One of the most iconic objects in the history of design is out of production. The Boeing 747 is no more, after a 54-year reign as the Queen of the Skies. It changed aviation as we know it, became an icon of travel, and garners adoration for the impact it made. The aircrew of the last 747 paid tribute in their own way: by drawing in the skies above Washington state.
The final 747 is a 747-8F, which is a freighter variant. It went to Atlas Airlines, who took delivery of the aircraft at Boeing’s facility in Everett, Washington. Bearing the tail number N863GT, the crew took off from Paine Field in Everett and flew across Washington state, only pausing to draw a special farewell. The crew drew a path that read 7-4-7, with a crown above the numbers, in tribute to the so-called Queen of the Skies.
The last Boeing 747, a 747-8F. Boeing
Looking at the flight path on Flightradar24, it’s shockingly big. The Atlas crew flew over a significant portion of the state to draw the crown and did a wonderful job at making it look pretty decent. It also took the majority of the flight time, with a total of two and a half hours dedicated to tracing the tribute. It was seriously technical flying. After drawing the tribute, the crew flew directly to the Cincinnati Atlas Airlines hub.
On the ground, a large crowd was in attendance to see the 747 leave its home since 1967. According to the BBC, John Travolta, who has flown a 747-400 and is an aviation enthusiast, was in the crowd, as well as the original team of people that developed the original 747 in just 28 months. It was the first of its kind, a twin-aisle double-decker jetliner that could carry more people in comfort on transoceanic flights.
With no four-engined double-decker replacements on the horizon, the 747 outlasted the much newer Airbus A380. The realities of modern airline travel have shown that twin-engined widebody jets can do the same job with less fuel consumption, thus rendering the 747 obsolete.
There may never be another aircraft like it. Farewell, 747.
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