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Boeing 747 Goes Out in Style. Final Delivery Had Easter Egg for Enthusiasts.

Artist Jeff Barlow of Boeing’s creative department shows off his sketch of the last Boeing 747 aircraft in a ceremony to mark its delivery, at the Boeing Future of Flight Museum in Everett, Washington, on January 31, 2023.

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Jason Redmond / AFP via Getty Images

There are no more new 747 jets left for
to deliver. That’s sad, but the iconic aircraft program went out with panache.

The final delivery left the aviation enthusiasts along with
(ticker: BA) employees, customers and investors a lasting, unique, image fitting for a jet referred to as “the Queen of the skies.”

The last 747 jet was delivered to aircraft and aircraft services provider
Atlas Air Worldwide
(AAWW) on Jan. 31.

The “monumental day is a testament to the generations of Boeing employees who brought to life the airplane that ‘shrank the world,’ and revolutionized travel and air cargo as the first widebody,” said Stan Deal, CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “It is fitting to deliver this final 747-8 Freighter to the largest operator of the 747, Atlas Air, where the ‘Queen’ will continue to inspire and empower innovation in air cargo.”

The first flight of the final 747 staked its royal claim emphatically. Its flight path literally spelled out 747 inside of a crown. It’s a nice finishing tough for Boeing’s 747 program.

Boeing’s plan for a jumbo jet that could seat almost 500 people was announced in April 1966. The first test flight was in February 1969, more than 53 years ago. The plane entered commercial service in January 1970, in the fleet of Pan Am Airlines.

More than 1,500 747 jets were built and delivered to more than 100 customers around the world. Five were delivered in 2022, all freighter version of the giant jet.

The commercial-airline industry has moved away from huge, quad-engine jets, and embraced fuel-efficient twin-engine models whose smaller capacity also enables more direct routes. Not every airport or market can support a 747-sized plane, and passengers prefer more choices for direct flights.

A twin-engine 787 Dreamliner, which entered service in 2011, holds roughly 300 people and has similar range of a 747 jet.

Boeing stock closed up 0.8% at 214.75 in Wednesday trading. The
S&P 500
rose 1.1%. The
Dow Jones Industrial Average
finished flat.

Coming into Thursday trading, Boeing stock is up about 13% year to date and up about 46% over the past three months. Investors are feeling more optimistic about the continuing recover in air traffic from Covid-induced lows.

Write to Al Root at


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