Boeing bids farewell to 'Queen of the Sky' 747
Jan 31, 2023
Washington [US], January 31: Boeing will say goodbye to the legendary 747 aircraft after more than 5 decades since the "Queen of the Sky" was born and revolutionized the aviation industry.
Reuters reports that US aircraft manufacturer Boeingwill deliver to Atlas Air the 1,574th 747 and also the last 747 it produces, on January 31 (local time). This is a cargo plane and will serve the Swiss logistics company Kuehne+Nagel, according to CNN.
This event will close the 53-year journey at Boeing's 747, the world's first wide-body, double-decker, two-aisle airliner.
The birth of the 747 is a form of legend in aviation history, according to Reuters. In the 1960s, Juan Trippe, the founder of American Airlines Pan Am, wanted to cut costs by increasing the number of seats on the plane. During a fishing trip, he challenged then-Boeing President William Allen to build a new plane larger than the 707. Allen gave the task to engineer Joe Sutter in August 1965. .
It took Mr. Sutter's team just 28 months to complete the design and build of the 747 prototype at the factory in Washington state, US, so quickly that they were called "The Incredibles". . The first flight took place on February 9, 1969 and the first 747 was handed over to Pan Am on January 22, 1970.
The original version of the 747 could carry up to 420 passengers, three times more than the 707, according to the Seattle Times . Subsequent versions have evolved in capacity and range: The final passenger version, the 747-8, could carry nearly 470 people on trans-Pacific and other long-haul routes.
Between 1970 and 1990, the 747 family opened the world to millions of people who had never traveled abroad. Its range allows airlines to fly non-stop between major cities that have never been connected before. Its size makes it possible for them to fill the seats in the back with cheaper fares.
An era is over
With its distinctive "hump" design, four engines and huge capacity, the 747 is often considered the most aesthetically pleasing large aircraft with the nickname "Queen of the Sky". Boeing 747 was once the choice of the rich and even royalty, appearing in many Hollywood blockbusters. The 747 has also been the prototype of Air Force One, the presidential jet of the United States, since 1990.
Once, while waiting for a flight at Tokyo's Narita Airport during the 747's heyday, Mr. Sutter counted 55 planes of this class to land. "I just watched over 20,000 people arrive in Japan within two hours. We changed the world," he wrote in his autobiography, according to the Seattle Times.
Over the past two decades, however, airlines have switched to Boeing 's more fuel-efficient, twin-engine 777 family. In 2020, Boeing signaled that it would stop building the 747, even in cargo form, as customers choose to buy the 777, or refurbish the old 747 passenger jet into a cargo plane. Five years ago, Korean Air was the last airline to take delivery of a 747-8 passenger plane.
Even so, the need for cargo capacity kept the 747 soaring in the sky. The special design of the 747 allows the nose to flip up like an open mouth so that the aircraft can receive cargoes that are close to its length.
Source: ThanhNien Newspaper