Final 747 'Queen of the Skies' leaves Boeing's factory

Dec. 12, 2022
The 747 has played a key role in Boeing's history of aerospace.

EVERETT, Wash., - The last Boeing 747 left the company's widebody factory 6 December 2022 in advance of its delivery to Atlas Air in early 2023.

The Boeing 747 was the commercial aviation sector's first twin aisle passenger jet. The jumbo jet was designed in just 28 months and took advantage of new methodologies and technologies to pull it off, including fault tree analysis, which showed what would happen if one part in the plane failed and how it would impact others.

The principal enabling technology that allowed the massive jet to get off the ground was its high-bypass turbofan engine which produced more thrust and used less fuel than earlier turbojets. The Pratt & Whitney JT9D powered the first 747s as well as Airbus' A300 and A310, plus the McDonnell Douglas DC-10.

Production of the twin-aisle airplane, began in 1967 and spanned 54 years, during which a total of 1,574 airplanes were built.

At 250-feet, two-inches, the 747-8 is the longest commercial aircraft in service. The final airplane is a 747-8 Freighter. This model has a revenue payload of 133.1 tonnes, enough to transport 10,699 solid-gold bars or approximately 19 million ping-pong balls or golf balls.

"For more than half a century, tens of thousands of dedicated Boeing employees have designed and built this magnificent airplane that has truly changed the world. We are proud that this plane will continue to fly across the globe for years to come," said Kim Smith, Boeing Vice President and general manager, 747 and 767 Programs.

For more than 50 years, Boeing updated the 747 as the aerosapce and associated industries advanced technologies and as demand changed, including adding a cargo version of the aircraft. 

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