On This Day - September 30th

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On September 30th 1968, the first Boeing 747 or was rolled out of its assembly building before the world's press and representatives of the 26 airlines that had ordered the airliner.

The 747 entered service on January 22, 1970, on Pan Am's New York-London route having been christened a week earlier by First Lady of the United States Pat Nixon at Washington Dulles International Airport.

Often referred to by its original nickname, the "Jumbo Jet", due to Its distinctive hump upper deck along the forward part of the aircraft. One of the most recognisable aircraft, it was the first wide-body airplane produced. Available in passenger, freighter and other versions. Boeing designed the 747's hump-like upper deck to serve as a first-class lounge or extra seating, and to allow the aircraft to be easily converted to a cargo carrier by removing seats and installing a front cargo door.

Since its launch in 1970 more than 1500 Jumbos have been built and, as of July 2018, 462 were still in airline service, British Airways being the largest operator with 36 747-400s.

Of those that have been retired, not all have been scrapped and a number remain on display in museums around the world. Not all the retired planes have such traditional display duties:

Audlem Online

One in parked on Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey — the site of the original Top Gear Test Track — where it has been used as a movie set for productions such as the 2006 James Bond film, Casino Royale.


Another has been converted into a hotel — the JumboStay at Arlanda airport in Sweden, which as well as offering rooms for overnight stays also includes a café, a bar and a first class conference room on the upper flight deck.

Perhaps the most esoteric use of a retired 747, however, is the use of a pair of wings for a house in Malibu, California.


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