Qantas has been renowned for being on the cutting edge of long-haul travel with the best equipment: Connies in the 1950s, 707s in the 1960s and 747s in the 1970s. Along with that is a reputation for safety that is second to none. However even during the regulated era Qantas wasn't just a long haul airline as it had duties to perform closer to home. These involved using more primitive equipment well into the 1970s in the form of Douglases stalwart C-47/DC-3 and DC-4s.
China Eastern (MU) emerged in June 1988 from the Shanghai regional bureau of the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) which had operated all air services within China since its formation in 1954. China Eastern was one of the six state-owned children of CAAC but as with its Beijing and Guangzhou based siblings Air China and China Southern it held a distinct advantage over the other three airlines due to its hub location. The fleet of CAAC was split between its progenitors with China Eastern acquiring 5 A310s, 3 BAE 146s, 5 MD-80s, 3 Shorts 360s and several AN-24s and Y-7 turboprops. Re-equipment was on the cards though in the form of a mixed fleet of Airbus A300s, McDonnell Douglas MD-11s and Fokker 100s.
I'm Richard Stretton: a fan of classic airliners and airlines who enjoys exploring their history through my collection of die-cast airliners. If you enjoy the site please donate whatever you can to help keep it running: