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tintintin
29th Mar 2020, 16:12
Today KLM Royal Dutch Airlines operated its final Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet passenger flight KL686 from Mexico City to Amsterdam Schiphol.
PH-BFT City of Tokyo was the last KLM B747-4 on duty
They have been phasing out and retiring their 747s. Another sad news for the real Queen of the Sky.
Give this plane a great tribute
https://www.airliners.net/photo/KLM-Royal-Dutch-Airlines/Boeing-747-406/5948203/L

Pilot DAR
29th Mar 2020, 16:52
I'll miss them! Several Atlantic crossings a year, upstairs business class was the best way to go!

SpringHeeledJack
29th Mar 2020, 17:12
KLm, Qantas, ??? the old lady of the skies is flying into the sunset. How much longer will KLM keep the freighters flying ?

BEA 71
29th Mar 2020, 18:22
https://cimg7.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/1219x960/haar_1_dec_18_8__08d82cdf82a97aa84210003849b35ee072fb5593.jp g

Will miss her too. She was a jewel in the Bavarian skies. Weather permitting I saw her frequently, always at the same time,
you could set your watch..

BEA 71

SMT Member
29th Mar 2020, 19:43
The 747 will live on for many, many years still. In the role she was originally designed for to boot, rather than the degrading existence of shovelling ungrateful punters between continents.

matkat
29th Mar 2020, 20:05
I flew on one (C class) from AMS-ICN last December as much affection as I have the old girl unfortunately no longer fit for purpose, sorry to see them go but preferred the B787 also on C class last year. Similar thoughts about the B744 MIA-LHR also last year.

Phantom Driver
30th Mar 2020, 00:00
Seat 1A , on main deck SQ Jumbo ; only way to travel in them days . (also staff travel best ever) . Cabin crew brief ? Your glass shall never be empty .:ok:

Airbubba
30th Mar 2020, 00:46
Seat 1A , on main deck SQ Jumbo ; only way to travel in them days .

And from seat 1A you could see down the runway. However, on SQ I preferred to be further back to see the girls. ;)

Cabin crew brief ? Your glass shall never be empty .:ok:

Wasn't the first class champagne on SQ either Dom Perignon or Krug?

BRE
30th Mar 2020, 10:54
I flew on one (C class) from AMS-ICN last December as much affection as I have the old girl unfortunately no longer fit for purpose, sorry to see them go but preferred the B787 also on C class last year. Similar thoughts about the B744 MIA-LHR also last year.

What makes her "no longer fit for the purpose" from a pax perspective? The 787 is even noisier on the inside, in my impression.

Mr Mac
30th Mar 2020, 11:05
Airbubba
DP as with EK , hic !.

Kind regards
Mr Mac

BRUpax
30th Mar 2020, 11:24
I made quite a number of C class flights on KLM 747s. The first row window seats (main cabin) were also my favourite seats, but so they were for many other regulars too. So they were not always mine for the taking! The top deck was not for me as the dimensions of the storage bins next to the window seat were too limiting for my needs.

Groundloop
30th Mar 2020, 11:28
The 747 will live on for many, many years still. In the role she was originally designed for to boot, rather than the degrading existence of shovelling ungrateful punters between continents.

If you mean as a freighter, that is not what it was originally designed for. Juan Trippe of Pan Am wanted a large capacity passenger airliner and Boeing built it for him. True that they used a lot of the work originally put in to Boeing's failed bid for the USAF C5 competition - but the 747 was significantly different from that.

procede
30th Mar 2020, 11:39
True that they used a lot of the work originally put in to Boeing's failed bid for the USAF C5 competition - but the 747 was significantly different from that.

The only reason the flight deck is on the upper deck, is so that it can have a door in the nose for the main deck. I think that is the most significant part of the 747 design.

esa-aardvark
30th Mar 2020, 15:29
And from seat 1A you could see down the runway. However, on SQ I preferred to be further back to see the girls. ;)



Wasn't the first class champagne on SQ either Dom Perignon or Krug?
When I flew the steward remark was - we'll finish the Dom Perignon and then start on the Krug.
Will those days ever return ?

MarkerInbound
30th Mar 2020, 16:05
What makes her "no longer fit for the purpose" from a pax perspective? The 787 is even noisier on the inside, in my impression.

The market has grown. You donít have 380 PAX going JFK-LHR and then 50 connect to Rome and 80 connect to Paris and 70 go to FRA and 50 to Stockholm and 70 to Madrid. The airlines today (well, last month) can get 270 people who want to go to each of those destinations direct from JFK. Same out of any major hub. Plus the operating cost of 4 engines v. 2.

procede
30th Mar 2020, 16:16
The market has grown. You don’t have 380 PAX going JFK-LHR and then 50 connect to Rome and 80 connect to Paris and 70 go to FRA and 50 to Stockholm and 70 to Madrid. The airlines today (well, last month) can get 270 people who want to go to each of those destinations direct from JFK. Same out of any major hub. Plus the operating cost of 4 engines v. 2.

Not really, Hub and spoke is still alive and kicking, and even more hubs have emerged and are connected.
The truth is that high density seating (3-4-3) now makes airlines able to fit the same amount of passengers and even more cargo into a 777-300, which is much more fuel efficient.

Phantom Driver
30th Mar 2020, 16:47
Wasn't the first class champagne on SQ either Dom Perignon or Krug?

​​​​​​Yes indeed .The good thing about SQ in those days was no restrictions on deadheading crew (i.e off duty ) . You boarded before the pax , generally got F or J if available ( and F/O often upgraded with the Capt ) . Once on board , the first thing you did was change out of uniform and get stuck into the Dom or Krug , as you preferred .

As I fondly recall , the hosty insisted I alone polish off two bottles of DP on a dhd SIN-LHR . Slept well . Happy days on the Jumbo fleet .

Sadly , these protocols were somewhat different on certain ME airlines ; dhd ORD- DOH in Y with only orange juice for sustenance ; not nice....

Phantom Driver
30th Mar 2020, 17:29
Singapore Girl, always a " Great way to Fly " . A pity such ads now consigned to the dustbins of history by the PC/ me too - brigade .
( apologies for the thread drift , but it is synonymous with the 747 era . Who remembers the Braniff 747 girls uniform ? See you on Jet Blast !).

Airbubba
30th Mar 2020, 17:53
Who remembers the Braniff 747 girls uniform ?

Braniff indeed tied the Emilio Pucci uniforms to its 747 service in the ad campaigns.


https://cimg7.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/930x436/braniff16_930x436_347502262fc8a2e08e3a902a714937b3251ca8a5.j pg
https://cimg8.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/930x435/braniff15_930x435_7bbd6d7df1ee58735d6f95f42b3dac1a7c8a0be7.j pg
https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/930x584/braniff7_930x584_602f554468572268ecf0485ca799d19c2b6ac24a.jp g
https://cimg1.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/930x1366/braniff1_930x1366_b83b4b08f3893c8e71f14a6fb9220d662f1e4f42.j pg
https://cimg3.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/634x818/braniffairlinespucci_5805c0daea1c7e1ea2de81c7c52de7bfe9d744f 3.jpg

Pugilistic Animus
30th Mar 2020, 19:40
Braniff seems to have flown everything including Concorde

tdracer
30th Mar 2020, 20:18
If you mean as a freighter, that is not what it was originally designed for. Juan Trippe of Pan Am wanted a large capacity passenger airliner and Boeing built it for him. True that they used a lot of the work originally put in to Boeing's failed bid for the USAF C5 competition - but the 747 was significantly different from that.

True, but when the 747 was originally developed it was assumed that SST aircraft would soon take over the lions share of long range air travel (the concurrent development of the 747 and the 2707 SST put quite on strain on Boeing resources - both manpower and $$$). So as procede correctly notes, the 747 was designed to be easily turned into a freighter after the SST aircraft became mainline.

Of course, widespread SST use never happened, and the 747 became a backbone of long haul passenger traffic for over 30 years. Oh, and it made a pretty good freighter as well.

The Range
30th Mar 2020, 22:03
I always wanted to know why pilots who have flown the B-747 loved it so much. I've heard from many of them it was their favorite airliner.

Intruder
30th Mar 2020, 22:20
It has 4 of everything important (engines, generators, hydraulic systems...), can easily run on any 3 of each, will still work with 2 in a pinch, and can survive long enough to get to an airport on 1...

Pugilistic Animus
30th Mar 2020, 22:54
I don't feel this way about the other Boeing's except the 767 which I haven't actually flown but I can probably fly the 747, with no training on the 747 coming in with 757 knowledge and do pretty well, so I've been told

wiggy
30th Mar 2020, 23:10
I always wanted to know why pilots who have flown the B-747 loved it so much. I've heard from many of them it was their favorite airliner.

I think Intruder has it...I have just a few thousand hours on the 747-100/200 and then the 744, in both seats, and sat up top you sort of felt you were master of all you surveyed and certainly on those long flights over hours and hours of icy stuff .(Canada,:}, Siberia) it was nice to know you had lots of backup/redundancy etc.

OTOH I have to be honest though and say my newer current steed (Boeing big twin) has a much better "office"......

and if you must ask...neither are the favourite aircraft I've ever flown... my heart is somewhere else..

yeah I know, ....he's a witch, burn him...:*

Phantom Driver
31st Mar 2020, 00:34
OTOH I have to be honest though and say my newer current steed (Boeing big twin) has a much better "office"........

True . I always said the T7 was designed to be flown by old men . A real breeze to operate on ULR . Great cockpit , great systems , which is why I wished I could have flown the 74-8 with the same avionics set up . Didn't happen .

However, that aside , the 744 had to be the best . Queen of the Skies indeed . People wax lyrical about the 380 , but in the Jumbo cockpit , you looked down on pretty well everybody (maybe a C5 guy would beg to differ ; don't know what their eye height is ).

(p.s talking about favourite CIVIL aircraft here....)

tdracer
31st Mar 2020, 00:53
However, that aside , the 744 had to be the best . Queen of the Skies indeed . People wax lyrical about the 380 , but in the Jumbo cockpit , you looked down on pretty well everybody (maybe a C5 guy would beg to differ ; don't know what their eye height is ).


Out on the Boeing flight line, when the weather was nice they'd frequently have the overhead escape hatch open to provide ventilation to the flight deck (with the sun shinning, it could rapidly get pretty hot and stuffy up there with the packs not running). I'd occasionally get up and stick my head out the hatch and think about what it would be like to have to grab one of the inertial reel handles and jump out of that hatch.
Now, I'm not saying I wouldn't do it in an emergency, however the alternative would have to look pretty grim before I'd try it...:eek:
Anyone know if that hatch and the inertial reels were ever used in a real emergency?

Airbubba
31st Mar 2020, 02:15
Now, I'm not saying I wouldn't do it in an emergency, however the alternative would have to look pretty grim before I'd try it...:eek:

I'm with you on that one. I've been with three airlines that had '74's and had the same thoughts when doing the annual egress training. It reminded me of Jack Benny's classic schtick where the robber pulls a gun and demands 'Your money or your life!' After a long pause Benny says 'I'm thinking, I'm thinking...'

I remember you had to step up on the FE seat on the classics to get up to the hatch.

Here's a KLM training video with some embedded Pan Am and Lufthansa film on operation of the hatch:

https://youtu.be/2y5lNVbBeiU


Anyone know if that hatch and the inertial reels were ever used in a real emergency?

They were certainly used in the Pan Am 73 hijacking in KHI in 1986. The FE apparently was first to go out after running down the spiral stairs and seeing the hijackers. There were tales over at the Pan Am Space Academy in MIA that the FE came back up the stairs, yelled 'I quit' and exited the overhead hatch without further adieu. The pilots eventually followed leaving purser Neerja Bhanot in command. By all accounts she saved many lives before she was shot in the head by the 'militants' as CNN called them.

https://cimg2.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/1443x1080/neerja_bhanot_2004_stamp_of_india_large__0330399b615445357db 9469b9534c04c39ec3c4c.jpg

Pan Am had a training film about the hijacking a year later. The FE was conspicuously absent in the dramatization as I recall.

Pugilistic Animus
31st Mar 2020, 03:04
Those were the times where they encouraged cooperation with the hijackers from the pilots...for obvious reasons that advice is dead...Now you (if somehow the cockpit is breached) will probably meet Mr crash axe upside your skull.

matkat
31st Mar 2020, 03:24
What makes her "no longer fit for the purpose" from a pax perspective? The 787 is even noisier on the inside, in my impression.
I found the B787 much quieter also the C cabin has the old layout in that you trip over your fellow pax when trying to get out of the window seat also rather cramped, admittedly it was fairly obvious that KLM were allowing the cabin to be run down. From a PAX view I returned from ICN on QR ICN-DOH-EDI on an A350 strikingly different but it's merely a changing of the times.

Bergerie1
31st Mar 2020, 06:03
The Range,

Not only did the 747 have all the system redundancy that Intruder describes, but it also had astonishingly benign handling qualities at a time when most jet transports had some unpleasant ones such as Mach Tuck at high Mach numbers, Dutch Roll in certain configurations and Deep Stall problems. The 747 had none of these and was a veritable 'gentleman's aerial carriage'.

Despite its size, a lovely aircraft in all respects.

BRE
31st Mar 2020, 08:59
It has 4 of everything important (engines, generators, hydraulic systems...), can easily run on any 3 of each, will still work with 2 in a pinch, and can survive long enough to get to an airport on 1...

Yet, sadly, the same company only installed 2 of many important sensors and decided to use only one on the 737.

Jhieminga
31st Mar 2020, 13:04
Anyone know if that hatch and the inertial reels were ever used in a real emergency?
I don't know about any emergency, but there was an occasion about 22 years ago where three crewmembers 'escaped' through this hatch and did a little dance on top of the upper deck fuselage. Photo reached the news outlets. The crewmembers involved had to look for a different employer shortly after.

NoelEvans
31st Mar 2020, 13:31
My first international flight was on a B747 nearly 43 years ago. Since them I have travelled between four continents on B747s with four different airlines, They have always been pleasant flights. (Well... one was 'staff travel' and 11 hours on a cabin crew seat -- but it got me there and was very memorable!) My last was on a KLM B747 15 years ago.

A couple of weeks ago I parked up near a new B747 -- in UPS colours. Good to see them still in production.
Here's a couple of them having a 'laugh' about that:
https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/701x344/boeing_laugh_ba952ed7667e00179507971dd35abf7941a5c640.jpg

Long Haul
31st Mar 2020, 13:44
I don't know about any emergency, but there was an occasion about 22 years ago where three crewmembers 'escaped' through this hatch and did a little dance on top of the upper deck fuselage. Photo reached the news outlets. The crewmembers involved had to look for a different employer shortly after.
Wrong, the FO, who is in the picture, is now a captain, and the captain, who was on the ramp taking pictures of the whole thing, kept his job too and retired at the usual age. They were lucky that the photo, which appeared on the front page of a national newspaper, was viewed generally positively by the public, portraying KLM as a fun place to work.

https://cimg8.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/400x255/9d9c2c22_8581_4b4d_b0e2_aa9e9cf5b5f5_adb93a9054ffce4a6333f5c a46631d96c6073e63.png

Bergerie1
31st Mar 2020, 13:56
And I have used the inertia reels (not in an emergency but only to test) and they gave a very gentle slide down the side. It was really rather comfortable!

Paul852
31st Mar 2020, 14:41
When I flew the steward remark was - we'll finish the Dom Perignon and then start on the Krug.
Will those days ever return ?
SQ still serves Dom and Krug (or Taittinger) in F, so I'm not sure I get your point?

Sick
31st Mar 2020, 14:46
And I have used the inertia reels (not in an emergency but only to test) and they gave a very gentle slide down the side. It was really rather comfortable! Wow, that was brave! Quite literally, a leap of faith
​​​​​​

Airbubba
31st Mar 2020, 16:10
I don't know about any emergency, but there was an occasion about 22 years ago where three crewmembers 'escaped' through this hatch and did a little dance on top of the upper deck fuselage. Photo reached the news outlets. The crewmembers involved had to look for a different employer shortly after.

Here's a news report on these Darwin Award contenders from the Associated Press.

KLM crew in trouble after walking on roof of Boeing jumbo jetSeptember 10, 1997

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) _ KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is investigating a pilot and two flight attendants who were photographed cavorting on the roof of a parked jumbo jet.

The picture, which appeared in several newspapers Wednesday, showed the three walking shakily along the roof of the Boeing 747-400 with their knees bent and arms outstretched, apparently for balance.

The jetliner was grounded in Guatemala City with no passengers aboard. A photographer for the Belgian newspaper De Morgen captured the stunt.

``We believe the crew has taken an unacceptable degree of personal risk, and we will investigate the matter thoroughly,″ KLM spokesman Hugo Baas said Wednesday. Disciplinary action against the three was being considered.

Bass said only maintenance workers can go onto a planeís roof and only when they are hooked up to safety gear.


It was toward the end of the days of crew stunts and pranks and at the rise of political correctness and victim empowerment.

Remember this British Airways incident reported in The Sunday Times?

May 5 1999

Stewardess takes off as plane lands

BY ARTHUR LEATHLEY, AVIATION CORRESPONDENT

EVERYONE was pleased when a British Airways jet arrived almost half an hour early at Genoa. Travellers were able to make an early start for their hotels, and Italian airport workers were able to see a half-naked air hostess running down the steps and around the plane.

The stewardess had bet the pilot that she would strip down to her underwear if their flight from Gatwick reached its destination early. The 23-year-old brunette not only kept her side of the bargain, she also put on the captain's cap, tip-toed down the aircraft steps after most of the passengers had disembarked and sprinted around the Boeing 737, "smiling and wiggling" according to onlookers, before re-boarding.

However, while the new incentive for punctual flying was universally praised in Italy, BA officials back home were less than amused. "We take this very seriously," a spokesman said. "It seems there was some inappropriate behaviour and we are looking into the details of what happened." He claimed that the woman also wore a yellow tabard to protect her modesty. The stewardess, who has not been named, has been allowed to continue working while an inquiry is carried out, although the company declined to reveal which route she is using.

The respected Italian newspaper La Repubblica praised the ingenuity of the wager: "It is only a pity that most of the passengers missed the most pleasant and original aspect of the flight, which was the real reason it came in early."

And it's all fun and games until somebody gets hurt. Or, more likely these days, gets sued.

Airbubba
31st Mar 2020, 16:57
A couple of 747 jumpseat remembrances.

Years ago I got a jumpseat on a 747 freighter. The newhire flight engineer gave me the required egress briefing. She said that if we need to use the upper deck slide 'Grab ahold of my belt loops and you'll be the second one off the aircraft!'

I jumpseated ORD-NRT on United prior to 9-11. The plane was booked full with standby's listed and there were three FO's on the B-744. It was one of those boom times pre-BK pilot contracts with a little featherbedding. The third FO was added to 'plot' the course on overwater routes. I think a first class seat was used for crew rest in those days, I'm not sure.

The captain warmly welcomed me onboard but the FO in the right seat seemed to vet me rather skeptically. He asked for my ALPA card while flipping though his copy of the Jumpseat Protection List. The captain later took me aside and apologized for this bit of drama from his coworker.

Even though the flight was oversold the purser somehow redid the pax count after the doors closed and she gave me a first class seat for the journey. In those days you could drink alcohol at United as a jumpseat rider as long as you didn't return to the cockpit for eight hours. I was treated like a minor deity and it was great.

Jhieminga
31st Mar 2020, 19:23
Wrong, the FO, who is in the picture, is now a captain, and the captain, who was on the ramp taking pictures of the whole thing, kept his job too and retired at the usual age.
My bad, memory playing up most likely. I was working for KLM at the time and I thought that this was the version of the story that reached the engineering department.

Intruder
31st Mar 2020, 22:32
I think Intruder has it...
. . .

OTOH I have to be honest though and say my newer current steed (Boeing big twin) has a much better "office"......

and if you must ask...neither are the favourite aircraft I've ever flown... my heart is somewhere else.
The 747 is my favorite airliner. I rather enjoyed the Classic with its voice-activated systems. OTOH, my favorite aircraft is the A-4 Skyhawk - a real pilot's airplane!

https://cimg7.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/640x426/a4_va76_59e3e0c88c7ed66c0533d51665ae79d65d15c304.jpg

Theheron
1st Apr 2020, 08:59
I was fortunate enough to fly business class on the upper deck to Mexico City on the 10th March in PH-BFW and return by PH-BFL on 25th March.
This was the first time that I had flown on the upper deck of this classic aircraft and it gave a feeling that you were travelling on aircraft that was a lot smaller. If you were able to fly on this aircraft shortly after production started it must have given you a wow factor.
Unfortunately this COVID 19 virus has taken its toll and I donít think KLM will be one only airline retiring big jets early. Indeed many airlines may completely disappear.
Although the outbound leg was operated as normal, the return leg was completely different. We were informed a few days before returning that KLM weíre making changes to the onboard catering service in response to the COVID 19 virus to reduce contact between cabin crew and the passengers. Therefore business class and economy passengers would be given the same simplified catering of one hot meal and one snack, and advised to bring your own snacks onboard. Water and soft drinks only would be available. The cabin crew wore face masks throughout the flight and were very apologetic with regards to the catering service but were still doing their utmost to give the best service possible. This was unfortunate but understandable and we were just grateful to be getting home. At least we could still get a reasonable sleep on the lie-flat seat.
On landing we were advised on the PA system by a member of the cabin crew in a slightly emotional voice that it was her last flight on the classic 747 before the aircraft type retired. In fact PH-BFL had only 3 more return journeys after this flight.
KLM terminated flights to Mexico City after the last flight on 28th March.
We also travelled on the last KLM service on 27th March from Amsterdam to Cardiff with 7 passengers on board.
So whichever aircraft replaces the 747 I donít think it will ever surpass the experience of this iconic jet.

daved123
1st Apr 2020, 15:15
I was happy to be in at the introduction of 747 in Europe and will be sad to see it fade away.
Two weeks after its Euro entry into service and as co-emp jump-seated back from FRA to LHR..
Unusually we came in on 9L, over the reservoirs and gravel-pits and nearing the ground, FO, PF was gently sawing the column back and forward and looking out the side I thought this was going to be my first and only go-around. With that we touched down while we were still way up in the air, giving me an insight into just how far off the ground the cockpit is at touchdown.
DaveD

Arfur Dent
1st Apr 2020, 21:28
Bergerie !
I arrived in HKG with about 1500 hours from the RAF ((mostly fighters) then 2000 hours on 737-200s.
I went straight on to the 747-200 and was amazed at how "light" this huge aircraft felt. It was a joy to hand fly. The advent of the 747-400 was a masterpiece of design which, unfortunately, made all our Flight Engineer friends redundant which was sad. I just missed out on flying the 777 but I would never step onto a 737-MAX I'm afraid.
How could Boeing, who made "pilots airplanes," ever allow the MAX to happen??
Anyway 24,000 hours in command of a 747 and loved every minute (almost).!

Suzeman
1st Apr 2020, 21:54
KLM terminated flights to Mexico City after the last flight on 28th March.

As I type KLM685 AMS-MEX operated by B789 PH-BHA is passing over Pennsylvania with 4 hours to run to MEX

Lord Bracken
2nd Apr 2020, 10:18
Up there with the A380 in terms of pax experience, which for a 50 year old design is a tribute to the people who designed and built it in the first place. Always enjoyed 1K on the BA models, heading off to somewhere like CPT, or JFK, or SIN, or HKG for a little business and a lot of pleasure. 62K and 64K on the UD were also great places to be. Always reassuring to see a Jumbo with a Union flag on the tail sitting at the gate.

gsky
2nd Apr 2020, 12:16
I was fortunate enough to fly business class on the upper deck to Mexico City on the 10th March in PH-BFW and return by PH-BFL on 25th March.
This was the first time that I had flown on the upper deck of this classic aircraft and it gave a feeling that you were travelling on aircraft that was a lot smaller. If you were able to fly on this aircraft shortly after production started it must have given you a wow factor.
Unfortunately this COVID 19 virus has taken its toll and I donít think KLM will be one only airline retiring big jets early. Indeed many airlines may completely disappear.
Although the outbound leg was operated as normal, the return leg was completely different. We were informed a few days before returning that KLM weíre making changes to the onboard catering service in response to the COVID 19 virus to reduce contact between cabin crew and the passengers. Therefore business class and economy passengers would be given the same simplified catering of one hot meal and one snack, and advised to bring your own snacks onboard. Water and soft drinks only would be available. The cabin crew wore face masks throughout the flight and were very apologetic with regards to the catering service but were still doing their utmost to give the best service possible. This was unfortunate but understandable and we were just grateful to be getting home. At least we could still get a reasonable sleep on the lie-flat seat.
On landing we were advised on the PA system by a member of the cabin crew in a slightly emotional voice that it was her last flight on the classic 747 before the aircraft type retired. In fact PH-BFL had only 3 more return journeys after this flight.
KLM terminated flights to Mexico City after the last flight on 28th March.
We also travelled on the last KLM service on 27th March from Amsterdam to Cardiff with 7 passengers on board.
So whichever aircraft replaces the 747 I donít think it will ever surpass the experience of this iconic jet.


Great(sad) end to the B747. Reminds me of my one and only KL B747 flight (some 25 years ago) .I worked for a KLM cargo subsidiary and was on a trip to Fla out on a BA stand by ticket. Could not get back home from MCO.
Appealed to KL for a staff ticket and they obliged. (they actually did that a couple of times..Great ground crew) Long story but to make short. flight came in from Mexico city ( I think) delayed very late and I think we departed around 0400. I had been given a business Upper Deck ticket.
On board, shown to my seat. usual routine , took off and then realised I was the only person on the upper deck (apart from crew) . After take off , getting on for 0500 local, crew came and asked "do you want to drink, eat sleep".Sleep was all I needed. This was days of reclining not fully flat seat. Stewardess said ok. and somehow converted the seat to flat but no footrest , so a food container with a cushion was provided. Blanket over me . Next question . "Do you want all the lights out"? Of course . "Breakfast" Yes pls. My own private jet, with private crew, slept for 6-7 hours, breakfast served over the English coastline . Best flight I ever had. Best crew and at that time one of the best airlines. Never to be repeated . sadly!!

Paul852
2nd Apr 2020, 14:44
I spent many happy hours on the upper deck of KLM 747s in 1998-99 in the "cradle seats" when commuting between Brussels and Taipei, including my only ever visit to Kai Tak (where the Taipei flights stopped briefly). The service was always great, and my mother was always grateful for the little gin houses. (My bags never, ever made it on to the connecting flight from AMS to BRU, but that was fine because I was saved the hassle of lugging them to the office!)

Airbubba
2nd Apr 2020, 14:59
The service was always great, and my mother was always grateful for the little gin houses.

Now that you mention it, I've still got some of those little genever houses from deadheads years ago to AMS on KL.

From a KLM blog:

https://cimg1.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/1850x1110/klm_houses_0328ec410a39ecb6cae486025cac6349f0dfc5d3.jpg


KLM miniature houses have been cherished collectorsí items among passengers for more than 60 years. The little Delft Blue houses decorate many window sills, offices and kitchen cabinets. In a few days, on 7 October, we will celebrate KLMís 100th (!) birthday, and as always, with the unveiling of a new KLM House. But first, a few facts:

The first miniature KLM Delft Blue Houses were given to passengers, almost certainly, in 1952.
Production was random until 1994; a number of houses were produced one after another, then none for several of years.
An extra 15 houses were produced in 1994 in honour of KLMís 75th anniversary. This brought the number to exactly 75. The number of houses in the series has kept pace with KLMís age ever since.



https://blog.klm.com/klm-delfts-blue-minitiature-houses-everything-you-need-to-know/

Havingwings4ever
2nd Apr 2020, 18:42
Now that you mention it, I've still got some of those little genever houses from deadheads years ago to AMS on KL.

From a KLM blog:

https://cimg1.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/1850x1110/klm_houses_0328ec410a39ecb6cae486025cac6349f0dfc5d3.jpg




https://blog.klm.com/klm-delfts-blue-minitiature-houses-everything-you-need-to-know/


if you lack hand sanitizer use those bottles, almost pure alcohol :)

Regarding the 74, I am flying the cargo version and enjoy her. Just having so much redundancy is nice. For some reason I found the classic handling better, not so light on pitch eg. Our outfit is extremely busy and actually needs pilots, glad to see the world is finally appreciating cargo planes for a change.

Pugilistic Animus
13th Apr 2020, 11:39
Out on the Boeing flight line, when the weather was nice they'd frequently have the overhead escape hatch open to provide ventilation to the flight deck (with the sun shinning, it could rapidly get pretty hot and stuffy up there with the packs not running). I'd occasionally get up and stick my head out the hatch and think about what it would be like to have to grab one of the inertial reel handles and jump out of that hatch.
Now, I'm not saying I wouldn't do it in an emergency, however the alternative would have to look pretty grim before I'd try it...:eek:
Anyone know if that hatch and the inertial reels were ever used in a real emergency?
I'm petrified by heights, of course, I would never dance on the roof of a 747, but if it's fire, another thing I'm petrified about, I would quickly take the jump. The prospect of either makes me feel butterflies in my stomach though.

fox niner
14th Apr 2020, 06:50
Klm crew actually stood on the roof of a 747 in guatemala about 20 years ago. They were reprimanded.

https://krant.telegraaf.nl/krant/archief/19970910/teksten/bin.klmersgaanuit.html

Second: 2 747ís that were decommissioned 2 weeks ago are being re-instated and are now flying between schiphol and china as cargo haulers. They are combi-airframes.

Pugilistic Animus
15th Apr 2020, 08:41
They make a big deal over the roof dance but basically beatify Van Zanten who was responsible for the accident with another 747 operated by Pan Am... Am I the only one who sees the irony of it all?

Airbubba
15th Apr 2020, 16:11
They make a big deal over the roof dance but basically beatify Van Zanten who was responsible for the accident with another 747 operated by Pan Am... Am I the only one who sees the irony of it all?

Captain van Zanten was indeed featured prominently in KLM's 747 advertising in the 1970's.

https://cimg0.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/800x588/klm_magazine_that_contains_captain_jacob_veldhuyzen_van_zant en_9dd8dd63adef4c0500d8bfbadf6f229597b64291.jpg

Jhieminga
15th Apr 2020, 16:19
Have a look at the posts from #33 on, further up in this thread. The consequences of that roof dance were not as bad as I thought. As for Van Zanten, where did they beatify him? He featured prominently in advertising, but did that continue after the Tenerife crash?

Pugilistic Animus
15th Apr 2020, 16:53
I admit to some hyperbole but in their own (Dutch) investigation they placed blame on the Spanish ATCO and not Van Zanten. So, no he wasn't beatified really but his responsibility for the crash was minimized.

Jhieminga
16th Apr 2020, 13:01
I haven't studied this in detail, but a quick search in some period newspapers shows the attached for example.
The headline reads "Not a lot of new information in report". The initial paragraph is: "The report on the Tenerife accident that was published yesterday, a year and a half after the major disaster on the island, does not contain much that is new. In fact, the conclusions agree with what experts put forward as the most likely cause shortly after the accident: The KLM captain, Jaap Veldhuizen van Zanten, initiated the take off without having received clearance to do so from the tower."

Scanning through other articles from those days, you do get the impression that, especially in the first few days, there was a lot of disbelief, 'surely he hasn't done that'. But based on an article like the one below, I can't say that the truth was buried or minimised. There were also articles expressing the sentiment that the tower should have stopped him, showing that journalists without a clue existed in those days too.

https://cimg3.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/321x524/screenshot_2020_04_16_at_13_51_01_56a8c6e5e36a0a7879c0e8a953 06e5f8b5c288db.png

Just my two cents.

Eric Janson
16th Apr 2020, 13:19
The headline reads "Not a lot of news in report". The initial paragraph is: "The report on the Tenerife accident that was


I would translate it as - Not a lot of new information in report. That makes more sense.

The word "Nieuws" has multiple meanings.

Jhieminga
16th Apr 2020, 14:11
Agree, sorry, it was a quick translation job....

Herod
16th Apr 2020, 17:02
I've not read it for a long time, but wasn't it on the CVR that the FO pointed out they did not have clearance?

Airbubba
16th Apr 2020, 17:39
I've not read it for a long time, but wasn't it on the CVR that the FO pointed out they did not have clearance?

He pointed out that they did not have a route clearance when Captain van Zanten pushed up the throttles over a minute before the crash. He again questioned if Pan Am was off the runway when van Zanten started a takeoff roll without a takeoff clearance. It was the era of the 747 Sky God. :ugh:

Excerpts from the translated Spanish accident report:

https://cimg6.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/2000x676/klm_b95748a76adda194554bc19a599e1f04392fee5d.jpg
https://cimg5.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/1182x1112/klm_2_b3d1ab92b76019dd5fea3bf7eb0541aef666863d.jpg
https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/969x975/klm3_7daf49f7b1417639854684bd6a6c9d37f8dd3d1b.jpg