Queen Of The Skies: The history of the Boeing 747

British Airways retires 747 fleet
British Airways retires 747 fleet - (Copyright PA Wire)
2:45am, Thu 08 Oct 2020
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British Airways’ final two Heathrow-based Boeing 747 aircraft are scheduled to depart from the airport for the last time.

Both the G-CIVB and G-CIVY 747 models will take off at 8.30am on Thursday, and will receive a special send-off.

The G-CIVB entered BA’s service in February 1994, making 13,398 flights, which equates to 118,445 hours and 59 million miles.

The G-CIVY arrived in September 1998, operating 11,034 flights, which is 90,161 hours or 45 million miles.

Coronavirus – Fri Jul 17, 2020 - (Copyright PA Media)

Launched in 1969, and known as the Queen Of The Skies, the hump-shaped planes were much bigger than existing airliners, holding around 550 passengers.

The British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC), which later merged into British Airways, flew its first 747 flight on April 14 1971.

BA’s first delivery of the 747-400 was made in July 1989 and its last in April 1999.

At its height, the airline was the world’s biggest operator of the 747-400, with a fleet of 57.

Coronavirus – Fri Jul 17, 2020 - (Copyright PA Media)

The plane had 6ft high winglets on the tips of its wings to improve efficiency, with 16 main wheels and two landing nose wheels.

Its wings span 213ft and are big enough to accommodate 50 parked cars, while the tail height of 64ft is equivalent to a six-storey building

In total the model is 231ft long.

The Boeing 747 is the fastest commercial plane, with a top speed of just over 650mph, setting a transatlantic flight record between New York and London, making it in under five hours in 2020.

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