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Early Boeing 747 Trivia

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Early Boeing 747 Trivia

Old 18th Jul 2020, 17:54
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Early Boeing 747 Trivia

My first 747 flight was on a new BOAC aircraft from LHR to Palma and back 2 weeks later in summer 1971 - Horrendous delays both ways!

BEA's owned Enterprise Holidays (plus Flair, Hickie Borman, and Martin Rooks, all BEA owned holiday brands) were splashing the new BOAC 747,
plus the 'latest' BEA Airtours 707's in their summer 1971 brochures for Big Jet holidays to Majorca and other Med destinations.
Monarch had just got their first 720B's and that too was splashed double spread in the Cosmos brochure as ''Look what we've bought for you!''

At Palma we often saw the 2 new Condor 747's on the ramp as well, unofficially named Max & Fritz as they were known.
Palma Ibiza and the Canary Islands saw 747's from many of the other Euro operators on holiday flights, Aer Lingus Sabena SAS/Scanair KLM and Swissair (for Balair)

At Heathrow every morning in the early/mid 1970's and then during the day you would see a line up of 747's of BOAC, Pan Am, Delta, National, TWA, Air Canada, Qantas, JAL, Air India, PIA. Iran Air, El Al, Iraqi, MEA, SQ, and usually two SAA Super B's.
Cargo 747's of Pan Am, Seaboard World, TMA, Flying Tigers, and El Al were always over on the Cargo area.
At busy periods/summer saw European passenger 747 operators dropping into LHR, and you could see Olympic TAP Iberia KLM Air France Alitalia Lufthansa SAS Sabena Swissair and Aer Lingus

747-100 long haul operators into LHR were BOAC Pan Am Delta TWA National JAL and Air Canada.
747-100's of AF IB SN LH and EI were also seen on short flights from Europe.

The first 747 SP's appeared in 1976 at LHR with Pan Am, SAA, Iran Air, and Syrian.

Gatwick arguably saw their first ever regular 747 flights with Wardair and CP Air - although both were Affinity or ABC charters, they were in LGW almost daily each summer from the early 1970's. World Airways 747's came in to LGW then as well.
Wardair Canada's 747-1D1 CF-DJC delivered 4/73 Phil Garrett was to be N602BN for Braniff but was first built 3/71 as N810U for Universal Airlines but ntu.
Boeing code -1D1 was for Universal Airlines.
It would be many more years before UK 747 operators would be seen based at LGW until Virgin in 1984, although British Airtours operated a sole brand new 747-236 also in 1984 on charters.

The first 747 Hull losses were due to Hijacks and then blown up.
PAA Clipper Aurora at CAI and a JAL 747 at BEN, and many more 747's would be hijacked during the 1970's.

The first 747 passenger accident was to D-ABYB Hessen a Boeing 747-130 of Lufthansa,
W/Off 11/74 at NBO operating LH540 FRA-NBO-JNB
The crew did not extend the leading edge flaps for take-off causing the aircraft to barely lift off then to stall and crash land 1km from the end of the runway.
Sadly 59 of 157 aboard died.
The next major occurrences were the losses in 3/77 of KLM 747-206B Rhine and PAA's 747-121 Clipper Victor in the TCI runway collision, followed by the loss in the Arabian Sea of Air India's 747-237B Emperor Ashoka after a night take off at BOM en-route to DXB due to an ADI malfunction.

Notable loss was the shoot down over the Sea of Japan of Korean Air Lines flight KA007, a scheduled passenger flight from New York-JFK to Seoul, with an en route stop at Anchorage. The KAL 747-230B was one of the ex Condor pair. All 269 passengers and crew were lost.

Eastern Airlines were an early Boeing customer for four 747-125, N7401 - 7404Q, but these were NTU and were moved over to TWA as -131's, who took up the four aircraft that were in production, but not complete when Eastern cancelled their 747 order.
The last of those four, N7404Q became N93119 for TWA and was the aircraft operating TWA flight 800 lost in the Atlantic Ocean in 7/96 en-route from JFK-CDG, with the burning wreckage falling into the water about 20 miles south of Mariches Inlet on Long Island, 40 miles east of JFK.
It's first flight was August 18, 1971, and it was delivered to TWA on October 27. Boeing bought it back on December 15, 1975, with
the intention of delivering it to the Imperial Iranian Air Force as their "registration" (it appears to be a military serial number) 5-288 but for some reason the deal was not completed and the next day, TWA bought the plane back from Boeing.
(The other three TWA 747's from the Eastern order did go to Iran earlier in 1975 and apparently are still there)
The accident aircraft was msn 20083, the 153rd 747 built and the newest of all the 747-100's in TWA's fleet in 1996, and were equipped with Pratt and Whitney JT9D-7A engines and had a MTOW of 734,000 lbs -- heavier than the original 747-100 spec but not as high as some, which go up to at least 750,000 lbs.

The last 747-100 was delivered new to Iran Air in 1979 as 747-186B EP-IAM (msn 21759) and remained in service with Iran air until 2014.
But, In 1986, two 747-146B SR SUD models, featuring the stretched upper deck (SUD) of the -300, were produced new for JAL who operated them with 563 seats on domestic routes until their retirement in the third quarter of 2006. Only two 747-100B SR SUDs were produced.

Boeing 747-200B SUD Stretched Upper Deck conversion project.
Only UTA (merged with Air France) and KLM decided to take up this Boeing conversion for their GE CF6 powered 747-200B's (Most conversions were Combi's)

Upper Deck Lounges 747-100 747-200 and 747SP
In the early years of entry into 747 service from 1970 almost all 747 operators used the Upper Deck as a cocktail lounge and/or dining room for it's First Class passengers.
Most were lavishly designed and colourful (this was the 1970's) with lounge and couch seating, dining areas, stand up bars, and many featured artwork of the Nation of the Carrier.

Lounges were named - Qantas Captain Cook, Delta Air Canada and SAA The Penthouse, CP Air had a railway theme, Continental Diamond Head Lounge, JAL Teahouse of the Sky, United Red Carpet room and Captains Cabin, TWA Ambassador, Air India Maharajah Lounge, Pan Am Restaurant in the sky. Sabena Le Salon Club, BOAC Monarch Lounge, Braniff International Room lounge. SAS Viking Lounge.
The only exceptions I can think of are charter airlines Condor and Wardair who both had 16 ''Premium'' type larger economy seats up there.
Seems World Airways did have a lounge bit too up there.

​​​​​​​I shall miss the 747 and never had a chance to do one last flight on her, Grrr
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Old 18th Jul 2020, 18:41
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The first 747 passenger accident was to D-ABYB Hessen a Boeing 747-130 of Lufthansa,
W/Off 11/74 at NBO operating LH540 FRA-NBO-JNB
The crew did not extend the leading edge flaps for take-off causing the aircraft to barely lift off then to stall and crash land 1km from the end of the runway.
Sadly 59 of 157 aboard died.
The crew including FE was officially cleared of any wrongdoings. IIRC these early 747s had pneumatic driven slats that had some issue with their cockpit display. They could retract without indication or indicate to be deployed but be up or similar. BA is said to have experienced something very similar before, without a crash, but that experience was not shared as usual throughout the industry back then. Fortunately reporting systems are in place today.

Last edited by Less Hair; 18th Jul 2020 at 21:09.
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Old 19th Jul 2020, 04:45
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Less Hair,
i've just re read the accident report which is available online with many others at baaa-acro.com.
The crew failed topen the pneumatic isolation valves after engine start. If they had been open the leading edge devices would have extended with flap selection.
The report dies cite mitigating circumstances
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Old 19th Jul 2020, 05:56
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https://www.baaa-acro.com/sites/defa...-03/D-ABYB.pdf

Interesting to read those details. A lot of the blame seems to be based on assumptions while similar events occurred before.
Formally the crew got cleared afterwards (in Germany) and Boeing modified the aircraft.
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Old 19th Jul 2020, 07:31
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I do remember something about the Lufthansa crew bring exonerated, i think on PPRuNe
But it was years ago and i doubt i'll be able to find the thread
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Old 19th Jul 2020, 07:42
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I am surprised that in 1971 BOAC were using their brand new 747s for charter work and out of Heathrow. BOAC/BEA being seperate companies at this time.
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Old 19th Jul 2020, 10:25
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BEA and BOAC were not competing against each other, after all they were both nationalisedcorporations.
It's interesting that BOAC were operating short range charters but this would have been a godsend to them as they would have had a large line training programme to complete in 1971
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Old 19th Jul 2020, 10:48
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Gatwick - Did BCAL not have one there from 1982?
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Old 19th Jul 2020, 11:42
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Bcaal had five after 1982. Noy really earlyv747 ops
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Old 19th Jul 2020, 12:18
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Originally Posted by rog747 View Post
At Heathrow every morning in the early/mid 1970's and then during the day you would see a line up of 747's of BOAC, Pan Am, Delta, National, TWA, Air Canada, Qantas, JAL, Air India,
You sure about Delta? Certainly didn't see them on my occasional days at Heathrow from January '75 onwards - I thought the TriStar flights to Gatwick from 1978 were their first trans-Atlantic services?
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Old 19th Jul 2020, 12:49
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Originally Posted by treadigraph View Post
You sure about Delta? Certainly didn't see them on my occasional days at Heathrow from January '75 onwards - I thought the TriStar flights to Gatwick from 1978 were their first trans-Atlantic services?
Here are some images: Delta 747s at LHR
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Old 19th Jul 2020, 12:56
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Well I never!
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Old 19th Jul 2020, 13:04
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Originally Posted by bean View Post
BEA and BOAC were not competing against each other, after all they were both nationalisedcorporations.
It's interesting that BOAC were operating short range charters but this would have been a godsend to them as they would have had a large line training programme to complete in 1971
I believe BOAC had 6 747s at this time and they had only just gone into service in April 71, due to industrial action. One would have thought that they would have been keen to press them into commercial service ASAP on long haul routes as they were way behind their competitors, especially on the London - NY route. If they did fly a charter service from LHR to PMI, then one would have thought it was an arrangement that was last minute. I can't imagine that with scheduling being arranged well in advance, that BOAC would have agreed a charter service, when their main business was long haul flights. Out of LGW makes more sense than LHR. I stand of course to be corrected.
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Old 19th Jul 2020, 14:29
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I remember the DL 747s at LHR because they were so 'exotic'. IIRC they were actually leased to Pan Am as DL didnt have international rights in those days and decided the 747 was too big. They only owned a couple of them and bought a huge fleet of L1011s which became DLs signature aircraft for many years.
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Old 19th Jul 2020, 16:26
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Didn't BOAC have lower deck pubs or lounges in the early days?
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Old 19th Jul 2020, 19:32
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Originally Posted by dixi188 View Post
Didn't BOAC have lower deck pubs or lounges in the early days?
Yes the Boeing 377 Stratocruiser had a lower deck bar back in the day.
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Old 19th Jul 2020, 20:55
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Originally Posted by Ian Burgess-Barber View Post
Yes the Boeing 377 Stratocruiser had a lower deck bar back in the day.
Yes, but I meant on the Boeing 747-136.
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Old 19th Jul 2020, 21:04
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The 1970s Delta 747s at Heathrow were on an "interchange" flight with Pan Am. Delta had no licence to London then, but the flight routed London-Washington-Atlanta, with a full Pan Am crew, and on their AOC, for the transatlantic sector, and likewise crewed by Delta onward to Atlanta. Both Pan Am and Delta marketed it as a through flight. The daily rotation just fitted one aircraft, which was provided by the two carriers in proportion to their route mileage, so about 75% of the time it was a Pan Am one and 25% it was a Delta one, generally in blocks of months of one, then the other. It had been like this before 747 days as well, done with DC8s. Delta didn't have 707s so Pan Am had to hang on to some of their older DC8s when they otherwise withdrew them. Both airlines needed to have the aircraft type fully on their AOC.
Eastern Airlines were an early Boeing customer for four 747-125
Eastern did a notable on-off with the 747. They ordered four early on, but before they were built changed their mind, decided to wait for the Tristars, and sold the build slots to TWA. Then the Tristars were delayed with the Lockheed/Rolls-Royce issues, so leased a couple of 747s from Pan Am early on in partial livery (both were blue of course). About 10 years later they thought they were going to get the Miami-London licence, so ordered a couple of 747s secondhand from Qantas which were actually painted up in full Eastern colours in Sydney but never delivered as the route permission was unexpectedly not given to them. None of these ever got anywhere near London.
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Old 19th Jul 2020, 21:15
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Boeing 747-136 had the upper deck lounge bar.
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Old 20th Jul 2020, 06:06
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Well they may have been The Queen of the skies but they were also The Kings of corrosion.... well the BA ones were especially around the galley/ toilet areas which attached to the seat rails ....... the rear toilet area just in front of the pressure bulkhead wasn’t really the best place to have them & Boeings idea of corrosion prevention was just a coat of paint!!
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