions, and also consulted aviation experts, to ensure we chose people who have not only made a great difference to flying in this country, but who represent the courage, tenacity and determination of the real spirit of Australia.

"Among them are Qantas' founders Fergus McMaster, Paul McGinness and Hudson Fysh, who gathered at the Gresham Hotel in Brisbane and signed the formal papers to establish Qantas 88 years ago.

"Others include engineers, inventors, navigators and business leaders - but all are pioneers, and all are very deserving."

The full list of people who will have an A380 named after them are:

* Nancy-Bird Walton - the first woman to fly a commercial aviation service in Australia.

* Hudson Fysh - one of the founders of Qantas and the airline's first Managing Director.

* Paul McGinness - one of the founders of Qantas.

* Fergus McMaster - one of the founders of Qantas and the first Chairman of the Company.

* Lawrence Hargrave - inventor of the box kite, linking four of these together in 1894 to fly 16 feet.

* Charles Kingsford Smith - Australia's most famous aviator, who made the first trans-Pacific flight from the USA to Australia in 1928, and founded Australian National Airways Limited.

* Charles Ulm - Co-pilot, on Kingsford Smith's record-breaking trans-Pacific flight between the USA and Australia in 1928 and co-founder of Australian National Airways Limited.

* Reginald Ansett - Founder of Ansett Airways Pty Ltd.

* David Warren - Inventor of the Black Box Flight Recorder.

* Bert Hinkler - Pilot of first solo flight from Britain to Australia in 1928.

* John and Reginald Duigan - First Australians to design, construct and fly a powered aircraft, in 1910.

* Phyllis Arnott - First Australian woman to gain a commercial pilot's license.

* Keith McPherson Smith and Ross McPherson Smith - winners of the famous 'Air Race' between London and Australia in 1919.

* Lester Brain - Piloted one of the first Qantas routes in 1925 and ferried the first wartime Catalina Flying Boat delivered by Qantas Empire Airways in 1941. Later appointed General Manager of Trans-Australia Airlines in 1946.

* Lores Bonney - First woman to fly solo around Australia in 1932 and the first woman to fly solo from Australia to England, in 1933.

* Norman Brearley - Founder of Western Australian Airways Limited, which operated Australia's first scheduled air service on 5 December 1921.

* P G Taylor - Navigator and co-pilot alongside Charles Kingsford Smith and Charles Ulm on many record-breaking flights between Australia and the United States and England and Australia. Taylor was awarded the Empire Gallantry Medal in 1937 for one of the most revered acts of bravery in the history of aviation.

* Scotty Allan - Co-pilot alongside Charles Ulm and P G Taylor on the 1933 record-breaking flight from England to Australia and later joined Qantas and flew DH86 aircraft on the Brisbane-Singapore route.

* John Flynn - Founder of the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

* Gaby Kennard - First Australian woman to fly solo around the world in 1989.

Issued by Qantas Corporate Communication (3852)