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50 Years of the 747

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50 Years of the 747

Old 9th Feb 2019, 18:35
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50 Years of the 747

9th February
First flight of the 747 was 50 years ago today.
Queen of the Skies

Last edited by intothinair; 19th Mar 2019 at 05:40. Reason: wrong date by mistake!
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Old 9th Feb 2019, 19:04
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Queen of the Skies

Originally Posted by intothinair View Post
9th September
First flight of the 747 was 50 years ago today.
Queen of the Skies
My father was a Flight Engineer on the 747, without a doubt his favourite aircraft to fly on.
As a boy I was so excited to fly on it, I don't think another passenger aircraft will be built that brought the sense of awe the 747 did back in1969. It's rare for me to see a 747 but when I do I still watch in admiration and a desire to once again go for a flight on the Queen of the skies.

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Old 9th Feb 2019, 19:04
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Originally Posted by intothinair View Post
9th September
First flight of the 747 was 50 years ago today.
Queen of the Skies
Aviation Week has a very comprehensive timeline of the program, with lots of detailed information.
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Old 9th Feb 2019, 21:14
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9th September
Pretty sure you meant to write 9th February....

The Seattle Museum of Flight (MOF) had a 747 First Flight 50th Anniversary Celebration scheduled for today - with special walk through of RA001 (the first 747 built), and talks by various 747 luminaries (including Brien Wygle - co-pilot on the first flight) and a special luncheon (I had tickets).
Unfortunately the Seattle area was hit yesterday with a big winter storm and lots of snow, so the celebration had to be postponed...
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Old 9th Feb 2019, 23:52
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Originally Posted by Back door View Post
My father was a Flight Engineer on the 747, without a doubt his favourite aircraft to fly on.
As a boy I was so excited to fly on it, I don't think another passenger aircraft will be built that brought the sense of awe the 747 did back in1969. It's rare for me to see a 747 but when I do I still watch in admiration and a desire to once again go for a flight on the Queen of the skies.
I lived in London at the time and well remember going out to LHR especially to see the arrival of the first seven four in the country. It caused a lot of excitement.
Years later when a regular pax on the type, whenever possible, I would sit about fifteen feet behind the wing and when on short finals, would marvel at the brilliance of the wing design as with everything deployed, just about all that could be seen was grass!

Unquestionably, one of the greats.
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Old 10th Feb 2019, 00:11
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The most impressive aspect of the 747 for
me is the consistent praise for its handling characteristics ‘lumbering’ is not a phrase that anyone uses although one might expect that would be the case based on its size and weight


Its simply the most iconic and beautiful subsonic airliner of all time
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Old 10th Feb 2019, 01:26
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Definitely a thing of grace and beauty....
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Old 10th Feb 2019, 04:17
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Could not agree more. Beautiful aeroplane and very easy to fly being docile close to the ground. Had to watch out for a pod strike in a strong crosswind although easily avoided if you crabbed. Boeing even say you can land with the crab on, very untidy in my book. In the Sim with two out on one side required care with speed and energy but still a pussycat if you didn't get slow. Always felt safe in it with plenty of everything and terrific redundancy with the systems.
Still laugh about BA losing an engine departing LAX, flying on to LHR and even a diversion to MAN. Just another plane ride.
Happy memories, always be the 'Queen' and thank you Boeing.
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Old 10th Feb 2019, 06:46
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By February 1970, I'd already built a model of the 747 and detailed it in Pan Am livery. It was a nice addition to my growing collection of military and civilian airplanes, rockets and satellites. (dad worked for TRW) So when my father announced we'd be driving from our home in Inglewood over to LAX to watch the first scheduled 747 takeoff I was much more excited about it than my step-sister!

We drove down Imperial Highway along the South side of the airport (we had read in the newspaper that 747s would have to use the Southern runway) until reaching a point as near to the Imperial Terminal as we could get. There were hundreds of people standing on rain soaked ground along the chain-link fence, some with umbrellas, most just wearing hats and jackets to withstand the steady light rain.

Then we saw it, taxiing out from the main terminal across the runway. It sure made the other airplanes look tiny! As is usual when it rains, the takeoff was made to the East. As they brought up the thrust, large plumes of moisture were produced behind the large jets. As it picked up speed, the spray from the 18 tires added more and more mist. I could see clouds in the engine inlets. Then as the nose began to rise, clouds formed on top of the wings even as the jet blast appeared to dry most of the runway width behind them. Then it lifted off and flew. How could it be flying when it looks to be going so slowly I wondered? Only a fleeting moment later it was gone, swallowed by the low overcast, banished from my sight, but burned into memory.

I've since ridden on a majority of the airliner types produced since then and piloted some bizjet types as well. I've ridden in back on the 747, but sadly will never get to fly one as a pilot. Too bad, because she really was queen of the skies!
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Old 10th Feb 2019, 08:15
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Originally Posted by westhawk View Post
By February 1970, I'd already built a model of the 747 and detailed it in Pan Am livery. It was a nice addition to my growing collection of military and civilian airplanes, rockets and satellites. (dad worked for TRW) So when my father announced we'd be driving from our home in Inglewood over to LAX to watch the first scheduled 747 takeoff I was much more excited about it than my step-sister!

We drove down Imperial Highway along the South side of the airport (we had read in the newspaper that 747s would have to use the Southern runway) until reaching a point as near to the Imperial Terminal as we could get. There were hundreds of people standing on rain soaked ground along the chain-link fence, some with umbrellas, most just wearing hats and jackets to withstand the steady light rain.

Then we saw it, taxiing out from the main terminal across the runway. It sure made the other airplanes look tiny! As is usual when it rains, the takeoff was made to the East. As they brought up the thrust, large plumes of moisture were produced behind the large jets. As it picked up speed, the spray from the 18 tires added more and more mist. I could see clouds in the engine inlets. Then as the nose began to rise, clouds formed on top of the wings even as the jet blast appeared to dry most of the runway width behind them. Then it lifted off and flew. How could it be flying when it looks to be going so slowly I wondered? Only a fleeting moment later it was gone, swallowed by the low overcast, banished from my sight, but burned into memory.

I've since ridden on a majority of the airliner types produced since then and piloted some bizjet types as well. I've ridden in back on the 747, but sadly will never get to fly one as a pilot. Too bad, because she really was queen of the skies!

Outstanding and well written post
Felt like I was watching it take off with you


Best wishes
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Old 10th Feb 2019, 08:33
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The BBC got their travel expert Simon Calder on to talk about this yesterday. According to him Concorde, having flown in the same year, flopped because it was 1950s technology and there was no market for supersonic trans-atlantic travel. He is an expert so it must be true.
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Old 10th Feb 2019, 16:04
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Back in the late 80s I used to go cycling between Earthquake Park and Point Woronzof Park in Anchorage. Part of the bike trail went around the end of runway 33. In those days most international traffic between the US and Asia stopped to refuel at PANC/ANC, so rather frequently one could dally around the bike path and watch 747s take off almost directly overhead. I wouldn't use the word "lumber," either, but they just seemed to very majestically float away. Quite impressive, and I loved the sound.

I've always enjoyed being SLF on one, especially the upper deck. Now I can barely remember the last time I've been on one. Probably EVA or maybe NWA, certainly more than 10 years ago. A very lovable and memorable bird in any case.
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Old 10th Feb 2019, 16:24
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I was in Arizona learning to fly the USAF way, when the Queen was crowned. I could only dream of someday my turn would come to fly the Queen. Was introduced to the 747 in 1995 and loved every minute of experience. It was a nimble aircraft in the pattern, could fly some amazingly close in circling approaches and not eat of lots of runway. At altitude cruise at Mach 0.85 and even some M.086 if the company requested it. But usually a bit slower, around M 0.82 just to save some kerosene. Still faster than any of the other commercial jets. Had the pleasure of flying all the models thru the -400, save the SP. It had only one very minor fault, who in there right mind wants to sit for better than twelve hours between landing.

Long Live the Queen!

The A-380 is bigger but has none of the majestic beauty of the Queen.
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Old 10th Feb 2019, 16:39
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Originally Posted by mustangsally View Post
I was in Arizona learning to fly the USAF way, when the Queen was crowned. I could only dream of someday my turn would come to fly the Queen. Was introduced to the 747 in 1995 and loved every minute of experience. It was a nimble aircraft in the pattern, could fly some amazingly close in circling approaches and not eat of lots of runway. At altitude cruise at Mach 0.85 and even some M.086 if the company requested it. But usually a bit slower, around M 0.82 just to save some kerosene. Still faster than any of the other commercial jets. Had the pleasure of flying all the models thru the -400, save the SP. It had only one very minor fault, who in there right mind wants to sit for better than twelve hours between landing.

Long Live the Queen!
the majestic beauty of the Queen.
You have a namesake - Virgin 747-41R

G-VROC named Mustang Sally

Boeing_747_Named_Mustang_Sally
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Old 10th Feb 2019, 17:07
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Talking Who Knew?

Now I know the rest of the story.....
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Old 10th Feb 2019, 17:13
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Hiya Back door. We are of a similar age and my Dad was a Flight Engineer on the 747 too, retiring as the -400 came into service. I loved going on trips with him back in the 70s. The upper deck was a lounge and the flight deck door was always open. Very happy days indeed. By an extraordinary stroke of luck, I have ended up as a captain on the -400. It flies just like it looks, beautifully. It is without a doubt the finest aircraft I have flown in my 30+ year career.
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Old 10th Feb 2019, 18:02
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She sure is a beautiful lady. Isn’t she quite cramped and rather noisy from the flight deck though? As much as an A380 can only be loved by its own mother I imagine the flight deck is a much more pleasant place to spend 11 hours.
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Old 11th Feb 2019, 00:56
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Originally Posted by reverserunlocked View Post
She sure is a beautiful lady. Isn’t she quite cramped and rather noisy from the flight deck though? As much as an A380 can only be loved by its own mother I imagine the flight deck is a much more pleasant place to spend 11 hours.
Yes. Given the size of the aircraft, it would be reasonable to suppose that a dance could be held on the flight deck but whilst this is quite long, the width is surprisingly narrow.

I can't believe it's fifty years! Indeed, a graceful piece of machinery. So was the Comet.
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Old 11th Feb 2019, 01:13
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I flew out to Zambia in a 707 (Zambia airways wet lease from aer lingus) in 1975 and this was my first jet airliner experience .When my contract was up I left again on a 707 but this time had to transfer in Rome to a BA flight,this was 1/1/1978!Here it came and it was a 747 ,I remember on entering being looked at by an almost full aircraft (it was coming from I think NZ) and I was amazed at the size of it!!!I still have a small amount of cine of the take of !!Years later I managed a cockpit visit and was chatting to the flight engineer who told me he was retiring as his position would be redundant on the next generation of 747.Turned out he had been an instructor at St Athan when I was a boy entrant there.Loved flying in the 747 ,managed a Pan Am flight before they shut down.
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Old 11th Feb 2019, 01:28
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'At altitude cruise at Mach 0.85 and even some M.086 if the company requested it. But usually a bit slower, around M 0.82 just to save some kerosene"

The ' hump' for the upper deck helped to achieve a slightly higher mach number due to the famous " area rule " which simply states making the station to staion projected area " curve" as smooth as possible, so the hump slowly provided an increase in the transverse cross section area from the nose to the hump to the wing area. For fighter aircraft it made it easier to power thru the high drag buildup as one approached mach 1.
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