End of the road for the 747.

GLK

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One of the famous aeroplane designers (his name escapes me at the moment) said: "ugly planes don't fly" - the [original] 747 is one of the most beautiful planes out there, as far as I'm concerned. It's a shame it's going to join Concorde ...
 

John N

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One of the famous aeroplane designers (his name escapes me at the moment) said: "ugly planes don't fly" - the [original] 747 is one of the most beautiful planes out there, as far as I'm concerned. It's a shame it's going to join Concorde ...
Joe Sutter is the Designer you are looking for! :rolleyes:
 
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markjay

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I think that the 747 is one of the most majestic beasts ever to grace our skies, after the Concorde of course.

That said.... just like the Spitfire and the DC3.... it was good while it lasted, but its time has come and gone.

Of recent, flying BA's 747s was a (not welcome) trip down the memory lane. Even the partial refurb of the cabin on some of their fleet didn't really modernise the plane much. Newcomers the likes of Norwegian were miles ahead with brand new Dreamliners.
 

gaz_l

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A revolution in terms of mass travel, so a shame. I also think it’s a good looking thing and always enjoyed seeing them at the airport. But, times move on, and it’s been in service 50 years. Time to put it out to pasture.

Cheers,

Gaz.
 

Piff

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First flew in one of those to New York courtesy of Freddie Laker in 1976. (Missed the hot summer in the UK!)
Initial thoughts were amazement that something so big could actually take off.
 

flowrider

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The 747 was a great airxcraft but well passed its sell by date. Latterly the fleets at BA and Virgin were shadows of their former selves, tatty and uncared for in general. Earlier this year I flew on a Dreamliner (787) for the first time, way better than a 747 but much newer of course. It was about time the 747 was retired.
 

GeeJayW

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I agree with what's been said already, truly great aircraft that (as a passenger carrier) has reached the end of the run. May well continue to carry freight for some time to come, albeit not for BA.
 

Dryce

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The 747 was a great airxcraft but well passed its sell by date. Latterly the fleets at BA and Virgin were shadows of their former selves, tatty and uncared for in general. Earlier this year I flew on a Dreamliner (787) for the first time, way better than a 747 but much newer of course. It was about time the 747 was retired.
Sadly that's how I remember my last flights on 747s - pretty tired.

For me it was the A380 that I had come to rather like. Though the interior fits vary a bit - so depending on carrier and their fleet variations experiences and resulting opinions may differ.

Ironically the A380 may not be far from retirement the way things are going.
 

GeeJayW

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....Ironically the A380 may not be far from retirement the way things are going.
Yep, Airbus aren't taking any more orders and may even have stopped building them (not sure). These very large aircraft need a lot of passengers to make them viable, and airports need a lot of resources to manage them. I like the A380 too, very quiet and comfortable even in the cheap seats.
 

markjay

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Yep, Airbus aren't taking any more orders and may even have stopped building them (not sure). These very large aircraft need a lot of passengers to make them viable, and airports need a lot of resources to manage them. I like the A380 too, very quiet and comfortable even in the cheap seats.

Sad news...:


And this:

"Air France has accelerated its A380 phase-out, with the type having already been permanently retired from its fleet. Operators such as Lufthansa, Qantas and Qatar Airways have indicated that there will be no early return to service for the aircraft and appear unlikely to ever reactivate their entire A380 fleets."

And this:

"The airline expects to replace the aging A380 fleet with Boeing 777X aircraft, the first of which is due to be delivered in 2022."
 

pmcgsmurf

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Will be sad to see them go.

When the wife and I have been going away over past few years we always liked the front middle seats in the F cabin (miles and vouchers) on the 747. These are close enough to be able to easily chat and feel like we were together.

The planes are tired though, with the 777 and now the 787 being available the old ones really do show their age.

Sadly though they also need to retire some of their older cabin crew who sometimes forget they are there because of the customer. ;)
 

knighterrant

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Just this March we flew in “the bubble” (upstairs) of a Virgin 747 to and from Orlando. It was reasonably comfortable in Premium Economy and not as tired looking as I had expected. Those of us with window seats even had our own handy storage boxes by our sides. But the layout was ridiculous - overhead storage was about the size of the glove compartment on my car, so even a relatively small cabin bag wouldn’t fit. Everyone’s bags had to go in a cupboard at the back, behind the economy section. The only bubble toilets were at the front (handy for the pilots) so used (and misused) by everyone. Upon landing we had to wait for the whole upstairs economy section to disembark before being able to get to the back of the plane to collect our cabin bags then return to our seats to pack all those things so conveniently stored in the side pods!

So reasonably decent seats but no match for the Dreamliner economy flights to and from NZ last year.
 

markjay

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Virgin had the upper deck set as premium economy (i.e. not First, like most other carriers), which is how I got a chance to get a seat there on a flight to the US. Quite a unique experience - feels like a very spacious private jet....

EDIT : just saw knighterrant's post. Snap...
 

pmcgsmurf

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We used to always go for upstairs on KLM, this was just in Business but felt like a small private cabin.
 

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I never sat upstairs in a 747. Did once get an upgrade and turn left on entry for a very comfy seat/bed near the front on a trip to India. Last trip on a 747 was in 2014 from Heathrow to Hong Kong and that was in economy (my dime :) ).
 

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