Pima receives historic 747

Boeing 747-121 N747GE taxies in at Davis-Monthan AFB on delivery for the Pima Air and Space Museum on 15 November.

The world’s last airworthy Boeing 747-100 — the oldest flying example of the ‘Jumbo’ — was retired to the Pima Air and Space Museum in Tucson, Arizona on 15 November, making its final landing at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and being towed from there to the adjacent museum site.

N747GE, constructor’s number 19651, served latterly with General Electric/GE Aviation as an engine testbed, but the 747-121 model had made its maiden flight on 3 March 1970 and entered service with Pan American as N744PA. Following Pan Am’s bankruptcy it was acquired by GE in 1992, re-registered and converted for its new role, in which the company says the 747 “provided critical flight data on more than 11 distinct engine models and 39 engine builds.”

The aircraft’s final test flight with GE was performed on 25 January 2017. It was then stored at its Victorville,

California, base prior to the ferry flight to Davis- Monthan, at which point it had notched up 90,000 flying hours and 19,251 cycles. GE has replaced the 747-100 with an ex-Japan Airlines 747-400 model, N747GF.