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    HomeWorldBoeing Bids Farewell to an Icon, Delivers Last 747 Jumbo Jet

    Boeing Bids Farewell to an Icon, Delivers Last 747 Jumbo Jet

    Boeing Bids Farewell to an Icon, Delivers Last 747 Jumbo Jet

    SEATTLE — Boeing bids farewell to an icon on Tuesday: It's delivering its final 747 jumbo jet.

    Since its first flight in 1969, the giant yet graceful 747 has served as a cargo plane, a commercial aircraft capable of carrying nearly 500 passengers, a transport for 's space shuttles, and the Force One presidential aircraft. It revolutionized travel, connecting international cities that had never before had direct routes and helping democratize passenger flight.

    But over about the past 15 years, Boeing and its European rival Airbus have introduced more profitable and fuel efficient wide-body planes, with only two engines to maintain instead of the 747′s four. The final plane is the 1,574th built by Boeing in the Puget Sound region of state.

    A big crowd of current and former Boeing workers is expected for the final send-off. The last one is being delivered to cargo carrier Atlas Air.

    “If you love this business, you've been dreading this moment,” said longtime aviation analyst Richard Aboulafia. “Nobody wants a four-engine airliner anymore, but that doesn't erase the tremendous contribution the aircraft made to the development of the industry or its remarkable legacy.”

    Boeing set out to build the 747 after losing a contract for a huge military transport, the C-5A. The idea was to take advantage of the engines developed for the transport — high-bypass turbofan engines, which burned less…

    Continue Reading This Article At Military.com

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