Boeing has rolled out of its Everett factory the last 747 manufactured. The aircraft, a 747-8F freighter, will be delivered to Atlas Air in early 2023, marking the end of production for the iconic jetliner.
“For more than half a century, tens of thousands of dedicated Boeing employees have designed and built this magnificent airplane that has truly changed the world. We are proud that this plane will continue to fly across the globe for years to come,” said Kim Smith, Boeing Vice President and general manager, 747 and 767 Programs.
The 747 serial number 67150 will now undergo paint and then systems check flights prior to delivery to its customer.
The “Jumbo” was the world’s first twin-aisle jet, having started production in 1967. Boeing assembled 1,574 aircraft in 54 years, including versions such as the 747-100, 747-200, 747-300, 747-400, 747-8 and 747SP, with shortened fuselage and longer range.
Although it was for many years a reference in long-haul air travel, the 747 has become a commercial aircraft with a high cost of operation due to its four engines.
In addition, many airlines started to prefer smaller widebodies like the 787, in order to offer direct flights between less demanding destinations, reducing the importance of the big hubs.
Many examples of the “Queen of the Skies” should continue flying for many years, but as freighters, a role for which the 747 is still quite competitive.