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Last ever 747 has left the factory

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Last ever 747 has left the factory

Old 7th Dec 2022, 22:41
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Last ever 747 has left the factory

The last 747 has left the Everett factory ahead of delivery to Atlas Air in early 2023.
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Old 8th Dec 2022, 00:31
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Pearl Harbor/747 day. A date not to be forgotten.

- Ed
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Old 8th Dec 2022, 01:17
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The end of 747 production is rather bittersweet for me. I spent a good portion of my career working the 747, and my work on the 747-8/8F was probably the crowning achievement of that career.
It was more than a little frustrating to see the 747-8 be something less than successful (155 built). While I believe there is still a market for the 747-8F, that market is simply too limited to make continued production profitable.
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Old 8th Dec 2022, 03:59
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td, to what extent are airframe bits held as spares for out of production types, say if an operator suddenly needs a wing plank for some reason, can see why it might be a build to order.
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Old 8th Dec 2022, 09:30
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Originally Posted by tdracer
The end of 747 production is rather bittersweet for me. I spent a good portion of my career working the 747, and my work on the 747-8/8F was probably the crowning achievement of that career.
It was more than a little frustrating to see the 747-8 be something less than successful (155 built). While I believe there is still a market for the 747-8F, that market is simply too limited to make continued production profitable.
Boeing made the decision to close the production line already before covid in order to open up other production lines. Im sure that if they would have been able to keep it open they would in the current cargo market. Were it not that the suppliers have also changed to work on parts for newer aircraft.

These -8Fs have to work for the next 30 years as there is no other nose loading capacity. The ANs are very old and the C17s are too limited in paylod and too expensive imo.
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Old 8th Dec 2022, 09:53
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Looking back, they closed it too early, now that cargo airlines are healthy and ready to spend again. How long can conventional 777 freighters be ordered and made before the gap until the -8F certification and availability? Second hand 777-300ER might be the future converted freighter of choice.
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Old 8th Dec 2022, 10:12
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Originally Posted by Less Hair
Looking back, they closed it too early, now that cargo airlines are healthy and ready to spend again. How long can conventional 777 freighters be ordered and made before the gap until the -8F certification and availability? Second hand 777-300ER might be the future converted freighter of choice.
My guess is that Boeing will throw have to provide some 777 converted freighters to 777-XF clients to bridge the gap between 747-400Fs and 777-XF. Any further delays could make the A350F an interesting proposition
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Old 8th Dec 2022, 13:24
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I remember the first time I got to fly on one of those: 1974, heading to Tokyo on a red eye out of Honolulu. (Dad was getting assigned to the Far East and brought the family with him ...).
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Old 8th Dec 2022, 14:27
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When the 747 was introduced to Dulles Airport, the existing mobile lounges (aka, “people movers”) were unable to mate with the 747’s elevated entry doors so passengers would be deposited half-way up an air stair and had to walk the rest of the way to board, emphasizing the 747’s majestic stance. The eventual solution was to introduce a telescoping mobile lounge that could accommodate both narrow and wide-body aircraft.
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Old 8th Dec 2022, 15:06
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In order to get a ride in a B747 (I couldn't afford long haul then) I flew with Pan Am from Brussels to Amsterdam, with an (low speed) aborted take-off thrown in! (It was a minor problem and we got airborne on the 2nd attempt).
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Old 8th Dec 2022, 15:14
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While Boeing have a growing list of decisions they have made and subsequently regretted, I don't think that closing the 747 line will turn out to be one of them.
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Old 8th Dec 2022, 18:07
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Originally Posted by ORAC
The last 747 has left the Everett factory ahead of delivery to Atlas Air in early 2023.
Emblematic of a company with only a history instead of a future....
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Old 8th Dec 2022, 18:26
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Originally Posted by megan
td, to what extent are airframe bits held as spares for out of production types, say if an operator suddenly needs a wing plank for some reason, can see why it might be a build to order.
I don't think they keep much in the way of major structural pieces available as spares. When the aircraft is still in production, it's pretty straight forward to simply make another bit - but once OOP the tooling and such is all gone. If someone needs sort of major structural part, the options are to have one custom made, get a 'used' part from a scraped aircraft, or to simply scrap the damaged aircraft.

Originally Posted by SaulGoodman
Boeing made the decision to close the production line already before covid in order to open up other production lines. I’m sure that if they would have been able to keep it open they would in the current cargo market. Were it not that the suppliers have also changed to work on parts for newer aircraft.

These -8F’s have to work for the next 30 years as there is no other nose loading capacity. The AN’s are very old and the C17’s are too limited in paylod and too expensive imo.
Boeing's biggest problem with the 747-8F was competing against retired 747-400 freighter conversions - freight operators could buy a passenger 747-400 for a song and convert it into a freighter for a small fraction of what a new 747-8F cost. Eventually most of those 747-400s would have aged out, but the 747 airframe is easily good for well over 100,000 hours (especially if it's mainly used for long haul so the cycles are relatively low) so that would have taken a long time.
I think Boeing needed to be building 747s at a rate of at least one/month for it to be profitable - and the 747 wasn't there since about 2018 (six/year - which is at best breakeven). The final nail was when the vendor that made the fuselage panels shut down the factory where they made them (the last few years of 747 production have used panels that were 'built ahead' before they shutdown the facility). While Boeing was offered the tooling and such, to continue production would have required a major investment in setting it all in a new facility Boeing couldn't justify the expense - especially with a one/month production rate or less.

Although I do keep hearing about a story I heard when they ended 747-400 production to prepare for the 747-8. It seems Boeing had a bunch of open production slots for the 747-400 prior to the shutdown that they wanted to fill, so they went out and offered a good price on 'last time buy' for 747-400F. Well, the response was overwhelming - reportedly they could have sold many, many more if they'd had production slots. I have to wonder if, now that no more new 747s will be build, freight operators will suddenly wish they'd bought a whole bunch more.

BTW, Boeing did look at a commercial variant to the C-17. Apparently the interest was rather underwhelming, and the costs associated with certifying to Part 25 would have been massive, so the idea was dropped.
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Old 9th Dec 2022, 09:58
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All things have to end sooner or later, but we should be happy to see some 8's and some 400F's still grace the skies for at least another decade.
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Old 9th Dec 2022, 10:35
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Originally Posted by JRK
All things have to end sooner or later, but we should be happy to see some 8's and some 400F's still grace the skies for at least another decade.
I think some late build 747s will be around for at least 20 and maybe 30 or 40 years. They may even outlast the B52.
The only airliner that has been in production longer is the Boeing 737.
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Old 9th Dec 2022, 21:53
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OK....

List the airlines that you have personally flown on with 747.

Air Canada
CP Air
Japan Air Lines
EVA Air
Pan Am
TWA
Air France
Royal Air Maroc (747SP)
Aerolineas Argentinas
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Old 9th Dec 2022, 22:00
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Air Canada
WardAir
United Airlines
Lufthansa
British Airways

What was the shortest and longest scheduled 747 flight ?
I am guessing the shortest was Wardair YYJ to YVR 34 nm.
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Old 9th Dec 2022, 22:52
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BA
SAA
Virgin
United
Pan Am
Malaysian
Singapore
Lufthansa
KLM
Korean
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Old 10th Dec 2022, 00:43
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Originally Posted by punkalouver
OK....

List the airlines that you have personally flown on with 747.

Air Canada
CP Air
Japan Air Lines
EVA Air
Pan Am
TWA
Air France
Royal Air Maroc (747SP)
Aerolineas Argentinas
UA
NW
Asiana
NH (Maybe, -400D)
JL
TG
NH
BR
CI
CX

Too young to remember for sure

Pan Am
TWA


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Old 10th Dec 2022, 04:09
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Shortest flight was in a -400 over 381nm as the crow flies, scrambled from take off to FL410 like a scalded cat, most impressive.
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