The behemoth jet’s production has been ended after 50 years of production….
The last plane to leave the Everett , Wash. factory….Number 1, 574 won’t be carrying passengers….
It will be carrying freight like most of the remaining airframes….
Even the American President’s replacement B-747 -800 airplane is having trouble getting into service….
Big 4 engine commerical airlines are now dinosaurs …
Replaced by two engine slightly smaller jets that save money….
Boeing itself is having issues…..
More than a half-century ago, Boeing unveiled the 747, a massive and striking airplane that captured the public imagination and brought air travel to the masses. The jet has been a workhorse since, ferrying passengers and cargo around the world. But its days are numbered: On Tuesday, Boeing plans to hand over the last 747 it will ever make.
With a distinctive hump, the 747, nicknamed the “Queen of the Skies,” is perhaps the most widely recognizable commercial airplane ever built. The plane transformed air travel and became a symbol of American ingenuity. It could still be flying decades from now, a longevity that aviation historians said was testament to the work that engineers, designers and others put into repeatedly remaking the airplane.
“It’s one of the great ones,” said Shea Oakley, who runs an aviation history consulting firm and is a former executive director of the Aviation Hall of Fame and Museum of New Jersey. “If you had to make a list of the 10 most important airplanes ever built since the Wright Flyer, the 747 needs to be on that list. It was a quantum leap.”….
Boeing began designing the airplane in the mid-1960s at the request of Pan American World Airways, a leading airline that filed for bankruptcy protection in 1991. But even then, many people within Boeing were expecting the 747 to soon be supplanted by a supersonic jet the company was developing….
It became an instant public sensation. The four-engine airplane was much larger than any other and could fit hundreds of people in rows with up to 10 seats across. The upper deck, reachable by a spiral staircase, hosted a luxurious lounge. American Airlines had a piano bar installed in the main cabin.
Orders started to flow in, bringing Boeing much-needed revenue. Owning a 747 became a status symbol for airlines. Some companies bought the airplane even though it didn’t quite suit their needs.
The most important reason airlines bought the plane was that the 747 helped them cut costs. Because the airplane could carry so many more passengers in a single trip, airlines could sell tickets more cheaply, making air travel affordable to the masses.
Boeing produced several versions of the airplane in the 1970s and ’80s for different uses and to improve how much it could carry and how far it could fly. In 1989, the company unveiled a major upgrade, the 747-400, which became the plane’s best-selling model. Boeing sold more 747s in the 1990s than in any other decade.
But as popular as the airplane had become, the world was starting to move on….
For many of the people who worked on the airplane, the delivery of the final 747 is a bittersweet moment. They are proud of their ties to the jet and sad to see its production end.
“You have an airplane that’s kind of done its duty for 50 years,” said Scott Pettersen, who spent nearly four decades as a mechanic on the 747 before retiring in 2016….
image….The Seattle Times
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.