Not many aircraft can claim to launch a new age in aviation, but that tag can be applied to the Boeing 747 which first flew in 1969. The new airliner spawned the dawn of mass long-distance air travel. Nicknamed the Jumbo Jet, the airliner has been developed into numerous variants and is viewed with such affection that the title ‘Queen of the Skies’ has also been bestowed upon it.
The Jumbo held the record for the greatest passenger capacity for 37 years and with continual development, spawned many variants. The latest of these, the 747-8 Intercontinental, entered service in 2012.
In the March 2011 issue of Airliner World pilot Alan Carter reported from the flightdeck of a Boeing 747-400 taking pilgrims from countries around the world to the holy sites in Saudi Arabia.
Although the Boeing 747 is best remembered in the iconic, but largely corporate liveries of Lufthansa, Pan Am, or British Airways, the Queen of the Skies has also enjoyed some quirkier paint schemes. Here we highlight some of our favourites from around the world...
Owen Zupp has flown Airbus narrowbodies as well as the Boeing 737 and 787, but it is the 747 that will always hold a special place in his heart. Here, he recounts some of his outstanding memories of the iconic jumbo.
The 747 was, quite literally, a huge gamble. Standing six storeys high and 225ft-long, the aptly nicknamed Jumbo Jet dwarfed its rivals and stablemates alike in both size and expense. Airliner World’s Craig West chronicles the development of Boeing’s behemoth.
Five decades on from Britain’s first order for Boeing 747s, in the September 2016 issue of Aviation News Charles Kennedy looked back at the life and times of the British Airways jumbo fleet.
Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral on September 19 was attended by some 500 heads of state, including presidents, prime ministers and monarchs from across the globe, making it one of the largest such gatherings since the memorial for Nelson Mandela, the former president of South Africa, in 2013. Here we illustrate some of the more unusual aircraft to visit the UK for the event.
A modified Boeing 747 used to transport the manufacturer’s 787 aerostructures appears to have lost a wheel during take-off.