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Last of Its Kind

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The last Boeing 747 has rolled off the line.

After more than half a century in production, the last example of Boeing’s 747 ‘Jumbo Jet,’ the iconic airliner that brought long-range wide-body air travel to the world, has rolled off the production line. With the closure of the production line for the ‘Queen of the Skies,’ the era of the four-engine airliner also ends, with Boeing and rival Airbus now having fully transitioned to twin-engine wide-body airliner families.

The last Model 747, the 1,574th to be completed, will emerge from Boeing’s Everett, Washington, facility today. The aircraft will be test flown by the manufacturer before being painted and delivered to its customer, the cargo and charter carrier Atlas Air, early next year.

I can only recollect flying in a 747 once, from somewhere to London perhaps a decade ago. The aircraft is an iconic representation of 20th century air travel, although I do (mostly) understand the reasons why 4 engine jets have been eclipsed by their smaller cousins. Damn shame that such a beautiful aircraft has such a limited future, though.

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