End of an Era: Final Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet Airplane Delivered to Atlas Air
The final example of the Boeing 747 jumbo jet is delivered to the cargo carrier - Atlas Air, in a grand farewell, which includes current and former employees of the company and actor John Travolta.
The final Boeing 747 jumbo jet is delivered to Atlas Air, as the aeroplane marker bids farewell to the ‘Queen of the Skies’. The Boeing 747 has been in production for 53 years now, with 1,574 examples being produced by Boeing. It was the first dual-aisle jet to be ever produced and is, unarguably, the most-successful dual-aisle jet ever produced. The final example of the jumbo jet produced as a cargo carrier for Atlas Air, departed from the plant after a farewell was bid by the grand assembly of employees, including the renowned actor John Travolta.
The last #QueenOfTheSkies will soon take flight with @AtlasAirWW. Stay tuned for the flyaway and a peek at the flight plan that will pay tribute to its legacy. #ThankYou747 pic.twitter.com/piGK3mRIcP — Boeing Airplanes (@BoeingAirplanes) February 1, 2023
After the ceremony, the final 747 freighter built for cargo carrier Atlas Air departed from outside the grand assembly plant purpose-built for the 747 in the late 1960s. The building housed more jet programs and grew to be the largest by volume in the world.
Boeing Everett at a recent peak in 2012 provided more than 40,000 jobs, according to a report by The Seattle Times. The late Joe Sutter, the chief engineer on the original program, was given the task to design a new jet in August 1965. The first test plane rolled out of the newly built factory in September 1968 and had its first flight in February 1969. The first production plane was delivered on January 22, 1970.
The final 747-8 passenger version can carry nearly 470 people on trans-Pacific and other longer-haul routes. Over the past two decades, airlines switched to the more fuel-efficient, two-engined planes, which leads 747 models out of production. As of December 2022, there are only 44 passenger versions of the 747 still in service, according to aviation analytics firm Cirium.
The figure is down from more than 130 in service as passenger jets at the end of 2019, just before the Covid-19 pandemic crippled demand for air travel, especially on international routes on which the 747 and other widebody jets were primarily used. Lufthansa remains the largest operator of the passenger version of the B747-8, with 19 in its current fleet.
With IANS inputs