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Old 7th December 2022, 16:20   #1
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Farewell Boeing 747 - Last one just rolled out of the Seattle factory!

We all have very pleasant memories of the gigantic 63 feet tall and 250 feet long, Boeing 747's, that have been doing duties since more than five decades. Nicknamed "The Whale", "Jumbo Jet" and also "Queen of the Skies" the 747's with their twin decks and wide body revolutionised air travel. International airlines, even national carriers, heads of state and government including the US President's Air Force One and our own Indian President's and Prime Minister's, customised, Air India's 747's have all been using Jumbo jets that have been tirelessly doing their duties. Besides, 747's have been used as cargo planes, also to carry armed forces personnel and for evacuations of citizens of certain countries during civil and military disturbances in respective countries.

The Boeing 747 has four engines but the newer wide bodied airplanes with twin engines are being preferred. The 747 replacement by Boeing will also have twin engines as the company says, that will be frugal on fuel.

The last customer #1574, viz. Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings' (a charter and cargo carrier) airplane has some hours back rolled out of the Boeing factory. The customer will however get delivery of this cargo Boeing 747 in early January 2023, as test flights are underway.

The 747's production coming to an end does not mean "end of sky routes" for these as several will be in service for the coming decades.

Quote:
The lone 747, covered in a green protective coating, had been sitting inside the company's massive assembly plant in Everett — the largest building in the world by volume, according to Boeing. The building was constructed specifically for the jumbo jet's start of production in 1967.

Inside, Boeing crews have spent the last few days swinging the landing gears, fine-tuning cargo handling systems and finishing the interiors before the final 63-feet-tall and 250-foot-long aircraft leaves the building. Tails with customer logos that have bought the 747 line part of one of the doors.

The hump-backed 747 is one of the most recognizable jetliners and helped make international travel more accessible in the years after its first commercial flight in January 1970. Its four powerful engines were efficient for their time. The planes could carry hundreds of passengers at a time for long-haul flights.

The end of 747 production was "inevitable but it would be a little more palatable if they were making something new," said Richard Aboulafia, managing director at consulting firm AeroDynamic Advisory.

In 1990, there were 542 Boeing 747s that made up 28% of the world's passenger wide-body fleet, according AeroDynamic Advisory, citing Centre for Aviation data. With 109 Boeing 747 planes, the jets accounted for just 2% of the world's wide-body passenger fleet this year, according to CAPA.
The news link :-

https://www.cnbc.com/2022/12/06/boei...gine-jets.html

Many of us have fond memories of travel by the 747's. For me, I would call it as a small town with hundreds of passengers on the three row seats and the multiple restrooms. I simply wondered how the so many air crew members serve the hundreds of passengers with water to drink, snacks, beverages (incl alcoholic on international routes) lunch, dinner and also the lukewarm to warm pads for face from time to time to keep fresh. The upper deck would invariably be for the business class passengers. Airbus too had its wide bodied A 380 but its production life was for just 14 years (2007-2021). Hence, the Boeing 747 has a greater mass appeal and evokes more trans-generational nostalgia.

We can share our fond and nostalgic memories about this giant airplane. In fact, the Boeing 747 comes to our mind instantly, whenever we think or talk about wide bodied jets.

Last edited by anjan_c2007 : 7th December 2022 at 16:32.
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Old 7th December 2022, 17:28   #2
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re: Farewell Boeing 747 - Last one just rolled out of the Seattle factory!

Thank you anjan_c2007 for sharing this.

When that last B747 is delivered it will be a historic moment for world aviation celebrating a 53 year production run of an iconic aircraft. Very few civil aircraft can be said to be defining machines that changed the way the flying public viewed aviation and that changed the very business of flying. The Boeing 747 was one of the three. The other two were the venerable Douglas DC-3 {or Dakota} of 1935 that first made comfortable safe and affordable flying possible and really was the first civil airliner in the modern sense as we understand it today. The second was the Lockheed Constellation L749 that was the world's first successful pressurized airliner which could fly above the weather with a range that could get it to fly coast to coast in USA the land of airplanes. The Constellation suddenly rid air travel of a bumpy noisy ride full of barf and flying cups into the smooth above the weather ride we are so accustomed to today. It led the aviation boom that started in 1946, first in America and then the world. And the third is the Boeing 747 that changed the economics of seat-mile costs so dramatically that all of a sudden flying was in the reach of the common man in the West to start with and in developing economies today.

When the 747 first flew in 1969 it was more than 2X the weight and pax capacity of the typical airliner of the era and had 2.5X the engine power.

I had the privilege of servicing many a 747 for my customers and consider it a privilege to have served this aircraft. You really appreciate the mammoth size of this machine when you stand under its belly and gaze up at those wings. The other occasion is when you get onto a cherry picker to the top of its tail and look down.

Some fun facts of the 747

747s have carried over 4 billion passengers in a little over 50 years

In 1991 an Israeli El Al 747 airlifted 1221 Ethiopian Jews to Israel in a safety operation

In the late 1970s Boeing submitted a plan to modify a 747-200 to become a cruise missile carrier carrying 72 Tomahawk cruise missiles in 9 rotary launchers.

When the 747 first flew in February 1969 Boeing estimated the market size to be 200 machines. Total produced crossed 1500.

121 billion kms or 12,100 crore kms - that's the total distance logged by all the 747s in the first 50 years of flying. We are now at 53 years of flying. This number was put out by Boeing in 2019 on the 50th anniversary.

The tail of a 747-400 carries internal tankage of 12,490 litres!

The noise generated by a modern Boeing 747-400 at take-off is less than half that of the first version the 747-100.

The paint work on a typical 747 weighs around 300 kgs without counting the primers and undercoats.

The 747 design required over 15,000 hours of wind tunnel testing to get the complex nose and hump design right.

Farewell Boeing 747 - Last one just rolled out of the Seattle factory!-screenshot20200830at12.11.14am12777574981598760821353.png
The most unusual special purpose 747 was the one designed to carry the space shuttle. While the technique was never adopted but on 13th August 1977 NASA successfully tested a separation of the Shuttle body from a 747's upper fuselage. The aerodynamics of this configuration boggle the mind. The launch had to be a cold launch with the Shuttle's engines only firing after full separation. At the same time too soft a cold launch would cause the Shuttle to hit the tail plane of the 747 mother ship. Finally the answer was found by fitting the Shuttle with the right angle of attack {nose up} to have enough lift of its own to separate successfully.

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A Virgin Atlantic 747 being repainted in one of my facilities after a C check. Notice the worker at the bottom right corner next to a stairway. This photo of 2010 or 2011 was taken by me standing on the narrow maintenance gangway of the hangar.

Farewell Boeing 747 - Last one just rolled out of the Seattle factory!-14-7478.jpg
Into the sunset, the 747-8 the most beautiful of them all.

Last edited by V.Narayan : 7th December 2022 at 17:54.
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Old 7th December 2022, 17:54   #3
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re: Farewell Boeing 747 - Last one just rolled out of the Seattle factory!

Mr. Narayan, for a plane with a 53 year old production history, I am sure the basic BoM has not remained the same. How is spare parts management done? There must be a million parts, and I am sure there was no SAP to handle the "part master", since its inception. I am very curious, for airworthy 747s, say 25 years old, the manufacturers would still manufacture the parts? I am not talking of nuts bolts, say, display units, sensors, servo motors....you know. Kindly enlighten.

For the plane that rolled out this week, and no further, does it mean the parts are a mix and match from existing component line-up from the vendors or does it die? Who supplies parts for this last 747, say, 20 years down the line? Often, certain semiconductors within a sub-module would have become obsolete!

Last edited by lapis_lazuli : 7th December 2022 at 17:59.
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Old 7th December 2022, 18:51   #4
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re: Farewell Boeing 747 - Last one just rolled out of the Seattle factory!

An aeroplane was Jumbo 747 during my growing years as a kid. We (people from that generation) had the previlege of visiting the airports to go and watch these birds land & take off. Our school used to take us for airport visits as a picnic/trip then. Had an uncle who was on airport duty often and even he used to take me now & then to watch them from the tarmac (yet another previlege of that generation).

Travelling in one does not give the same experience as viewing one land or take off IMO, esp when you are small (a kid) and you see these huge birds.

I guess cattle class terminology started from these planes.

Bye bye to one of the most popular planes of the century.
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Old 7th December 2022, 19:18   #5
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re: Farewell Boeing 747 - Last one just rolled out of the Seattle factory!

Even though the last plane has rolled off the assembly line, it is not quite adieu! I suppose they will be around for another couple of decades or so. I do frequently see them landing or taking off from Chennai airport, though mostly in the freighter avatar. They are quite a sight to behold even now and I always slow down to watch!

I remember my college days (76-80) when we used to walk to the airport (now referred as old airport) on Fridays after college was over to gawk at the Air India 747s Emperor Ashoka/Kanishka/Krishnadevaraya etc. They visited only once a week at that time.

Last edited by Gansan : 7th December 2022 at 19:24.
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Old 7th December 2022, 19:26   #6
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re: Farewell Boeing 747 - Last one just rolled out of the Seattle factory!

Even though I was born after the Airbus A380 was introduced, the word "jumbo-jet" still means the Boeing 747 to me. It had a fantastic run as the queen of the skies for decades, and with its demise, we also see the end of the quad-engine long-haul passenger aircraft. Hope I can get to fly on one someday before they are all phased out!

This was the last time I saw a 747 in Hyderabad. What a majestic machine it is.
Farewell Boeing 747 - Last one just rolled out of the Seattle factory!-air-india-747.jpg

Here's a fascinating and informative documentary about the 747.
.

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Old 7th December 2022, 22:38   #7
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re: Farewell Boeing 747 - Last one just rolled out of the Seattle factory!

The 747 is a true icon in the aviation industry. It also introduced the convenience of flight to a much larger public then ever before.

Of all commercial plane the 747-400 is by far my favourite one.

I remember as a little boy being taken to Amsterdam Schiphol AirPort for the very first 747 arrival. The place was packed. In those days you still had very easy access to many public viewing place on the terminals and piers.

I had the pleasure of visiting the Boeing factories in Seattle/Everett several years ago. At the time the 747 was still in full production. Everything to do with this aircraft is just vast! Very impressive.

I have flown as a passenger countless times. Before 9/11 I often flew on the jump sear in the cockpit.

I have just about every Boeing Factory manual on the 747-400and also a complete set of KLM flight manuals. I also have some forty hours on the Lufthansa and Cargolux full motion simulators in their respective training’s centres in Frankfurt and Luxembourg. It is just an awesome experience taking this plane up in the sky.

KLM during the lockdowns announced the earlier than planned retirement of its passenger versions, all 747-400. Amsterdam AirPort had told people not to come to the airport due to COVID Restriction. I went anyway and found a nice spot near the runway. There were maybe some 30-40 other 747 lovers who had dared to break the rules. Cops drove by, but left us alone. The KLM 747-400 made a low pass right over the runway where I was standing and did a wing rocking as it pulled up again and returned to make her final landing on Amsterdam Airport. Very special but also sad moment.

I have flown on the Airbus 380 a good many times too. In all honesty, it is much more comfortable. For the passengers and for the pilots too. The cockpit of a 747 is a very noisy place to be. Actually, too noisy from a Health and Safety aspect.

Still, I will chose the 747 over the A380 anytime.

Even though most if not all carriers have phased out the 747 passenger version the cargo version is likely to fly around the globe for at least another 10-20 years. Time to get pally with the cargo haul flight crews!

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Old 8th December 2022, 01:12   #8
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re: Farewell Boeing 747 - Last one just rolled out of the Seattle factory!

The size of Boeing 747 is best appreciated when there is another plane (737 in this case) closeby:

Farewell Boeing 747 - Last one just rolled out of the Seattle factory!-screenshot_1.jpg

Next to Airbus A320:

Farewell Boeing 747 - Last one just rolled out of the Seattle factory!-ea01mhhxyaaovm1.jpeg

Last edited by SmartCat : 8th December 2022 at 01:16.
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Old 8th December 2022, 08:54   #9
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re: Farewell Boeing 747 - Last one just rolled out of the Seattle factory!

Boeing Airplanes - Link

Quote:
There she goes!

The last 747 has left our Everett factory ahead of delivery to Atlas Air in early 2023. #QueenOfTheSkies
Farewell Boeing 747 - Last one just rolled out of the Seattle factory!-20221208_085239.jpg

Farewell Boeing 747 - Last one just rolled out of the Seattle factory!-20221208_085241.jpg

Farewell Boeing 747 - Last one just rolled out of the Seattle factory!-20221208_085244.jpg
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Old 8th December 2022, 08:57   #10
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re: Farewell Boeing 747 - Last one just rolled out of the Seattle factory!

Air India deployed its aging and quite rickety 747 on many high volume low yield domestic and international routes. One of them used to do a Jed-Hyd-Bom-Hyd-Jed almost every day of the week.
Broken seats, non-functioning IFEs, frequent large delays due to technical errors/breakdowns.
I used to fly that route quite often and despite all the drawbacks and the preflight frustrations, once those engines spooled up to TOGA, all the worries would fade away. What a beauty of an aircraft, a true majestic beast.
Air India bid a very unceremonious goodbye to their 747s.

Something also quite amazing to me is how versatile and multi-purposeful a 747 can be. 5 engines, firefighting, various NASA missions, etc.
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Farewell Boeing 747 - Last one just rolled out of the Seattle factory!-62014_1283325243.jpg  


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Old 8th December 2022, 09:40   #11
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re: Farewell Boeing 747 - Last one just rolled out of the Seattle factory!

Quote:
Originally Posted by lapis_lazuli View Post
Mr. Narayan, for a plane with a 53 year old production history, I am sure the basic BoM has not remained the same. How is spare parts management done? There must be a million parts, and I am sure there was no SAP to handle the "part master", since its inception. I am very curious, for airworthy 747s, say 25 years old, the manufacturers would still manufacture the parts? I am not talking of nuts bolts, say, display units, sensors, servo motors....you know. Kindly enlighten.

For the plane that rolled out this week, and no further, does it mean the parts are a mix and match from existing component line-up from the vendors or does it die? Who supplies parts for this last 747, say, 20 years down the line? Often, certain semiconductors within a sub-module would have become obsolete!
Parts come from three sources - OEM, PMA {Parts Manufacturing Approval}, and re-conditioned from aircraft going for scrap. The first is self explanatory and for popular well sold models the OEM might keep manufacturing parts for older models for years and in case of engines decades. The second, PMA, is non-OEM manufacture but to the same specs and quality certification standards. Here a PMA part from Germany will be considered better than one from say Chile - you take a call here. Third are re-conditioned and re-certified parts from dismantled aircraft. Some parts once bought are good for a lifetime. For parts of well sold models there is a vast network of stockists and sellers worldwide. Each specializes in certain types of parts and is known for certain types of aircrafts. Airlines stock parts too. So availability up to 30 years out is not a problem unless it was an unpopular model that didn't sell well. 30 to 45 years out is still manageable with effort and if you are operating that aircraft you will be wired into that machine's global parts supply network. Beyond 45 years you look for niche suppliers. For a very popular selling model such as the 737-200 parts supply even today is a non-issue. But for the Lockheed Tristar of similar vintage but much less well sold stockists are only in USA now.

Hope this helps.

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Originally Posted by Imran.Syed View Post
Something also quite amazing to me is how versatile and multi-purposeful a 747 can be. 5 engines.....
The 5th engine, i.e., the most inboard on the left wing is being shipped down the line either for overhaul or for replacing an engine on some aircraft somewhere. This is a great feature the 747 has that saves a lot of money in shipping engines.
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Old 8th December 2022, 10:10   #12
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Re: Farewell Boeing 747 - Last one just rolled out of the Seattle factory!

What an iconic airplane! Just like 90% of this community has surely experienced the Maruti 800 / Alto at some point in their lives, I am sure 90% of Team-BHP has flown in a 747 sometime. 3.5 - 4 billion passengers, just wow! With a 50+ year production run, it was like the HM Ambassador of the skies .
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Old 8th December 2022, 10:14   #13
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Re: Farewell Boeing 747 - last one just rolled out of the Seattle factory!

747

A name that is known to anyone with a passing interest in aeroplanes or have heard of the name Boeing.

This was the plane for me. Just like how a 3 year old would draw a 3 box shape when asked to draw a car. (Not sure how it is nowadays). Maybe it is because this was what we flew most of the times, toy planes were 747s, die cast model planes that my frequent flyer uncle had were 747s. Wide, airy cabins with multi aisles. 3-4-3 seating meant we cousins would play figurative musical chairs to sit in groups. Small staircase to the rich people upper deck with fancy seats. A small village size equivalent of people waiting to board the plane at the gates. All very nostalgic. I may have travelled in narrow bodies for a couple of times and trijets did capture my interest when looking at the aeroplanes parked in the apron. But by and large, for our RUH-BOM-TRV, RUH-DMM, RUH-TRV routes, 747s was the only one.

Imagine my surprise when after a decade of not flying and boarding a domestic plane, the narrow body kinda shocked me and gave me an idea of how claustrophobia feels. Years later, DOH-TRV was being served exclusivly by narrow jets and that is when I read upon how wide jets were out of fashion, narrow body means less fuel used, less turnaround time and no longer long waiting times and the fact that the fuselage of an A320 is roughly the size of one of the 747's four engines. It didn't help that I have been flying budget, either Air India Express or IndiGo which added to the feeling of being in a bus that I get when travelling in a narrow body.

Hmm... Earlier used to wish to travel in the A380 once, but guess it would stay in service for longer. Have to travel in a 747 before they retire them all. Even if it is the roach infested rattling Air India's


Quote:
Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
....747 being repainted in one of my facilities after a C check..... This photo of 2010 or 2011 was taken by me standing on the narrow maintenance gangway of the hangar....
Thanks for the pic. Though you have mentioned your business lots of times and your aviation threads are bookmark worthy, I believe this is the first time am seeing a picture of your business in the forum.

Last edited by DicKy : 8th December 2022 at 10:22.
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Old 8th December 2022, 21:43   #14
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Re: Farewell Boeing 747 - Last one just rolled out of the Seattle factory!

Our latest aircrafts are arguably more capable, advanced, refined, comfortable and efficient, which shows in their design with the wide body design representing their purpose over the narrow bodies.

The 747(Jumbo Jet in our street speak) in my books, stands out with flair. A timeless classic from an era gone by, the Emperor.
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Old 8th December 2022, 22:21   #15
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Re: Farewell Boeing 747 - Last one just rolled out of the Seattle factory!

With the mega size of the Aircraft, it was aptly named as Jumbo. Though, among the newer aircraft models, only Airbus A380 has come closer to its size (or may have surpassed it), the charm of flying in 747 would always remain in memory. The same can be said about A380 too as I am missing this one too in my recent itineraries.

Last edited by Amrik Singh : 8th December 2022 at 22:23.
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