The last Boeing 747 to leave the US factory

The last Boeing 747 to leave the US factory

Photo: ANP

Boeing will deliver its last of the 747, also known as the jumbo jet, on Tuesday. The plane got this nickname because it was much larger than the other planes when it was introduced. The last aircraft, a freighter, leaves the factory in Washington state and is handed over to US airline Atlas Air.

The 747 was known for its easily recognizable second deck at the front of the plane, which even had a spiral staircase between decks on the most luxurious versions. The Type 747 freighter stood out because of its nose, which could be opened for loading and unloading cargo.

Boeing built the first 747 in 1967 to be able to carry more passengers with a wider aircraft. Two years later, the plane took off for the first time. Aviation expert Michele Merlozzo says the plane’s sheer size and range “allowed the middle class to travel outside Europe and the US at affordable prices”.

Boeing announced in July 2020 that it was discontinuing the 747. The jumbo jet has been less popular in recent years. More fuel-efficient twin-engine models from Boeing and rival Airbus were more popular. Another aircraft, the Airbus 380, is currently the largest aircraft and consumes less fuel than the 747.

In total, Boeing built 1,574 aircraft of this type. The Boeing 747 in use now can fly for decades. KLM said goodbye to the 747 in March 2020, although in April and May two of those planes were still being used for cargo flights to and from China with the aim of transporting medical equipment and aid.

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