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CallMeDrLuv t1_izefcl5 wrote

This is honestly the end of an era, and kind of sad. Gotta give props to the designers, the 747 has been a great success.


FuzzyLogic0 t1_izeu65k wrote

No. No props, this is a jet.


CallMeDrLuv t1_izexydq wrote

That's why you have to *give* it props, duh!


nchoe123 t1_izf7opt wrote

the props are in the jet engine, right?


kyredemain t1_izfmr6s wrote

Yeah, but they call them "Turbines" because it sounds cooler.


TXOgre09 t1_izivmmg wrote

The blades in the jet engine don’t propel the plane. The exhaust jet does. The jet engine blade assemblies are compressors up front and turbines in the back.


alphagusta t1_izgrra9 wrote

But wasn't there a version proposed that was going to use propellers?

Edit: Apparently the never built 747-500 was indeed meant to be propllers


koolaidisthestuff t1_izfthuu wrote

50 years of keeping the people of the world moving around as needed. With a pretty clean track record for safety. End of an era 🫡


zap_p25 t1_izeon7p wrote

But it still has 30 years behind the leader when it comes to longevity in regular passenger service.


ivsciguy t1_izeuwbo wrote

Who has the leading spot. Is it DC-3 or MD-80?


zap_p25 t1_izev86y wrote



ivsciguy t1_izfs44d wrote

I got to design one repair for a DC-3 that one of the airlines runs for charity now. That was cool. Also very easy because fatigue isn't much of a concern without a pressurized cabin. If they had actually decided to re-engine MD-80s I think they could have operated practically forever. They are built like tanks. Also seems like the military will run B-52s until the end of time.


abnrib t1_izifbwt wrote

The B-52, C-130, and CH-47 are all currently projected to have over a century in service by the time they retire the platforms.


Drone30389 t1_j0kdfjv wrote

> If they had actually decided to re-engine MD-80s I think they could have operated practically forever.

They did, and then called it the Boeing 717.


thebeautifulseason t1_iziyphn wrote

End of an era, that was my first thought. Mom was a gate agent and I spent hours in the airport, every time one rolled up it was all “ooh, look at the big 747!” Good memories <3


Zondartul t1_ize1ase wrote

Actually, the production of a single Boeing 747 takes about 43 days.


indigoHatter t1_ize3obf wrote

🥁🥁... Wouldn't you know it? There's no cymbal or gong.

Fine, that's all you get.


zoolover1234 t1_izf0im9 wrote

No, you are saying assembling. Production of it starts when whichever component started to be made. It could be the engine or radar system, which can be much longer.


cboogie t1_izhpa83 wrote

How do you make an apple pie from scratch?

First invent the universe.


RadialSpline t1_izf5ivt wrote

If I remember right the wing skins were last made in the 1990’s, so ~30 years lead time?


anonanon1313 t1_izedypf wrote

I remember the excitement of my first 747 flight in the 70's. I had the unexpected pleasure of being being bumped into first class a couple of times in the 80's on trans-Atlantic flights, that was particularly awesome.


Vergenbuurg t1_izends2 wrote

I treated myself to a flight on a Lufthansa 747 upper deck, just so I could have the life experience. Having a widebody-style business-class seat with only a single aisle, with no other seats behind our section, almost made it feel like I was on a small private jet.


cramduck t1_izesw4n wrote

Flew the upper deck on a cargolux flight, but I was too young to really appreciate it.


DutchBlob t1_izffp3k wrote

Are you a box?


blaughw t1_izfmo0x wrote

No they will deadhead crews, mechanics, and some other staff in the 8-16 seats (going off 20-year old memory) on the upper deck.


cramduck t1_izgbk7r wrote

Spent quite a bit of time in the cockpit, too. Good memories.


blaughw t1_izghnhe wrote

I mostly built ULDs, processed customs docs and accepted DGR back in those days. :D


cramduck t1_izgpd2u wrote

My grandfather did avionics maintenance at Boeing for like 60 years, contracted out to airlines all over the place. Kuwait, Saudi, Beijing... the man had some wild stories.


[deleted] t1_izfs5lq wrote



dartie t1_izfwsp0 wrote

I’m always configured for economy. I must have that kind of look.


Silver_Slicer t1_izim6bh wrote

I had the pleasure of flying Asiana Airlines to Europe in Business class in the early 90’s. It was in the upper deck. It was fantastic. I will miss the 747s as they retire.


Neverlost99 t1_izej9w5 wrote

Only flew on the one with the bar once. Flew on the bar mod once


fantasmoofrcc t1_izeayi9 wrote

A 747 is a damn big gadget.


MrMitchWeaver t1_izelh9c wrote

If the definition of gadget is "technological object that we find interesting regardless of size" I guess it fits the bill.


jirfin t1_izembl4 wrote

Remember how Boeing put a bunch of important features behind a pay wall in their new jets and a whole bunch of jets crashed due to that and no one went to jail for that…well Pepperidge Farms remembers and still won’t fly because of that


GynxCrazy t1_izenw0j wrote

Petrifarm. Do you mean Pepperidge farm?


jirfin t1_izeob47 wrote

Yeah that what I said


GynxCrazy t1_izep9nu wrote

That edit ain’t sly lmao


jirfin t1_izev3e5 wrote

I have no clue of what you’re talking about and I will not have such salacious accusations against me


fjingpanda t1_izfgrmm wrote

Do you remember when carriers ignored emergency ADs and did not train their flight crew properly?

Boeing isn't blameless, but it wasn't just them. Ultimately it is a failing of the entire industry


VikKarabin t1_ize86m9 wrote

eli5 why?.


JaggedMetalOs t1_izea3ve wrote

Widebody twin jets are more cost effective for airlines than quad jets.


koko-jumbo t1_izealf7 wrote

It's because engine's are crazy expensive in maintenance. So having 50% of engine's and taking 70% of the load is pretty good deal for airlines


vibranium-501 t1_izelvcf wrote

But that does mean they are reducing redundancy the same way they reduce maintenance cost.


UncommercializedKat t1_izenlge wrote

Yes. But also less chances of failure. I think airplanes are required to be able to fly with one engine out, regardless of how many they have. Maybe some here can confirm.


yikesbrosef t1_izensxe wrote

Yep. Google ETOPS if you’re curious what the requirements are.


shmerham t1_izf8b2n wrote

All twin-engines need to be able to fly on a single engine regardless of ETOPS status.


Uh-idk- t1_izghw0z wrote

all commercial flights go under the single engine rule no?


NPCwithnopurpose t1_izfk6at wrote

From a quick google search, a 747 can’t really maintain altitude with one engine, unlike twin jets. So, 50% of engines to maintain altitude in either case, but the 747 will cost more. That said, one engine providing thrust (to exclude APUs) is better than none. Also, the loss of an engine will probably just lead to an early landing anyway. The pilot just has more options when they started with 4 engines


anengineerandacat t1_izf54sm wrote

Higher complexity doesn't generally improve your reliability aspects though and whereas I don't know much about the 747 it's entirely possible the 4 engines aren't entirely independent.

They might share fuel-pumps per-wing, so if say something happened to fuel pump 1 out of 2 you might not have engines 1 & 2 while engines 3 & 4 are calmy doing their thing.

Less moving parts is generally always a good thing, and if it weren't a passenger aircraft potentially eliminating down to a single engine "might" be acceptable if the gliding capabilities were very good (much like some turbo-prop planes) and the risk of losing life was overall lower.


fjingpanda t1_izf9243 wrote

It's actually mostly because airlines are unable to fill these jumbos as regularly so they have lower utilization.

The narrowbodies/modern widebodys do have slightly lower maintenance costs, but also actually have a higher load factor since they can be filled regularly and flown more often.


Redbaron1960 t1_izfb313 wrote

I remember going to Hawaii in the early 80’s and having a whole middle row of 4 seats to myself. The flight was probably 20% full


Sixspeeddreams t1_izfe6f9 wrote

I flew on a BA A380 two weeks ago from London. The big jets are a fantastic passenger experience (so much less turbulence, a much quieter plane) but the plane was like you mentioned only 80% full. They let me sneak up to premium from coach for most of the flight since they had empty seats


SparksMurphey t1_izfi3ul wrote

Ironically, the 747 actually lasted a lot longer than they expected it to. The whole reason for the raised cockpit was to allow a hinged nose with direct cargo loading under the cockpit - the idea being that all the passenger 747s could be quickly and easily converted to cargo once supersonic airliners like Concorde made them obsolete. Except that never happened, and the 747 passenger role lingered much longer.


Nobel6skull t1_izf201f wrote

Also Moden jets are much much more fuel efficient.


Hailgod t1_izefewi wrote

hub and spoke approach is getting replaced by more direct routes that carry less passenger each


XJDenton t1_izgg6ng wrote

The massive jumbos were built to service the largest airports, when most long haul service operated on a "Hub and spoke" model. This is when the big international airports serve as a "hub" for the vast majority of incoming flights, where people would then connect on to another flight which would fly a shorter distance to the final destination. However airlines, for a number of reasons, have shifted more towards using smaller, more efficient aircraft that serve more direct routes. Larger aircraft also require bigger runways, which means they are not as flexible as smaller craft.


forrest_the_ace t1_izhl6hz wrote

They're too expensive to fly because they are hard to fill with passengers for even the most popular long haul routes. This was the original purpose of the aircraft. Many airports do not support them limiting their market. They being outclassed by significantly more efficient aircraft.

Boeing not producing them doesn't mean companies will stop flying them today. It just means that they will not fill and complete anymore orders. They are still popular aircraft for cargo, military, and some smaller roles.


ODBrewer t1_izff9gj wrote

It was cutting edge in the 60’s and 70’s but new technology has made it fade out.


zorbathegrate t1_izezf2z wrote


I wish Boeing could have created something 747 fuel efficiency solution type thing. Make it perfect for another 50 years


RadialSpline t1_izf8jek wrote

That’s how the 737MAX happened. Trying to extend the lifespan of a design long past when it should have been retired.

As in the 737 was designed during a time when many airports had no baggage handling equipment for loading, so it sits lower to the ground than every other extant Boeing design, which then forced them to move the engine nacelles up when they slapped in the truly massive high-bypass turbofan jets. Moving the nacelles changed flight characteristics of the plane but they put a flight control system from the military side (MCAS) on to bring the planes flight characteristics back in line with the OG 737. The MCAS system got faulty data from sensors on some flights and severely contributed to the downing of those flights. There were specific trim levels on the 737MAX that had/have more advanced troubleshooting features (that’s the safety systems locked behind a paywall of earlier posts), that the airlines of the flights that went down didn’t spring for (new cockpit setup would require that airline to send its pilots in for retraining on the new features).

This is what I pieced together working in Boeing’s fabrication division deburring and hand-finishing wing ribs and spar chords (ribs hold the upper and lower wing skins apart and the spar chords hold the wing skins to the fuselage.) Chances are if you’ve flown on any of the new 777X aircraft parts of the wings I fixed up with angle grinders and hand tools.


bouncyb0b t1_izfeumo wrote

You missed the bit where the Boeing sales people deliberately miss informed the airlines that no type conversation training was necessar, in order to increase sales. The pilots of the crashed jets had no idea that this system existed let alone how to deal with a failure of it.

Ford pinto levels of corporate competence.


RadialSpline t1_izfqdqw wrote

Technically the 737MAX was on paper the exact same flight characteristics of an non-MAX model at the time of sale, so per regulators there was no need to have the pilots go through it. The Lion Air flight 610 and Ethiopian Air flight 302 tragedies were monumental fuckups from many sources, not just Boeing.


floridaengineering t1_izhoy56 wrote

Weren't the flight characteristics different due to the new position of the engines? Unless you're talking about the inclusion of the MCAS.


RadialSpline t1_izhr5zt wrote

Yep. With MCAS the MAX had the same flight characteristics as the OG 737, so by adding it Boeing was able to manufacture them under the original 737 production certificate, which is/was a MASSIVE loophole that hopefully the FAA has closed (I have not checked as I got the hell out of Boeing earlier this year due to culture issues when I got called back from a layoff).

It turns out that people who survived [in upper management] the Boeing/McDonnell-Douglas merger in the 90’s were the scum-sucking corporate raider types who would take a league if you give them an inch who would exploit things like vague regulations/legislation for a payday and set up someone who actually kinda sorta gave a crap about longevity of the company as a fall guy. [James McNerney was the President, CEO, and Chairman of Boeing’s Board of Directors while the 737MAX was developed and certified, then resigned before the first deliveries for Muilenberg to take the heat, then Calhoun has taken over once an executive was used as a scapegoat. McNerney and Calhoun are MBA types while Muilenberg was an engineer…]


macfail t1_izfdwbu wrote

The 747 series has 4 engines and a wing form optimized for higher cruise speed. You can't easily engineer your way around those without redesigning the whole plane. They already have the 787 and 777, which meet customers needs.


Drone30389 t1_j0kdral wrote

They actually did give it new wings and engines: the 747-8i


CollectionOfAtoms78 t1_izhhrl0 wrote

If they made this decision, it was not a recent one. Someone did the math months or years ago showing when it would no longer be profitable to continue producing these things.

I also believe there are newer plane innovations are in process of being implemented. Here is a video by Real Engineering that explains some of these ideas and their pros and cons.


Mamalamadingdong t1_izhyrap wrote

The economics of very large planes just isn't really viable anymore. It is more profitable now to get smaller, very efficient planes to fly direct rather than having a hub model where small planes feed 1 big plane at a major airport which then flies to another big airport to feed a bunch of small planes.


Shawnj2 t1_izi1yyz wrote

Yep the passenger version of the 747 has been out of production for years except for one-offs like the new versions of AF1.


Drone30389 t1_j0kdoe2 wrote

They did, the 747-8i had new, more efficient engines and new, more efficient wings. It wasn't enough to save the program and compete with the large twin engine planes.


zorbathegrate t1_j0la3v0 wrote

Seems to me like they would still be the best for shipping.


BalmungOfAzureSky t1_izf17gj wrote

Gonna miss these. Along with the a380. Lucky to have been able to fly both a few times intercontinental.


tigernet_1994 t1_izg06xl wrote

That longer takeoff roll with the quad engines. Will miss them!


ejoy-rs2 t1_izgptd5 wrote

Been on an A380 as well. Looks the same from the inside but still cool somehow flying with one.


blastradii t1_izicgjh wrote

Do you miss them because the newer planes are not as good?


BalmungOfAzureSky t1_izilwvx wrote

I’ve been on the newer ones now over 10 times in intercontinental flights as well. They’re pretty nice, but I feel like they’re more cramped. The double decker was always cool, and they had more space in seats in all classes it felt like. And I know this doesn’t matter much but it was always nice knowing there were 4 engines when being hours over the ocean lol


Rapunzel1234 t1_izeizks wrote

Did a tour of the Boeing plant several years ago, really cool.


cmdr_suds t1_izevzy5 wrote

So did I. Watched a movie and then went to a mezzanine that overlooked a small area of the plant. After about 10 minutes, we were ushered out and it was over. Never really got close to a plane. Kinda sucky if you ask me.


Rapunzel1234 t1_izfcoz4 wrote

We were there for several hours. Saw three different assembly lines including 777 and 787.


SoyMurcielago t1_izfgp8h wrote

I did it in 2019 at Everett and I confirm it was several hours worth of tour, even with snowmageddon occurring in Seattle.


cmdr_suds t1_izfy2bq wrote

I must have gotten the 10¢ tour instead of the $1 tour. 😡


EaterOfFood t1_izfcwkx wrote

What, were you expecting free samples?


cmdr_suds t1_izfxsvt wrote

That would have been nice. Like maybe a free marker light or an extra wheel nut. But no, we were herded through the gift shop on the way out.


ScoobiusMaximus t1_izeo621 wrote

So for passenger planes this thing has been on the way out for a while, but what will replace it for cargo?


comeradenook t1_izeqi52 wrote

777X likely.

A lot of shipping companies and also been buying 757/767s as they retire from passenger service since used aircraft are cheaper than new. But the 777X is easily more efficient than the 747 so I’d wager that’s where the orders will go.


zap_p25 t1_izeullc wrote

More efficient wide bodies are already in common use and many air freight services have gone from shipping major hub to major hub with large wide bodied aircraft and then servicing minor hubs with smaller aircraft to more direct flights with medium sized narrow bodied air craft such as the 737.


mainelinerzzzzz t1_izeua1z wrote

Best “passenger” plane ever. Passenger is in quotes because I’ll assume all the recent builds are cargo planes.


tree_washer t1_izfmbko wrote

What a majestic airplane.

I’ve been fascinated with the 747 since I can remember. These days I fly very frequently - nothing glamours, just regional flights on Wizz Air or its Irish competition - but I felt honored to travel on a recently-built 747 on a transatlantic flight.

Nothing of its type - past or present - can complete with its elegance. The A380 is a bloated albatross in comparison and I can’t imagine it being eulogized with reverence like the 747.


TheSneakKing t1_izhye8t wrote

On 16 December 2021, Emirates received its 123rd A380, which was the 251st and last delivered by Airbus. The $25 billion investment was not recouped.


SoyMurcielago t1_izfgbn6 wrote

I always wanted to fly in a 747 never did. I did manage a 767 once so at least I got to experience a true double aisle wife body but not the same. The only time I got to go in one was the prototype I think it is at Museum of Flight in Seattle.


HypeConducta t1_izfskb1 wrote

Everyone should experience a wife body. Did the husband sit in the cuck chair ^jumpseat ?


SoyMurcielago t1_izgmq2h wrote

Epic typo on my part but no by that time the husband had an ex to the front


Nicktune1219 t1_izh05sl wrote

I flew on a condor airlines 767 to Germany. That aircraft was so old that it had separate RGB filters on 3 different projectors to make a single image on the bulkheads of the aircraft. Somehow it managed to have headphone jacks in each seat but that was your only luxury.


PandFThrowaway t1_izh1o11 wrote

The last wide body I’ve flown in was a DC-10 almost 30 years ago. Kinda sad really.


blastradii t1_izicnqp wrote

I’ve flown 747 a few times. It’s alright. The seating class matters way more. I’d prefer lay down seats in business class on any aircraft that has them.


Neverlost99 t1_izej76q wrote

Only flew on the one with the bar once.


thegreatgazoo t1_izewo70 wrote

Lucky you. I only got to fly on them in cattle class from Miami to Cape Town and back. Descending the stairs after a 12 or 14 hour flight was a bit scary.


ichankal t1_izgvbcq wrote

When the fuck did a Boeing 747 become a "gadget"?


jbeech- t1_izhbskk wrote

Regarding the last 747, I too love the aircraft. My uncle, a lifelong
Pan Am employee rose to cargo operations manager at PTY before retiring in the mid-90s. PTY is Panama City, Panama for those not versed in airport designators.
As such, when we flew (I was born in Panama), we did it under his
aegis, which on a Pan Am flight was a big deal. I also remember –
vividly – meeting Mr. Juan Trippe, Pan Am CEO. This was in 1968 when I
was ten years old. He gave me a model of a 747 jet in Pan Am livery, one
of those which was destined for travel agencies as part of the
promotion for the upcoming ‘world largest passenger jet’ promotion.
Anyway, in 1969 we moved to live in Birmingham (when my stepfather
retired as Command Sergeant Major of the 193rd Infantry Brigade). This,
to continue serving in the reserves at a backwater Army depot (viewed as
a plum assignment used as reward for long service because it meant
certain perks of Army life, remained).
Point being, we traveled back to Panama twice a year. Of course,
always on Pan Am (after an Eastern flight through Atlanta to Miami).
Heck, I still remember my excitement as if it were yesterday when in
1971 we flew on the 747 for the first time! Travel with my uncle’s
imprimatur on our tickets meant the stewardesses treated 11-y/o me like
And for those unaware, the aircraft has a circular staircase to the
upper deck, through which the crew access the flight deck. I was puffed
with importance at being in 1A at the very front. Honestly, I felt like I
was king of the world because I was even welcomed onto the flight deck
itself where they let me sit in a jump seat for about 15 minutes. Small
wonder model aviation followed and I use a Bonanza to this day for
personal and business travel, eh?
I maintain a fond part of my heart for the 747 to this day.


ag9408 t1_izfil5h wrote

What about the new airforce 1 ? I thought that was going to be a brand new 747-8


Enchelion t1_izft3hu wrote

Those technically rolled off the line two years ago, and are currently in the process of being modified to the specs of the contract.


[deleted] t1_izh7xt4 wrote

So what's the new big boy?


xdqz t1_izilyy8 wrote

Really a true engineering marvel. Somehow I always get the feeling that things made in the past were just much better designed.


katestatt t1_izfxedy wrote

i love that plane 😢


SpaceTruckinIX t1_izgvu0n wrote

Here we go again on a 747 Looking at the clouds from the other side of Heaven Smoking and drinking, never gonna stop Reading magazines stop me looking at the clock


DLF1984 t1_izi0uhc wrote

I got to fly on two 747's on my trip to America in 2018 and was so sad to see those Qantas 747's were both retired not long after.

I was absolutely ecstatic when I booked a flight to europe next year and the flight from Singapore to Frankfurt is on a Lufthansa 747. It's going to be awesome.


Gagarin1961 t1_izk1nxj wrote

Damn, with no other double decker aircraft, the next Air Force One will have to be a typical 777.

Doesn’t project the same level of power.


CN2498T t1_j0stmsn wrote

Why are they getting rid of it and what will replace it?


Specific_Main3824 t1_izi2koz wrote

It's not the same plane as the first one anyway. They only look similar and share the same name. They will bring back a new version soon enough.


retrograderevolution t1_izetbk8 wrote



BedrockFarmer t1_izemlq8 wrote

I’m surprised that they were still being newly manufactured TBH.


Chicken_Water t1_izeza49 wrote

Manufacturers making cheaper planes with less redundancy. How did they know that's exactly what I wanted to fly in?


booschlatte t1_izfn5cd wrote

Where are you getting the reduced redundancy from?


Chicken_Water t1_izfrzhf wrote

4 engines down to 2. The article also literally states they cheaper to make and references the reduction in engines.


Enchelion t1_izftana wrote

The newer planes can fly on 50% engine capacity just as the 747 could. Having 4 isn't necessarily better redundancy if you still need two working to fly.


Chicken_Water t1_izg7seh wrote

I thought I recalled the 747 only needing 1 engine to fly and land in an emergency. If I am remembering wrong and you're correct that it requires two, then I'd agree with you.


booschlatte t1_izg5zws wrote

Yeah that’s not a reduction. The number of engines has nothing to do with redundancy or safety.


zestyH20 t1_izej0wp wrote