Boeing delivered its final 747 yesterday. US cargo carrier Atlas Air was the recipient, it now has 56 of the aircraft.
Atlas gave the Queen of the Skies a fitting delivery flight, drawing a crown for the Queen with its flight route:
It reminded me of when El Al drew a 747 in the sky on its retirement flight:
Alas, that was just before it bit the dust:
Despite the fanfare, there are 2 more 747-8s that were originally built for defunct Russian airline Transaero that have yet to be delivered. Those will become Air Force One aircraft once they are retrofit.
I’m just a bit of a 747 junkie.
I flew it as a toddler to the holy land.
12 years ago Mimi and I flew in first class on several Cathay Pacific and Qantas 747s using the now defunct, but incredible AA round-the-world award chart.
7 years ago I took Rafi to San Francisco to let him experience flying on the upper deck of the glorious 747, before United retired it. The captain was even gracious enough to show Rafi the ropes in the cockpit and it’s an experience he still talks about today.
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In 2017 I flew on United’s final 747 flight and it was a truly incredible experience. We were treated to scenic views and a party flight atmosphere that befitted the sending off of The Queen of the Skies. It was easily one of my favorite flights of all time.
747 swag from its final United flight:
And I have another piece of one in my sock drawer:
Here’s how AMEX did that.
The augmented reality site that AMEX created to go along with the card is also awesome. Open that link on your phone for a fun ride and tour of the 747’s history and how they turned the retired plane into credit cards.
Haven’t flown on the 747 with your own kids yet to make some priceless memories?
You can still fly on one, but it’s not easy anymore.
Air China flies the 747-400 and 747-8, Asiana flies the 747-400, Korean Air flies the 747-8 on routes like Seoul to/from Atlanta, Honolulu, JFK, and Los Angeles, and Lufthansa flies the 747-400 or 747-8 on routes like Frankfurt to/from Chicago, Houston, JFK, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. The 747-8s are newer aircraft, which should certainly survive this decade despite the high cost of operating the jumbo jet.
Share your memories of the Queen of the Skies in the comments!