Saturday 30 July 2016

Boeing considers ending 747 production


It may be the end of the line for Boeing's iconic 747 jumbo jet.
The company said in a regulatory filing that it is "reasonably possible that we could decide to end production of the 747."
Boeing (NYSE: BA) has already reduced the Everett 747 production line to a rate of half-a-plane per month and in the filing indicated that demand was not enough to increase it to one plane per month, as the company had hoped to do this year.
The company has 39 of the jumbo jets left to build, which will keep the line alive until 2019. After that, things aren't looking good.

The decision is tied to what Boeing called "lower-than-expected demand for large commercial passenger and freighter aircraft and slower-than-expected growth of global freight traffic."
Boeing has hinted for years that the "Queen of the Skies'" reign may soon be coming to an end. The 747 was the largest jet ever built when it debuted in 1969. It became the jet used to carry the President of the United States and other dignitaries. It is still used for Air Force One.
The production of the 747 employed generations of Puget Sound-area workers. One worker told the PSBJ his story of building the first 747s in the late 1960s, when Boeing was rushing to get the first of the jets built:
The deadline defined everything, said 84-year-old Roy Sigvartson. The 16-month effort was so extraordinary, the workers came to be called “the Incredibles.”
The first 747 took off on time and on deadline from Everett’s Paine Field on Feb. 9, 1969.
Sigvartson remembers it as one of the highlights of his life.
“Nobody had ever seen an aircraft that huge, and for all it to come together, you’d have thought it was impossible for that thing to take off, with all that weight,” he said. “When you heard that baby start, and push all the throttles up and away you go, it was just a beautiful sight to see.”
Now, more efficient jets are replacing the four-engine 747s.
Now, with just 39 747's left to be built, Boeing plans to slow production to a snail's pace, building just 1.3 planes a month.

Here are 11 crucial dates in the history of the 747:
1963: Boeing forms engineering group to develop the large aircraft that will become the 747.
1966: Boeing board launches the 747, Pan American World Airways books the first orders, and Boeing buys 780 acres to build the Everett plant.
1967: First workers arrive at the Everett plant.
1969: First 747 flies, and is later certified by the FAA. N7470 was the rego (CN 20235) This aircraft was known as RA001
1980: Boeing rolls out the 500th 747, a 747-200 Combi.
This aircraft went to Scandinavian Airline System N4501Q (CN 22381)
1988: First flight of 747-400, destined to become the most popular model, with 694 delivered.
This aircraft went to Delta Airlines as N661US
1990: Boeing delivers the first Air Force One to carry the U.S. president.
1993: Boeing delivers the 1,000th 747, to Singapore Airlines.  9V-SMU (CN 27068)                            
2005: Boeing launches the 747-8 family, still in production today.
2010: Assembly starts on first 747-8 Intercontinental, the passenger version.

ATLAS AIR B747-47UF N496MC (CN 29257)

ASIANA CARGO 747-446 HL-7618 (CN 26343)

THAI B747-4D7 HS-TGG (CN 33771)

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