Phew. This is going to be the end of an era. Production of the 747, the world’s first twin-aisle airplane, began in 1967. On September 30, 1968, the first 747 was rolled out of the custom-built Everett Plant, the world’s largest building by volume. The first flight took place on February 9, 1969, and the 747 was certified in December of that year. It entered service with Pan Am on January 22, 1970. Today, the last of those aircraft rolled out of the factory.
Fondly known as the Queen of the Skies, the 747 has played a vital role in Boeing’s history of aerospace leadership. Over the 54 years that the Boeing 747 aircraft, over its various iterations, was built at Everett, 1,574 aircraft were built and delivered to multiple customers. At 250 ft 2 in (76.2 m), the 747-8 is the longest commercial aircraft in service. At typical cruising speeds, the 747-8 travels roughly the length of three FIFA soccer fields or NFL football fields per second.
On occasion, Kim Smith, Boeing Vice President and general manager 747 and 767 Programmes, said,
For more than half a century, tens of thousands of dedicated Boeing employees have designed and built this magnificent airplane that has truly changed the world. We are proud that this plane will continue to fly across the globe for years to come.
With advances in aerospace technology, twin-jet aircraft have been the more popular options in the recent past, even causing Airbus to shut down their A380 programme because not enough orders came in. Boeing will hopefully use the space vacated by the 747 programme to produce another jet in the future.
The last Boeing 747 aircraft has just left the Everett Factory of Boeing and will be delivered to Atlas Air, a cargo airline operator, in 2023. With this, it is curtains on the last quad jet on the commercial aviation market. So long, Queen of the Skies. I’ll see you in the skies for many years to come, hopefully.
Have you flown the Boeing 747? What did you think of it?
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