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Last ever 747 has left the factory

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Last ever 747 has left the factory

Old 12th Dec 2022, 16:03
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Originally Posted by Asturias56
"As a passenger the 747 was probably the worst aircraft I ever flew on"

You clearly never spent hours in a crowded 707............
I'm not old enough.
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Old 12th Dec 2022, 16:24
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Angel

Originally Posted by uxb99
I'm not old enough.
Originally Posted by Asturias56
"As a passenger the 747 was probably the worst aircraft I ever flew on"

You clearly never spent hours in a crowded 707............
SAA 707 LHR - JNB 1970
Packed solid. Struggling into the air after refuelling at Ilha da Sal, climbing out due to the curvature of the earth.
Those were the days.
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Old 12th Dec 2022, 16:42
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Originally Posted by megan
Shortest flight was in a -400 over 381nm as the crow flies, scrambled from take off to FL410 like a scalded cat, most impressive.
My shortest was Gatwick to Heathrow (yes really).... about 22 nm in a straight line.... bit longer with a SID and vectored ILS

Still miss the 744!!!
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Old 12th Dec 2022, 16:45
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6 Year old youngster at Newcastle Airport, a visit from a 747 in around '77.

Started my love affair with planes, still going strong till this day. Still remember the grace as it took off over the Newcastle Upon Tyne skies.

Wonderful.
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Old 12th Dec 2022, 19:53
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I love the Queen, travelled Economy, Business and First.
BA, Lufthansa, KLM, CAAC, Cathay, Singapore, Malaysian, Philippine Air, NorthWest, JAL, Air France and probably one or two I've forgott.
Sorely missed, unless I'll go via Luftie again.
Per
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Old 12th Dec 2022, 20:29
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Shortest flight Macau to Hong Kong and / or Zuhai to Hong Kong, both much the same
Straight line is 17 nm but obviously ......
Privledged to have flown her, steam dials and glass.
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Old 13th Dec 2022, 01:06
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I seem to recall a hop in fall 1972 between Chicago ORD and Detroit DTW on an American Airlines 747.
Also, a little more distance, El Al JFK to Tel Aviv, circa 1991.
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Old 13th Dec 2022, 04:08
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BA QF PanAm TWA SQ MAS ANA JAL ANZ Garuda and best of all.... ANSETT (SYD-KIX or YSSY-RJBB)
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Old 13th Dec 2022, 05:11
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Really appreciate that I managed to work on practically all models of 747s except the 747-8 and -8f. This includes, -100, -200, -300, -400, SPs, Combis and freighters. Functions include ramp-loading, loadsheet, pax handling.

One notable oddity was a cargo charter operated by an IRIAF (Islamic Republic Iran Air Force) 747 freighter. This was a 747 air-tanker which had cargo capability... imagine my surprise when I went on board and found positions SL/SR and T were given over to the boom operator. Also this aircraft came with mil spec pallets... 88 X 108inches and not the more usual 88/96 x 125inch pallets. While the aircraft locks were configured for these pallets, the pallet nets themselves could not accomodate the full height of 118inches as the nets would only go up to around 70 inches. As the charterer had expected a 747 load, they were a bit upset as there was a lot of space wasted due to the smaller footprint of the pallet and lowered heights. We managed to squeeze a bit more load (increase the height) onto the pallets by using normal ropes to make up the shortfall of the nets.. The mil spec pallet do not use rings/seatrack like normal pallets but are tied down to d-rings along the edge. This would be in the early 90s.

Anilv

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Old 13th Dec 2022, 08:57
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"I'm not old enough."

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Old 13th Dec 2022, 08:59
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"RIAF (Islamic Republic Iran Air Force) 747 freighter. "

IIRC they had a dodgy safety record - one exploded after a lightning strike??
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Old 13th Dec 2022, 09:02
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It seems odd to me that so little on this thread has been written from the pilot's point of view about the flying qualities of the 747.

I first flew it in 1981, and it was my third large jet transport, the previous two being the VC10 and the 707. Both in their ways excellent aircraft but not as magnificent as the 747. It was not just its size that made it so. In contrast to the various earlier types of jet transports, which all had some handling vices, the 747 had none. And, again, in contrast to the earlier types, it had more system redundancy than any of them. Its handling was exceptional, the only vice that I could find (if it was a vice at all) was that the nose wheel could skate along the surface if one tried to turn when taxiing at too fast a speed.


It was very stable to fly, was an excellent instrument flying platform, yet had sufficiently powerful controls to handle in a sprightly fashion like a much smaller aircraft. In fact, when seated in the snug cockpit it was hard to believe there was so much aircraft following along behind! And, with the cockpit being so small, everything was within easy reach. Perhaps it could have done with a little more headroom but who was I to complain.

I spent 14 years flying it on long haul routes and was privileged to be IRE/TRE and airworthiness test qualified. It was during C of A air tests that one really became able to appreciate its exceptional handling qualities. It stalled immaculately in all configurations, except when clean – when it wouldn’t stall at all! The minimum speed had been defined by the point when the slow and stately buffeting was considered unacceptable. One would have had to be very ham-fisted to come anywhere near the stall speed. Unlike the 707, it had no Mach tuck, even at M0.97. Unlike the VC10, it had no pronounced Dutch Roll. And, unlike most T-tail aircraft, there was no concern over it becoming locked into a deep stall. It was also very gentlemanly on three engines and would even perform well with two failed on the same side.


It was a truly wonderful aircraft to fly, all the more remarkable when one remembers how long ago it was designed.

Joe Sutter and his team got it absolutely right.

Last edited by Bergerie1; 13th Dec 2022 at 14:19.
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Old 13th Dec 2022, 14:47
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I guess it was quite a pilot's aircraft.
I remember arriving in Muscat as SLF and we did a visual approach from the west to runway 26. We rolled wings level over the end of the runway and touched down a few seconds later.
Performance of the 100 srs was a bit limited in high temps. Normally the BA flights came through MCT around 0100 to 0300 local. If delayed and departing after around 1000 local, a tech stop would be required to get to London. One was sitting on the end of the runway burning off fuel for about 20 mins. as the temp rose to get down to RTOW. A lot of sand blowing around.
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Old 13th Dec 2022, 15:56
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The nicest long haul flight I’ve ever had was on a 747SP from Taipei to Los Angeles. I flew business class in the upper deck. There were three other pax and a relief crew with me. It was the quietest ride I’ve ever had and the food served was of gourmet quality. This was back in the 1980s when flying was a completely different experience.
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Old 13th Dec 2022, 16:05
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Originally Posted by Bergerie1
It was a truly wonderful aircraft to fly, all the more remarkable when one remembers how long ago it was designed.
Joe Sutter and his team got it absolutely right.
It was a remarkable achievement in a relatively short time frame including the building of a new factory for production. First flight in early 1969 and certified by the end of the year ! How does that compare with some of the protracted aircraft certification timescales today.

Dai Davies the ARB/CAA chief test pilot in his book "Handling the Big Jets" said "The 747 is a most impressive aeroplane with a number of exceptionally fine qualities". He was not wrong as proved by its long and distinguished service
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Old 13th Dec 2022, 17:41
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747 Airlines for me as follows in no order and with approx. numbers where I can remember :-
Swiss Air - 4 times
PAN AM - Approx. 6
TWA - Approx. 6 - mostly L1011 for my trips.
KLM - Around 4
BA - Lots
Lufthansa - still flying on them with LH 747 -8 - lots
Malaysian - Four times - like B Fraser did Langkawi return
JAL - Maybe 6
Singapore - Lots
American - only once, mostly DC10 for me
Wardair - only once
Air Canada - only once
CP Air - only once
SAA - Twice
Air France - Twice
Cathay - Lots
NW Orient - Lots
Peoples Express - Once as a student back in the day.

A nice A/C but I honestly prefer A380 as a passenger.

Cheers
Mr Mac

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Old 13th Dec 2022, 19:08
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Some 747 memories, as SLF:
  • In the 1970s I was at school west of Heathrow. In summer the early 747s could not make the airways climb gradient westbound fully loaded. The CAA dropped the airway lower limit from, I think 3500 feet, to 2500 feet to allow them to stagger off over the Atlantic. We got to see them up close!
  • Prior to the 747-400 there was a secret sleeping compartment in economy. The very last centre row of five seats was set slightly forward of the bulkhead (to allow them to tilt). You could take a couple of blankets and a pillow and lie on the floor across that two foot gap behind those seats in full stretch comfort. Much used by me on cross Pacific flights, and a lot cheaper than business.
  • Around 20 years ago (I think) The Economist newspaper published its list of "The Seven Wonders of the Modern World". One was: the most complex mass produced machine. It was the 747.
So I salute all the people that designed, worked on or crewed the 747.
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Old 13th Dec 2022, 20:30
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Thanksgiving 1971 BA501? LHR JFK Staff (dependent) travel and my first flight on BOACs flagship 747 . I didnt know then how often I would end up cursing the endless night of HKG-LHR or SIn LHR on business trips. Not the 74s fault a lovely plane eclipsed ( personal view only by the Tristar and ), really by some distance, the A380 which is really in a league of its own when it comes to pax experience -in my view anyway. I never though the triple 7 flew as nicely from the back seats as the 74

Never flew a 300 or an SP but lots on the others -I suppose hours wise in the end the 400 was what i flew on most with a lot of London-Asia busienss travel.

As far as I can remember 14 Airlines not counting BOAC.
Aer Lingus 100 JFK-SNN-DUB Pretty old but with wonderful cabin crew, like flying a Dublin pub across the Atlantic , CC knew many of the pax by name
Air Canada 100
Air France 100 First 400 First (both very nice indeed)./ The 100 was Beijing to CDG and had to fly a huge circle back over the field to gain height to get across the mountains north of Beijing. Following year on the 400 no problem at all.
BA 100, 200 400 My first ever flight, as above, First on a 400 a couple of times to/from BDA , HKG and JBG ( LHR-JBG over night and back the next night, fortuneately that was F both ways.) . . Lots of great RWY 13 Chequer board approaches into Kai Tak
Canadian 400
Cathay 200 and 400
Lufthansa 400-- worst 747 trip last row of seats in Biz -didnt recline former prison camp cabin crew
Malaysian 400 lovely trips nice food and smiling , for real , crew shame they seem to have gone downhill.
Pan Am 100 including the best call sign ever 'Clipper One' Westbound around the world Hong Kong Delhi Frankfurt LHR
Qantas 400
Singapore 400
TWA 100
Virgin 400
United 100

Looking back I wonder how many days i spent on this wonderful aircraft and I am graately to the builders and crews of tis truly wonderful piece of engineerign that literally took me around the world to places I never dreamed,. as kid grwoing up right next to LHR, that i would ever see .

Would todays Boeing management have taken such a gigantic gamble??.


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Old 13th Dec 2022, 21:52
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Originally Posted by Anilv
Really appreciate that I managed to work on practically all models of 747s except the 747-8 and -8f. This includes, -100, -200, -300, -400, SPs, Combis and freighters. Functions include ramp-loading, loadsheet, pax handling.

One notable oddity was a cargo charter operated by an IRIAF (Islamic Republic Iran Air Force) 747 freighter. This was a 747 air-tanker which had cargo capability... imagine my surprise when I went on board and found positions SL/SR and T were given over to the boom operator. Also this aircraft came with mil spec pallets... 88 X 108inches and not the more usual 88/96 x 125inch pallets. While the aircraft locks were configured for these pallets, the pallet nets themselves could not accomodate the full height of 118inches as the nets would only go up to around 70 inches. As the charterer had expected a 747 load, they were a bit upset as there was a lot of space wasted due to the smaller footprint of the pallet and lowered heights. We managed to squeeze a bit more load (increase the height) onto the pallets by using normal ropes to make up the shortfall of the nets.. The mil spec pallet do not use rings/seatrack like normal pallets but are tied down to d-rings along the edge. This would be in the early 90s.
Interesting post on a little-known aspect of 747 operations. Thanks for that.

Though of course hearing about all the airlines' 747s that assorted PPRuNers have flown on is equally fascinating.
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Old 14th Dec 2022, 06:02
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Following on from Bergerie1's post, this interview with D.P. Davies, former CAA Chief Test Pilot, is very informative. The first 33 minutes discusses the 747:

https://www.aerosociety.com/news/aud...he-boeing-727/


Having spent so many years arguing with Boeing over their aeroplanes, particularly all the 707s and most particularly of the 727, it was an enormous relief to me to fly the 74 and conclude at the end, that apart from one small point, it was by miles, the best aeroplane I had ever flown.
The rest of the interview is also worthwhile, particularly the last ten minutes!

Last edited by India Four Two; 14th Dec 2022 at 06:45. Reason: Added text
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