This article should take 2 minutes to read.
If you don’t know what the 747 is, well, to put it bluntly, you have been living under a rock for 50+ years. But now the time has come for the Queen as Boeing has decided to pull the plug on the iconic aircraft for good this time. With the latest variation being the 747-8 rolling off the production line in 2 years. During this time we have seen many aircraft being retired, like the A380, 777 and MD-80s.
For many, the iconic 747-400 is all that they remember, but some know of the last version of the iconic series that never caught on commercially, but there is a fair chance that your international packages have probably been flown on a 747-800 Freighter version. But we take a look at the iconic series from how it changed air travel to almost making its Manufacturer bankrupt.
Debuting in 1970 there was something for everyone to love, whether it be the spiral staircase to lounges in the hump or for freight companies with the nose being hinged to allow them to transport large pieces of cargo. It racked up 1,571 orders which are second to the 777, also built by Boeing. But over the last decade orders for this large aircraft have been at an all-time low since smaller planes with a larger range are just more profitable for airlines to operate.
Since 2016 the company has been losing $40 million dollars per jet, and their 747-800 version being kept alive only as freighters instead since the last commercial version was ordered in 2017 which was to be used as Air Force One. Now, this doesn’t mean that all 747s will stop flying right now, even though we’re seeing a lot of them being retired. Many airlines are still operating the older 400 variants. However, there are plenty of companies still using the 800 variant for passenger operations like Lufthansa or other cargo companies like UPS, Cargolux and Atlas Air. They will potentially keep flying for decades to come as well.