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Old Sep 10, 12, 2:25 pm   #1
 
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Article: First Boeing 747

Nice overview of the features of the first model and an update on the problems in getting it refurbished.

"We climb the narrow, trademark spiral staircase and in "the hump" find the plane's lone creature-comfort space a workers lounge resplendent with ashtray-equipped sofas upholstered in faded burnt-orange fabric that could be straight off the set of "Mad Men." Steps away is the surprisingly cramped cockpit, with its bewildering banks of analog gauges and dials, manual flight controls, heavy-duty metal switches and full-on engineering station all now aeronautical relics."

http://seattletimes.com/html/pacific...47plane09.html
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Old Sep 11, 12, 11:15 am   #2
 
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I remember walking through one of the first Pan Am 747's that was put on display for the public at Honolulu International in '69 - it looked so big at the time.
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Old Sep 11, 12, 1:39 pm   #3
 
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I remember being excited to see it in 2006 when I was in Seattle. It was so disappointing to see it just rusting away.
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Old Sep 12, 12, 6:09 am   #4
 
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Here's some photos I took earlier this year of the plane:











It was in pretty bad shape and will take a lot of work to restore.
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Old Sep 15, 12, 11:04 am   #5
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Thanks for sharing, SSeattle15!

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Old Sep 15, 12, 11:42 am   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SSeattleI5 View Post
"We climb the narrow, trademark spiral staircase and in "the hump" find the plane's lone creature-comfort space a workers lounge resplendent with ashtray-equipped sofas upholstered in faded burnt-orange fabric that could be straight off the set of "Mad Men." Steps away is the surprisingly cramped cockpit, with its bewildering banks of analog gauges and dials, manual flight controls, heavy-duty metal switches and full-on engineering station all now aeronautical relics."
Hard to believe, but it was 42 years ago when the 747 entered service in 1970. Jet travel in America had only been around for twelve years at that point. We may look at the early 747 as old and dated today in 2012 but were we talking about the same time differential when the plane was introduced, we would have been comparing it with aviation technology and interiors from 1928.
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Old Sep 15, 12, 12:06 pm   #7
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If British Airways had been aware of how this plane was allowed to rot, I can't imagine they would have loaned the Museum of Flight a Concorde, as they did.
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Old Sep 15, 12, 5:51 pm   #8
 
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How much has Boeing contributed to the museum?
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Old Sep 17, 12, 5:50 am   #9
 
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July, 1969, Mrs. bj-21 and I were on our honeymoon in S. Fla. Driving down Bicayne Blvd. towards the downtown Miami area one afternoon we noticed a very large aircraft flying very low and slow over Biscayne Bay. It was our first sighting of a B747, and we were amazed. She had Pan Am markings on her and she made several slow passes over the bay, and we stopped to watch that beautiful bird fly by. Now many years (and many, many flights later), it's sad to see them slowly leaving the fleets. Hopefully some of the major airlines will order the new B747-8 as replacements.

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Old Sep 17, 12, 7:25 am   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BearX220 View Post
If British Airways had been aware of how this plane was allowed to rot, I can't imagine they would have loaned the Museum of Flight a Concorde, as they did.
To be fair to SMoF, most of the rot took place before they got it. I don't know how long it sat abandoned next to the tower at BFI but it was several years.
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Old Sep 17, 12, 7:54 am   #11
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Originally Posted by blackjack-21 View Post
Hopefully some of the major airlines will order the new B747-8 as replacements.
They're hardly racing to do so. Not only because it's the last variant on a planform conceived 45 years ago, but because the topography of world airline networks has changed so much since then. With few exceptions, the future belongs to smaller, lighter, faster planes plying so-called long, thin routes. The VLA market opportunity is very limited and the A380 was first mover. The A380 will probably never feature significantly at more than a dozen superhub airports worldwide.
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Old Sep 17, 12, 8:43 pm   #12
 
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Originally Posted by BearX220 View Post
They're hardly racing to do so. Not only because it's the last variant on a planform conceived 45 years ago, but because the topography of world airline networks has changed so much since then. With few exceptions, the future belongs to smaller, lighter, faster planes plying so-called long, thin routes. The VLA market opportunity is very limited and the A380 was first mover. The A380 will probably never feature significantly at more than a dozen superhub airports worldwide.
And the current state of the world's economies isn't helping that thought either. Yes, I realized that my wish to see the B747-8's continuing the great heritage of the -47's would be limited, but I think that the very limited usefulness of the A380, as to the airports it can fly into and the costs assoociated with it, would leave some room for more airlines to order the new -47 model to replace their outgoings ones. U.S-AUS/NZ and US-Asia or longer European routes where the B787's may have the range but not the capacity of the B747-8's would hopefully justify the their cost, although not with as large a fleet of them as in prior years.

Our first flight on a B747 (that appeared to be brand new, right out of the box) was an EI flight from JFK-SNN in 1971. I've often wondered if that particular aircraft was later the ill-fated plane that became TWA 800, as I believe that the one that went down off Long Island (according to reports I read at the time) started its life flying in '71 with the EI logo.

Time will tell...but I hope the new model makes it!

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