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The 747 That Rose Up and Flew.


Often referred to as, ‘The Queen of the Skies’, the Boeing 747 has a long and illustrious history. In 2019, the aircraft is now reaching the end of its career. Nevertheless, still flying and carrying passengers, the type continues in service (for now) as the 747-800 with Lufthansa and Korean Air. British Airways and KLM continue to fly the 747-400 but their numbers are falling. As a freighter it soldiers on with other airlines but economics are what they are and two engines cost less to run than four. (above - Ted Quackenbush)


So the end is not far away. Yet remarkably the 747 has been around for no less than half a century – fifty years. The first flight took place on February 9, 1969, with Pan Am operating the first commercial service on January 21, 1970.

Pan Am was synonymous with 747, being the launch customer. The company’s Chairman Juan T. Trippe, signed the order for 25 of the type on April 14, 1966 and since the carrier named all its aircraft, unsurprisingly his name adorned one of the 747s after his retirement. Fittingly the chosen one had an appropriate registration – N747PA. It was an aircraft that had its own history.

Naturally, Jet Clipper America figured prominently in advertising campaigns.


N747PA, manufacturing seria