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hobiercr
hobiercr GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
1/31/23 5:56 p.m.

Final 747 delivered.

"Boeing on Tuesday delivered the last 747 jet ever made, handing over a freighter version of its iconic aircraft to Atlas Air. Thousands of current and former employees and others gathered in Everett, Wash., to mark the end of an era in aviation.

The jumbo jet transformed an industry, bringing luxurious amenities and lengthy nonstop flights to the masses — all in a design that was both enormous and elegant. But the reign of the mighty 747 has ended: The final plane left Boeing's assembly line in early December, ending more than 50 years of production."

einy (Forum Supporter)
einy (Forum Supporter) Dork
1/31/23 6:02 p.m.

I've taken many flights over the years to Asia on 747's.  Most memorable being my first trip to Tokyo on one, back in the good old days of being able to fly business class for work, instead of in steerage like we have to do these days.  I miss those days!

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/31/23 6:16 p.m.

It was a couple of years ago, but here's the flight path of the final Qantas 747 flight. It was an empty flight from Sydney to Mojave.

They gave it a nice ceremonial sendoff with water cannons, too. I've flown on Qantas 747s both to and from Australia. Never been upstairs, though.

mr2s2000elise
mr2s2000elise UberDork
1/31/23 7:00 p.m.

I have flown Thai 747 and Singapore 747 quite a bit in my life and twice on Qantas 747. 

 

Now they are all sitting local to me. 

 

 

Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter)
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
1/31/23 7:21 p.m.

I can't think of a more iconic airliner. I got to fly in one once, on a trip to Tokyo in late 2008. It was mostly empty.

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia UltraDork
1/31/23 8:08 p.m.

I was on PanAm's  747 the first time I went to Europe , then they sold out to Northwest , so it was NWA 747 , who sold out to Delta and then DL 747 , 

Was bumped upstairs once NYC to Madrid , 

I always tried to get the rear bulkhead if the flight was not full so I could get 3-4 seats and go to sleep :)

XLR99 (Forum Supporter)
XLR99 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand Dork
1/31/23 8:29 p.m.

I never got to ride in one, which is disappointing.

A former student flew them for Kalitta.  I think he transitioned to the 767 as captain.

A spotter captured one of his first landings as FO in Liege:

Karacticus
Karacticus GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
1/31/23 8:56 p.m.

This one one hurts more than a bit.

I was just far enough along at the beginning of my career (1988-1990ish) to be able to be an "expert" on aircraft performance calculations as implemented in the 747-400 Flight Management Computer during that program's development, certification and entry into service.

I spent time in flight test on each of the initial development birds for the Pratt (RT401), GE (RT431) and Rolls-Royce (RT 451) engines.  Those airplanes were eventually delivered to Northwest, Lufthansa and British Airways, respectively.  Some of it was on the more memorable side like doing an idle descent from over 40,000 feet to 1500 ft AGL at Mach 0.87/330 knots (that's really smoking along at low altitude, though the same condition at 250 knots was like watching grass grow-- took FORever!) and doing refused takeoffs diagonally across the ramp in Glasgow, Montana because that's the way the wind was blowing.  Boeing had purchased the old SAC base in Glasgow because they had been made "unwelcome" at most of the airports in the western United States, mostly doing high power ground run activities.   There were also multiple occasions where I'd be along for a "20 minute concurrent Flight Management Computer test" as part of an 8+ hour fuel mileage testing flight.

Another high point was traveling over with the first 747-400 that Japan Airlines took delivery of to make a technical presentation to their engineering staff.  That tail was actually supposed to be the second airplane, but the first one was being repaired due to an issue encountered in production flight test-- the old saw ran "Here at Boeing, we deliver the best repaired aircraft in the world to our customers!"

As a part of travel for another Flight Management Computer update program, I was on the flight deck of a Cathay Pacific 747-400 on takeoff from Vancouver and landing at Hong Kong Kai Tak.  That landing was one of the most memorable moments of my career.  We were landing from the Kowloon side, rolling out towards the Hong Kong Island-- you fly at the checkerboard on the side of the hill, follow the strobe lights around a big turn to the right at low altitude, drop below the apartment buildings and touch down.  We were close enough to the apartments that if you knew the people leaving in them, you'd be able to recognize them as you went by.  Based on the date of a China Air 747-400 that went off the end of the runway into the bay about 6 weeks after I was there, that was in 1993, before Hong Kong ceased to be a British Colony.  It was also before I got engaged/married-- the older guys along on the trip teased me by saying that all I would have to do is wave my passport around once the hotel bar got hopping after 11 or so, and I'd be married before the trip home!

Driven5
Driven5 UberDork
1/31/23 10:56 p.m.

Since stringent photography limitations normally prevent me from participating in "wear your helmet to work day"...

 

 

 

 

 

Pro tip: Keep an eye on the flight tracker for this one. 

ZOO (Forum Supporter)
ZOO (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
2/1/23 5:32 a.m.

What's the "explain in like five" as to why it has been discontinued?

Karacticus
Karacticus GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
2/1/23 6:42 a.m.

In reply to ZOO (Forum Supporter) :

Wide body twin engine aircraft have been capable of performing equivalent passenger missions more efficiently (fuel, maintenance) for some time now.

There really isn't anything else in the civilian market that has equivalent capability in the way of outsize freight, but that market just isn't big enough sustain a production line, especially when there's a fair size existing fleet, and quite a number of aircraft available to convert to freighter configurations.  

 

SKJSS (formerly Klayfish)
SKJSS (formerly Klayfish) PowerDork
2/1/23 7:56 a.m.

I can't count the number of round trip flights I've taken in the past 20+ years.  I took around 20 of them last year alone.  I'm not sure I've ever been on an airplane that had an upstairs.  I'm not good with airplane nomenclature, but even when I fly cross country I'm on a single level plane that has 3 seats on each side.

Slippery
Slippery GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
2/1/23 9:07 a.m.

I was lucky enough to fly on a 747 quite a few times. First time was in the early 80's, when you still got real silverware and stuff ... my mom has quite a few of those lol.

I remember being ushered to the cockpit mid-flight too as a kid ... different times.

Last time I have flown in one it was on British Airways and it had a 4 seat arrangement in the middle. I am almost positive that when I flew in them in '83, '85 and '88 (possibly '90 as well), they had 5 seat arrangement in the middle, which my cousins and I easily filled up.

dyintorace
dyintorace GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
2/1/23 9:18 a.m.
Driven5 said:

Since I don't normally get to participate in "wear your helmet to work day"...

Pro tip: Keep an eye on the flight tracker for this one. 

As an aviation buff, any hint as to why?

triumph7
triumph7 HalfDork
2/1/23 9:59 a.m.

I thought Boeing was going to do a couple more in Air Force One trim as a special order.  Did that change?

Slippery
Slippery GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
2/1/23 10:20 a.m.
dyintorace said:
Driven5 said:

Since I don't normally get to participate in "wear your helmet to work day"...

Pro tip: Keep an eye on the flight tracker for this one. 

As an aviation buff, any hint as to why?

Last one built?

06HHR (Forum Supporter)
06HHR (Forum Supporter) Dork
2/1/23 10:22 a.m.

In reply to triumph7 :

IIRC those are retrofits of existing aircraft.  So already off the production line per-se. 

stafford1500
stafford1500 GRM+ Memberand Dork
2/1/23 10:34 a.m.
Slippery said:
dyintorace said:
Driven5 said:

Since I don't normally get to participate in "wear your helmet to work day"...

Pro tip: Keep an eye on the flight tracker for this one. 

As an aviation buff, any hint as to why?

Last one built?

Scheduled to leave WA in about 30 minutes...

Last 747 departing Everett WA

Driven5
Driven5 UberDork
2/1/23 10:49 a.m.
stafford1500 said:
Slippery said:
dyintorace said:
Driven5 said:

Since I don't normally get to participate in "wear your helmet to work day"...

Pro tip: Keep an eye on the flight tracker for this one. 

As an aviation buff, any hint as to why?

Last one built?

Scheduled to leave WA in about 30 minutes...

Last 747 departing Everett WA

It's the coronation flight of the last Queen of the Skies. May she never lose her crown.

.

Spoiler in the link above.

golfduke
golfduke Dork
2/1/23 10:50 a.m.

I was fortunate enough to have gotten an upstairs business class upgrade from Hong Kong to JFK on a Cathay Pacific bird back in 2005.  It was just a damn cool experience, I'll never forget it. 

 

stafford1500
stafford1500 GRM+ Memberand Dork
2/1/23 11:03 a.m.

Taxi-ing for take off now

Slippery
Slippery GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
2/1/23 11:10 a.m.
Driven5 said:
stafford1500 said:
Slippery said:
dyintorace said:
Driven5 said:

Since I don't normally get to participate in "wear your helmet to work day"...

Pro tip: Keep an eye on the flight tracker for this one. 

As an aviation buff, any hint as to why?

Last one built?

Scheduled to leave WA in about 30 minutes...

Last 747 departing Everett WA

It's the coronation flight of the last Queen of the Skies. May she never lose her crown.

.

Spoiler in the link above.

So cool!!

 

iansane
iansane GRM+ Memberand Dork
2/1/23 11:28 a.m.

I never got a chance to ride in one but I did just visit the museum of flight here in Seattle and they have 747 #1 that you can walk onto. Holy crap that thing is MASSIVE!

pinchvalve (Forum Supporter)
pinchvalve (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/1/23 11:55 a.m.

I got to ride on one to or from South Africa IIRC. I remember boarding at mid-ship and it seemed like any other aircraft I had been on. We deplaned through the forward door, which meant walking through first class and that's when you realize the difference! 

adam525i
adam525i GRM+ Memberand Dork
2/1/23 12:06 p.m.

I flew once on a 747 and happened to be seated way at the back where it narrows in which worked out ok as I was in the window but had the extra space where 2/3 of a seat would have fit empty beside me.

The highlight was taxying and takeoff, it was like the ultimate back of the bus experience getting swung around way behind the mains as we made our way to and from the runway. When they rotated for takeoff it felt like dropping 20 feet down in a hurry followed by lifting off the runway. Fun times and glad I got a chance to fly on one.

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