Boeing premiere flight 747 took place in 1969. The now defunct airline PanAm received a revolutionary airliner that could carry passengers more and farther than ever before.
This allowed transhaul companies to abandon the so-called “kangaroo routes” consisting of many stops between continents. So, on the way from Australia to London, there was only one stopover in the middle of the journey.
The characteristic “humped” the silhouette of the 747 can still be seen today at airports around the world, but more and more often — in distant parking lots, with semi-disassembled engines or without them at all. Many of the world's major airlines have completely stopped using 747s, and hundreds of aircraft are gathering dust in neglected airports or being eaten alive by their parts.
The legendary Jumbo will retire within a few months — global cargo carrier Atlas Air will receive its last factory Boeing 747 by December. With this, the era of the “Queen of Heaven”, which made its first flight in 1969 and has been in continuous production in one form or another for more than half a century, will come to an end.
The 747s were previously the main aircraft of the fleet of many companies. But the time has come, and smaller, more economical and cheaper liners have become the norm.
The A380, the largest aircraft ever built, was built to compete with the 747. In total, the Airbus concern produced more than 250 Superjumbo, but it was too late. By the time the A380 entered service, airlines were increasingly favoring aircraft with two engines instead of the standard four.
The last A380 will leave the factory in 2021, after 17 years of production.
Boeing expected to sell 300 aircraft 747–8 — a modification that appeared in the mid-2000s, but only sold about 150. It should be noted that in the 21st century, more and more passenger airlines prefer Airbus giant jets over Boeing.
But cargo carriers choose 747–8 — most of the latest “humped” They bought the Boeings. Their minimum service life is 20 years, which means that the aircraft will be in operation for decades.
Today, only a few “selected” still flying them: Asiana, Air China, Lufthansa and Korean Air — only four. That is, it is still possible to board a Boeing 747 and fly comfortably to Beijing, Shanghai, Frankfurt or Seoul.