Wednesday, December 6, 2023

7 Ways the Boeing 747 Double Decker Jet Has Changed the Airline Industry

The aircraft has been connecting people to more places for 50 years.

Boeing 747.


Source: Boeing

The long-term success of the jet can be seen in its numbers. It has transported over 5.9 billion people along 75.5 billion miles by 2020. This is enough to fly to Earth 137,000 times.

Lufthansa 747.

Lufthansa is one the few airlines that still allows passengers to fly on the 747.

Lukas Wunderlich/Shutterstock

Source: Boeing

However, innovations in dual-engine planes over the years made the 747’s four fuel-hungry engines and poor economics unattractive for operators.

Boeing 747 engines.

Alexander Sidorov/EyeEm via Getty Images

Source: Insider

1: Juan Trippe (Pan American World Airways CEO) requested that the legendary aircraft be built.

New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey (right) and Juan Trippe (left) in a Clipper cockpit with their two pilots.

Juan Trippe (left), New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey (right), and Juan Trippe, (left), in a Clipper cockpit together with their two pilots.


Source: Northwestern University

As demand soared, the industry required larger and more capable planes that could fly further than any commercial aircraft.

Pan Am 747-100.

Pan Am 747-747-100. via Getty Images

Source: Insider

So, Trippe went to Boeing in 1965 and asked for a plane more than twice the size of the 707…

Pan Am Boeing 707 and Boeing 747

A Pan Am Boeing 707 next to a Pan Am Boeing 757, showing the difference in size.

Underwood Archives/Getty Images

Source: Insider

…and it didn’t take much for the manufacturing giant to jump on the opportunity, especially after recently losing out on a contract to build the massive C-5A military transport plane.

c-5 galaxy

People waiting in line to get into the 445th Airlift Wing’s first C-5A Galaxy in 2005

Tech photo of the US Air Force Sgt. Charlie Miller

Source: Boeing

2: The 747 was constructed by the “Incredibles”, a team of about 50,000 Boeing employees.

First Boeing 747

First Boeing 747 in the company of employees and admirers.

-/Getty Images

Source: Boeing

The crew included engineers, mechanics, secretaries and construction workers. The plane was built in just 16 months in late 1960s.

The first Boeing 747 at the Everett assembly line.

The Everett assembly plant was home to the first Boeing 747.

Bettmann/Contributor via Getty Images

Source: Boeing

Boeing Incredible Dwight Bates wrote, “We assembled our first 747 in snowstorms while they were constructing the building surrounding us,” in a 2016 post posted on the planemaker’s site.

Boeing 747 Factory Tour.

Boeing’s last Boeing 747s were made in Washington. This photo was taken in June 2022.

Taylor Rains/Insider

Source: Boeing

He explained that being an Incredible meant they had to sleep at their desks and work crazy overtime hours. They were also under tremendous pressure after being told that they would lose the company if the 747 FAA-certified was not achieved.

Boeing Incredibles building Boeing 747s in 1969.

Boeing Incredibles built Boeing 747s back in 1969.

Bernard Crochet/Photo12/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Source: Boeing

Fortunately, their efforts didn’t go to waste. Led by veteran Boeing engineer Joe Sutter, who is known as the “father of the 747,” the iconic plane took its first flight in 1969 and was in commercial service with Pan Am in 1970.

The flight crew after the first Pan Am 747 flight from New York to London Heathrow in 1970.

The crew of the Pan Am 747 Flight from New York to London Heathrow, 1970.

AFP/Stringer via Getty Images

Source: Boeing

3: The 747 was both the first widebody passenger aircraft in the world and also the first to feature a partial 2nd level.

A United Boeing 747 in the carrier's old livery.

A United Boeing 747 in its old livery. via Getty Images

Source: Museum of Flight

Boeing produced five variants of the 747: the 747-100,00, 747-205, 747-220, 747-399, 747-399, 747-405, 747-405, 747-399, 747-405 and 747-407. These were all purchased by many airlines, including Cathay Pacific Airways, Delta Air Lines and Korean Air.

Lineup of Boeing 747s.

A selection of Boeing 747s.

Museum of Flight Foundation/Contributor via Getty Images

Source: Insider

The 747-8i is the largest and most efficient passenger variant of the planemaker.

A Boeing 747-8i.

A Boeing 747-8i.

Stephen Brashear/Stringer via Getty Images

Source: NerdWallet

It is powered by four General Electric engines and can travel up to 8,895 miles. The plane can travel three FIFA soccer fields in one second.

A Lufthansa Boeing 747-8i engine.

A Lufthansa Boeing 747-8i engine.

Stephen Brashear/Stringer via Getty Images

Source: Boeing

The advanced specs of the 747-100 have come a long ways since then, when it could only fly 602 miles per hour over 5,300 miles.

An Iran Air Boeing 747-100.

An Iran Air Boeing 747-101.

SOPA Images/Contributor via Getty Images

Source: Simple Flying

However, the original variant’s innovative widebody design opened the door to high capacity. Pan Am’s carried 347 people. The 747-8i, on the other hand, can hold up to 467 passengers and is available in three classes.

Inside Lufthansa's Boeing 747-8i.

Lufthansa’s Boeing 7477-8i.

Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

Source: Simple Flying

Source link

[Denial of responsibility! is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – at The content will be deleted within 24 hours.]