After 50 years in which the Boeing 747 innovated long-haul flights, making them more affordable for people, the last example of this model left the factory in Everett, Washington to go through its testing phase before arriving with the client.
The last Queen of the Skies, as this aircraft was known, is a 747-8F freighter with a length of 76.2m and a wingspan of 68.5m, dimensions that make it the largest variant of the 747. Its cargo capacity is of 133.1 tons at a cruising speed of 898km/h. Boeing explains it with a couple of practical examples: it could move 10,699 gold bars or 19 million ping pong balls at a speed of 3 football fields per second.
The last Boeing 747, with the number 1547, will be destined for Atlas Air, a cargo airline in the United States. Prior to delivery to this client, test flights will be carried out and it will be painted.
While still at the plant, engineers performed the final stages of the assembly process for the latest Boeing 747 such as balancing the landing gear and adjusting the cargo handling systems. The final details on the interiors were immediately polished.
Although no more units of the Queen of Heaven will be produced, these huge aircraft will continue to fly, as they are widely used by cargo airlines, governments and in specific cases by passenger airlines, with which some Boeing 747-200 carry almost 50 years active.
50 years of the Queen of Heaven
During the 50 years that the Boeing 747 was produced, 1,574 units were manufactured. Although the end of this model had been announced since 2020, Boeing clarified that it would continue to maintain the aircraft.
Boeing’s main customers that have more than a dozen of these active units are Cathay Pacific, AirBridgeCargo and Cargolux. Proper maintenance and the corresponding regular inspections will allow these planes to continue flying for several more decades.
For its part, the White House made a contract of 3 thousand 900 million dollars to acquire two planes of this model and replace the old Air Force One used by the president of the United States. However, the delivery has suffered delays.
Some curious facts about the Boeing 747
This model has a series of curious facts that make it an even more impressive and interesting model than it already is. Here we share some:
- The tip, or nose, of the plane opens up because the engineers who designed it thought it would be made obsolete by supersonic planes. This design allows for fast charging.
- Boeing borrowed more than 2 million dollars to complete the ambitious project that involved the Boeing 747, a huge amount of money for its time.
- It was built at the Seattle plant, the company’s largest.
- It was the first twin-aisle widebody aircraft, and is twice the size of the Boeing 707, its predecessor.
- In the 1960s, engineers thought of making the plane with 2 floors, but since the rules established that the evacuation of the plane in an emergency had to be done in less than 90 seconds, the idea was abandoned.
- It transported neither more nor less than the NASA space shuttle!
What do you think of the Boeing 747? If you want to know more about other Boeing ships, we invite you to find out which model economy class passengers could soon sleep on flights with.
Editorial Team The editorial team of EMPRENDEDOR.com, which for more than 27 years has worked to promote entrepreneurship.