Boeing bids farewell to an icon

Boeing bids farewell to an icon

At a festive gathering in Seattle, US aerospace giant Boeing took delivery of its last 747 on Tuesday.

The last jumbo jet goes to US airline Atlas Air. It is the airline with an active fleet of Boeing 747s. Atlas Air mainly transports cargo to customers such as online department store Amazon and logistics companies DHL, Kuehne + Nagel and MSC.

Farewell to Boeing 747, The Queen of the skiesIn nine numbers.


devices Boeing manufactures the 747. The most popular model is the 747-400, which was introduced in the late 1980s. Boeing sold one or more jumbo jets to more than a hundred customers. In 1990, at its peak, Boeing sold seventy. Last year there were five.


is the year Boeing designed the 747 in it. The design began as a ‘rematch’ as ​​a consolation after a loss. In the late 1960s, Boeing missed out on a contract to build a large military cargo plane. The company decided to apply the knowledge gained from large engines, but to a new aircraft that would carry a lot of passengers. On February 9, 1969, the aircraft made its first test flight, and on January 21, 1970, the first commercial passenger flight for the now-defunct American airline Pan Am followed.


of the overview Boeing 747’s extra floor up to the cockpit. This makes the aircraft the most recognizable aircraft in the world. The site gave the device an inelegant nickname Whale; Fans love it Queen of the skies. Luxury versions of the aircraft had a lounge or cocktail bar in the upper section, sometimes reached by a spiral staircase.

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Jet engines Contains 747. The architecture was revolutionary when the aircraft was introduced in the late 1960s, but is now seen as outdated. The same applies to rival Airbus’ largest aircraft, the four-engine A380.

A four-engine airplane uses more kerosene than a twin-engine airplane. Fuel consumption is high, emissions are high.


Kilogram of kerosene per kilometer Boeing fires the 747 randomly (depending on factors such as number of passengers, engine type and destination). A modern plane like Boeing’s new bestseller, the 737 MAX, costs a quarter of a kilometer, 2.9 kilos.

However, the 747 can accommodate more passengers than the 737 MAX. The most popular version, the 747-400, seats 416 passengers compared to 144 on the 737 MAX-9. If the fuel consumption per passenger is calculated, the 747 is 3.2 liters per 100 km per passenger. The 737 MAX consumes 2.5 liters per 100 km per passenger.


Kilometers This is the average range of the Boeing 747 with passengers. With freight, the range is over 8,000 kilometers. The aircraft carried fewer than five hundred passengers per flight for the first time without a refueling stop, for example, from Europe to North America and from North America to Asia. To fill the massive fleet, airlines slashed ticket prices, making it possible for more people to fly across continents than ever before. Fans said the 747 “opened up the world to millions of passengers” as the queen of the skies neared farewell.


million cubic meters The size of the factory in Everett, near Seattle, where Boeing has always made its 747s. Factory Hall is the largest building in the world. The hall covers an area of ​​nearly 400,000 square meters. Boeing continues to use Everett Hall for aircraft production. On Tuesday, management announced that a new assembly line for the 737 MAX would begin operating in mid-2024. In the southern city of Renton, Boeing already has three production lines for the MAX. The 777X, Boeing’s successor to the 747, won’t be delivered for several years.

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Cargo flights KLM still uses Martinair for its cargo branch. These will be replaced by the Airbus A350F in the second half of 2026. According to KLM, these are 40 percent more economical and 50 percent quieter than 747s. In March 2020, KLM said goodbye to its 747 passenger planes. In April and May 2020, some cargo flights including medical supplies continued to arrive from China with jumbo jets.


Air Force OneThe US President’s aircraft has been a Boeing 747 since 1990. George Bush Sr., Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Donald Trump, and Joe Biden have all used this plane.

The presidential plane isn’t the only ‘special’ 747. NASA carried the space shuttle in the back of a modified 747. Boeing developed the 747 Dreamlifter to carry parts for its new 787 Dreamliner aircraft. In January 2023, commercial spaceflight company Virgin Orbit launched a rocket from a flying 747. That mission failed.

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