The last-ever Boeing 747 was delivered, ushering at the end of the much-loved aircraft’s illustrious career more than fifty years after the original jumbo jet helped millions of passengers afford air travel.
The plane was delivered to its new owner, US air freight company Atlas Air, in a ceremony that was live-streamed online at Boeing’s facility in Everett, Washington.
The new Atlas Air plane was unveiled behind flags sporting the liveries of every carrier that has ever received a 747 in an opening of the hangar’s sliding doors. The fleet of the company includes 56 of these aircraft.
On the final delivery, Joe Sutter, the Boeing 747 program’s chief engineer who passed away in 2016 and was widely regarded as the “father” of this illustrious aeroplane. The delivery ceremony was attended by members of the Sutter and Boeing families, who were there to honour Bill Boeing, the company’s founder.
President and CEO of Atlas Air Worldwide, John Dietrich, thanked the assembled Boeing staff.
“The impact of your work continues well beyond the production lines. It has fueled childhood dreams and career ambitions while at the same time driving global economies and supply chains,” said Dietrich.
Dietrich also provided a flight plan for the new aircraft’s scheduled, which reads ‘747.’
Several speakers from organisations that have used the 747 came to honour the plane.
Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr, “The 747 is a symbol for many, many things, and above all, I think it’s a symbol for the world, which the 747 has made substantially smaller.”