After more than five decades in production, the end of production for the Boeing 747 is near. On November 23, the manufacturer delivered the penultimate aircraft of its type to the cargo airline Atlas Air, from the United States, which will operate the four-engine aircraft on behalf of the German logistics company Kuehne+Nagel.
The model delivered to the carrier is a 747-8F, a freighter version of the “Jumbo”.
The last 747 will also be delivered to Atlas, possibly in the first half of 2023. According to Boeing, the aircraft is in the final stages of assembly at the Everett plant in the state of Washington.
“As we say goodbye to the ‘Queen of the Skies’, we’re proud of her legacy as an airplane that propelled aviation innovation and later laid the foundation for our family of freighters,” said Kim Smith, Boeing 747 and 767.
With few orders and production falling for several years, the end of the 747 program was confirmed by the North American manufacturer in July 2020.
“Given current market prospects, we will complete production of the iconic 747 in 2022. Our commitment to the customer does not end with delivery and we will continue to support 747 operations and maintenance well into the future,” said David Calhoun, CEO at the time. from Boeing.
Introduced in the market in 1970 by the extinct airline Pan Am, the Boeing 747 has so far produced 1,573 aircraft in 52 years, from rare models such as the 747SP to the popular 747-400, which is still used on passenger flights. Currently, there are around 400 Jumbos in operation around the world.
Until last year, the 747 was the most popular widebody plane in the world, but it was overtaken by the 777. Another large aircraft that should soon surpass the production number of the iconic Boeing plane is the Airbus A330, which has 1,551 deliveries.