End Of An Era: Boeing 747 Takes Last US Commercial Flight



Over the past few years, the Boeing 747 — the original “jumbo jet” — has been disappearing from the skies. And airlines have been holding elaborate ceremonies as they say goodbye to the iconic aircraft.
The double-decker aircraft became emblematic of a time of American prosperity when it premiered in 1970. But as U.S. airlines retire their 747 fleets in favor of more fuel-efficient planes, it’s the end of an era. (Although some international airlines still have the aircraft in service.)

Last month, Delta announced its Boeing 747’s final flights. However, the airline announced on Tuesday that the aircraft will make one more unexpected flight, “due to operational need,” according to the airline. For those who missed their chance to say goodbye to the 747, this is an unexpected opportunity.
Instead of finishing service on December 17, the 747 will make one additional flight between Detroit and Seoul-Incheon airports, returning to the United States on December 19. Economy-class seats on this last flight are available from $1,095, according to Delta search results. Delta One suites are available from $4,472. (Premium select seats are sold out.)

The aircraft will then embark on an “employee farewell tour” from Detroit to Seattle to Atlanta to Minneapolis-St. Paul. The plane has already been commissioned for charter flights through December 31. In early 2018, it will make its final flight to its resting place in Arizona.
United’s final 747 made its final flight on November 7, then gave aviation enthusiasts a chance to own a piece of history by auctioning off parts from the fleet


Nearly 50 years after the its debut, the 747 will take its final commercial flight with an American carrier Tuesday on Delta Air Lines’ Seoul-to-Detroit route
The Boeing 747, the original jumbo jet that was the favourite American presidents and key to affordable mass market air travel in the United States, will pass into aviation history this week.

Nearly 50 years after the its debut, the 747 will take its final commercial flight with an American carrier Tuesday on Delta Air Lines’ Seoul-to-Detroit route.

It “made flying available for everyone,” said Boeing chief company historian Michael Lombardi said of the iconic jet.

The 747 gave wings to the world.”

Aerospace consultant Michel Merluzeau said the plane changed travel.

“All of a sudden, you could go from Singapore to London in less than 24 hours. It made everything more accessible.”

Delta’s send-off for the storied aircraft includes special flights on Wednesday for employees and top customers. Ticket prices for these “farewell tour” flights have soared owing to demand from nostalgic consumers.
The 747 will still be in the skies for Lufthansa, British Airways and Korean Air Lines.

And Boeing also will still build the jet as a freight carrier and for a few unique clients, including the US president, who has used a specially-outfitted 747 as Air Force One since 1990.
But the American aerospace giant has been shifting to more fuel-efficient models for commercial travel.

“The 747 was a major milestone in the history of flight,” said Bob Van der Linden, curator of the aeronautics department at the National Air and Space Museum at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.

“It’s big, very comfortable, beautiful, it has a staircase on it,” Van der Linden added. “It’s a symbol of economic power.”

Nicknamed the original “jumbo jet” because of the huge hump, the plane is able to carry upwards of 600 passengers.
Its origins date to the early 1960s when Boeing’s then chief Bill Allen was approached by Juan Trippe, head of now-defunct Pan Am Airlines, to build a bigger plane to address the growing problem of airport crowding.

Boeing originally considered a double-decker aircraft, but the companies concluded that it would be difficult to evacuate passengers in case of an emergency, opting instead for a twin-aisle “widebody” design.

The next challenge, Lombardi said, was to commit enough resources to the programme at a time when Boeing already was building other aircraft such as the 707 and the new 727, while also working on the Apollo space programme.

China’s biggest private courier buys two Boeing 747-400 freighters, via Alibaba’s Taobao e-shopping site

Lacking construction capacity to manufacturer the new behemoth, Boeing built a new assembly plant in the northwestern state of Washington state.

“There is always a calculated risk launching a new commercial plane,” Lombardi said.

“The customer was interested and the leader here at Boeing saw that there was a future for this plane.”

Since its debut in February 1969, more than 1,500 of the 747s have been delivered, and 500 are still in service, according to Flightglobal Ascend.

As it began to phase out the 747, Boeing has downsized its aircraft. The 777, introduced in 1995, is smaller, seating up to 550 and requires less fuel because of its two engines.

“Frankly we really don’t see much demand for really big aeroplanes,” Randy Tinseth, Boeing vice-president of marketing, said in June.

“There will be just a handful moving forward. Things we do for VIPs, things we do for the president, military operations, but we don’t see a significant demand for passenger 747s.



Сиэтл - Атланта Farewell Flight готовится прямо сейчас. Только что прошли немолодые пилоты с огромным количеством наград и начинают подтягиваться пассажиры. Мне, к сожалению, не на нем лететь, но мы рядом!
Сегодня этот борт уже побывал на мероприятии в PAE.



Еще несколько фотографий сделал.

Кэп лично приветствует каждого пассажира и...

Передает привет нашему форуму!

Последний взгляд на прекрасный 747-ой. Прощай!