Boeing's iconic jumbo B747 set to fly off into history

NewsDrum Desk
31 Jan 2023

Mumbai, Jan 30 (PTI) The iconic jumbo B747, also called the 'Queen of the Skies', is set to fly off into history when Boeing delivers the last such plane to Atlas Air from its Everett manufacturing facility in Washington on February 1.

The US aircraft maker had rolled out the first B747-100 plane on September 30, 1968, while the first 747 entered service on launch customer Pan Am Airlines' New York–London route on January 21, 1970.

In March 1993, the aircraft maker brought out the cargo version of the plane.

However, in July 2020, after running the iconic jumbo aircraft programme for nearly 52 years, the aircraft maker announced it will end production of the 'Queen of the Skies' by the end of 2022 due to market preference.

Atlas Air was the final 747 customer with an order of four 747-8 freighters, according to Boeing.

The last B747 was rolled out from the production facility on December 6 last year.

In the 55-year period, Boeing built a total of 1,574 B747 aircraft with four engines for over 100 customers, including Air India.

“Truly the passing of an era, and of a slice of our lives. The Boeing 747 is what got many like me obsessed or even infatuated with aviation. It represented freedom to travel and see the wondrous world to me as a young boy growing up in Calcutta. The most beautiful aircraft ever!,” tweeted Jet Airways 2.0 CEO-Designate, Sanjiv Kapoor on the final delivery of the B747 plane.

Air India was one of the early customers for these planes, inducting the 500-seating capacity aircraft in the fleet as early as in 1971. Besides using them for commercial operations for a little over 50 years, Air India also used two of these planes for flying the VVIPs—President, Vice President and Prime Minister—which were replaced with two refurbished B777s in October 2020.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation deregistered all four 747 that Air India owned, thereby finally retiring them from the fleet.

After the Tata Group regained control of Air India in January last year, the airline decided to sell off these planes in November last year. PTI IAS MR MR

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