By the numbers: This is the final ever Boeing 747, the plane that revolutionised air travel

 

It is the aircraft that changed the face of modern travel and is perhaps the most beloved plane ever, but now it’s the end of an era as the last ever Boeing 747 rolls out of the factory.

On Wednesday (NZT), the jet left the assembly line in Everett, Washington, US before being handed over to the final customer, Atlas Air, destined to fly freight around the world.

The ‘Queen of the Skies’ revolutionised air travel in the 1970s and 1980s making long-distance travel accessible and turning the industry from elitist to mass-market. Over the years it became increasingly sidelined as planes became leaner and more economical.

But it’s not quite farewell yet, said Kim Smith, Boeing Vice President and general manager of the 747 and 767 programmes, as the jumbo jet will still be seen at airports for many years to come.

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“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,” said Smith.

“We are proud that this plane will continue to fly across the globe for years to come.”

The final 747 rolls out of the factory in the US.

Paul Weatherman/Boeing

The final 747 rolls out of the factory in the US.

Here’s a look at some of the numbers of the beloved 747.

1967

Production starts on the 747.

1969

The first aircraft are delivered to customers TWA and Pan Am.

The first Boeing 747 Jumbo jet to fly to Britain in January 1970.

Sidey,Crawshaw&McDonald/Mirrorpix/Getty Images

The first Boeing 747 Jumbo jet to fly to Britain in January 1970.

January 22, 1970

The first commercial flight with Pan Am from New York to London.

1574

The number of 747 built.

44

The number of passenger versions of the 747 still in service, 25 of which are with one airline, Lufthansa.

2017

The last passenger 747 was delivered to Korean Air.

The Air New Zealand 747-400 depicting Aragorn from the Lord of the Rings film, The Return of the King.

Stuff

The Air New Zealand 747-400 depicting Aragorn from the Lord of the Rings film, The Return of the King.

8

The number of 747s Air New Zealand operated.

76.2m

It is the longest commercial aircraft in service.

416-524

The number of passengers it could hold.

A steward and stewardess serving first-class passengers with drinks and refreshments on board a Boeing 747 in 1970.

Fox Photos/Getty Images

A steward and stewardess serving first-class passengers with drinks and refreshments on board a Boeing 747 in 1970.

1088 approximately

The record number of passengers flown in a 747 during a covert operation to airlift Ethiopian Jews to Israel in 1991. Guinness World Records puts the number at 1088 but some reports cite numbers from 1078-1122.

2

The number of babies who were born on that covert operations flight.

3

At typical cruising speeds, the 747-8 travels roughly the length of three football fields per second.

A British Airways special liveried Boeing 747 takes to the skies alongside the Red Arrows during the 2019 Royal International Air Tattoo. The Boeing 747 has been painted in the airline's predecessor British Overseas Airways Corporation livery to mark British Airways' centenary.

Ian Gavan/Getty Images for British Airways

A British Airways special liveried Boeing 747 takes to the skies alongside the Red Arrows during the 2019 Royal International Air Tattoo. The Boeing 747 has been painted in the airline’s predecessor British Overseas Airways Corporation livery to mark British Airways’ centenary.

19 million

The number of ping-pong balls or golf balls a typical 747-8 Freighter could carry. It has a revenue payload of 133.1 tonnes.


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