The final Boeing 747 ever built was sold in front of thousands of people who wanted to bid farewell to the iconic widebody plane.
Customers, suppliers, celebrities, as well as current and former employees — including the original “Incredibles” who built the first 747 — gathered at Boeing’s Everett plant to witness the plane’s delivery to Atlas Air Worldwide.
The event marks the end of production for the plane, which was first built in 1967. Boeing announced in 2020 that it would retire the model in a few years after it had completed the last orders for it.
The 747 was a famous four-engine widebody jet that revolutionised air travel by doubling passenger capacity and lowering the price of each seat. Boeing delivered 70 units in a single year during its peak popularity in 1990.
However, as with most older technologies, it eventually gave way to some of the company’s newer jets, particularly its two-engine planes that can fly the same routes but use less fuel.
According to Reuters, the company only delivered five 747s in 2022, despite the fact that the entire programme produced 1,574 planes.
Boeing’s most recent deliveries, including this one, will be used to transport cargo in the coming years. Yes, there will be no new 747s, but according to Bloomberg, orders for freighters could last until the 2050s.
Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Stan Deal said, “This monumental day is a testament to the generations of Boeing employees who brought to life the airplane that ‘shrank the world,’ and revolutionized travel and air cargo as the first widebody.
“It is fitting to deliver this final 747-8 Freighter to the largest operator of the 747, Atlas Air, where the ‘Queen’ will continue to inspire and empower innovation in air cargo.”
Kim Smith, Boeing’s vice president and general manager for the 747 and 767 programmes, revealed that the model’s production line was shut down as workers completed various parts for the final plane.
Employees who worked in the factory have been transferred to other programmes or have retired voluntarily.
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