The last Boeing 747 leaves the factory

Feb. 1, 2023
The plane known as “Queen of the Skies” helped make air travel more affordable, but it has been supplanted by smaller, more efficient aircraft, Niraj Chokshi reports for the New York Times.

EVERETT, Wash., - More than a half-century ago, Boeing unveiled the 747, a massive and striking airplane that captured the public imagination and brought air travel to the masses. The jet has been a workhorse since, ferrying passengers and cargo around the world. But its days are numbered: On Tuesday, Boeing plans to hand over the last 747 it will ever make, Niraj Chokshi reports for the New York Times. Continue reading original article.

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

1 February 2023 - Boeing's last 747 left the assembly line on Tuesday, destined to Atlas Air as a freighter.

The "Queen of the Skies" came to be after Boeing developed new engines for a government contract on the then-new C-5A Galaxy, built by Lockheed, after the company got the contact over Boeing.

It took a herculean effort to get the first 747 off the ground as more than 50,000 Boeing employees got the aircraft completely built in less than 16 months.

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.

Related: The US military’s secret plan to turn Boeing 747s into arsenal ships

Related: Virgin Orbit launches rocket off a 747 aircraft, puts nine satellites in space

Related: Atlas Air Worldwide purchases four Boeing 747-8 Freighters

Jamie Whitney, Associate Editor
Military + Aerospace Electronics

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