After more than half a century in the skies, the 1,574th and final Boeing 747 left the original Boeing factory in Everett, Washington. Nicknamed the Queen of the Skies, the infamous Boeing 747 was the first “Jumbo Jet” and twin-aisle airliner in the world. Known for making international travel more attainable, the 747 has been flown by U.S. presidents since 1990 with two customized versions in the Air Force One fleet.
For Jon Sutter, the grandson of Boeing aircraft designer and “father of the 747” Joe Sutter, it was an emotional occasion.
“You think of everything that airplane has done. It’s carried the space shuttle, It’s airlifted a thousand refugees at a time. It’s actually hard to imagine the world without it,” said Sutter. “There’s not much out there that can replace it.”
Passenger versions of the 747 were retired long ago for more fuel-efficient aircraft, though cargo versions are still expected to run “well into the middle of this century” according to Boeing. The aviation company also promises to provide aftermarket support as long as they’re flying.
“As we say goodbye to the Queen of the Skies, we’re proud of her legacy as an airplane that propelled aviation innovation and later laid the foundation of our family of freighters,” Boeing 747 and 767 program manager Kim Smith said in a statement.
Carrying on the 747’s legacy is the 787 Dreamliner and the 777, the world’s largest twin-jet aircraft. After several delays, the 777X will also soon join the lineup in 2025 with a capacity of 426 passengers.
A detailed timeline of the aircraft can be found here.
There she goes!
The last 747 has left our Everett factory ahead of delivery to Atlas Air in early 2023. #QueenOfTheSkies
Photos: Boeing/Paul Weatherman pic.twitter.com/duzgr6MzQl
— Boeing Airplanes (@BoeingAirplanes) December 7, 2022
ICYMI: Tuesday we rolled out our final 747 from our widebody factory in Everett in advance of its delivery to Atlas Air in early 2023.
— Boeing Airplanes (@BoeingAirplanes) December 8, 2022