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Boeing delivers last 747 jumbo jet

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Seattle –

Boeing Says Goodbye to Icon Tuesday: Delivers Last 747 Jumbo Jet.

Since its first flight in 1969, the massive, graceful 747 has served as a freighter, a commercial aircraft capable of carrying nearly 500 passengers, a transport aircraft on NASA’s space shuttle, and a presidential plane on Air Force One. . It has revolutionized travel by connecting international cities that previously had no direct flights, promoting the democratization of airliners.

But over the past 15 years or so, Boeing and its European rival Airbus have introduced more profitable and fuel-efficient widebody planes by simply keeping two engines instead of the four in the 747. The final plane is the 1,574th built by Boeing in Washington’s Puget Sound area.

Hordes of current and former Boeing workers are expected for the final send-off. One of her last ships has been delivered to freight forwarder Atlas Air.

“If you love this business, you would have been afraid of this moment,” said longtime aviation analyst Richard Aboulafia. “No one wants a four-engine airliner anymore, but that doesn’t mean that the tremendous contribution that aviation has made to the development of the industry and its incredible legacy will not go away.”

Boeing set out to build the 747 after losing the contract for its giant military transport, the C-5A. The idea was to take advantage of a new engine developed for transportation.High-bypass turbofan engines reduce fuel burn by passing air around the engine core, allowing for longer flight distances. .aircraft.

It took more than 50,000 Boeing employees in less than 16 months to mass-produce the first 747. Jumbo The production of his jets required building a large factory in Everett, north of Seattle. It is the largest building in the world by volume.

The plane’s fuselage was 225 feet (68.5 meters) long, and its tail was as tall as a six-story building. The plane’s design included his second deck extending from the cockpit to his first third of the plane. More romantically, the 747 came to be known as the Queen of the Skies.

Some airlines turned the second deck into a first-class cocktail lounge, but even the lower decks sometimes featured lounges and piano bars. One of his 747s built for Singapore Airlines in 1976 has been converted into his 33-room hotel near Stockholm’s airport.

“It was the first big airline and the first widebody plane, so it’s up to the airline what they do with it, how they fill it,” said Guillaume de Sion, a professor of history at Albright University in Pennsylvania. It set a new standard for thinking.” Aviation and Mobility. “It has become the nature of mass air travel. People paying full price can’t be full, so the price has to go down to get people on board.” Contributed to deregulation of travel

The first 747 entered service on Pan American’s New York-London route in 1970, but the timing was terrible, Aboulafia said. Just before the 1973 oil crisis, Boeing’s employment debuted in a recession when his employment plummeted from his 100,800 in 1967 to a low of 38,690 in April 1971. The “Boeing bankruptcy” was infamously marked by a billboard near Seattle’s Tacoma International Airport. It was “Will the last person to leave Seattle turn off the lights?”

The updated model, the 747-400 series, appeared in the late 1980s, according to Aboulafia, better timed to coincide with the Asian economic boom of the early 1990s. He recalls riding his Pacific Airways 747 from Los Angeles to Hong Kong in 1991 as a backpacker in his twenties.

“Even someone like me could go see Asia,” Aboulafia said. “In the past, we would have had to stop in Alaska or Hawaii for refueling, which would have cost us a lot more. This was a straight shot and affordable.”

Delta was the last U.S. airline to use the 747 for passenger flights that were discontinued in 2017, although several other international airlines continue to do so, including German airline Lufthansa.

Atlas Airlines placed an order for four 747-8 freighters early last year, with the final one leaving the factory on Tuesday.

Boeing’s roots are in the Seattle area, with assembly plants in Washington and South Carolina. The company announced in May that it would move its headquarters from Chicago to Arlington, Virginia. It gives executives access to key federal officials and the Federal Aviation Administration, which certifies Boeing’s passenger and freighters.

Relations between Boeing and the FAA have been strained since the fatal crash of the 737 Max, the best-selling plane of 2018 and 2019. return to the sky

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