Boeing's 747 is celebrating (1968)

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Saturday, 30 September 2017

1968 -

It took 50.000 people to design the Jumbo Jet the way it was presented to the world on September 30, 1968. Before it could fly commercially, Boeing still needed five airplanes and 1500 hours of flying in ten months. Today is the birthday of the plane that made intercontinental flying possible for a great number of people: Boeing 747.


Space Shuttle on a 747

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A new age
In December the public saw the huge plane flying for the first time. A 4 hour and 5 minute flight brought 191 passengers from Seattle to New York. Most of them were journalists. They witnessed the new aircraft and recognized a new era had arrived. Boeing made flying cheaper because they could fly more people and more cargo at once. From that moment, Boeing would produce more than 1500 wide-body airplanes.

At first the large plane was a novelty, so it was extremely difficult to train pilots. They were prepared at Boeing’s training school in a construction called Waddell’s Wagon, after Boeing’s chief test pilot Jack Waddell. Pilots sat in a mock-up of the 747 flight deck, built atop three-story-high stilts, on a moving truck. The pilot directed the truck driver from above and learned to manoeuver from such a height.


Air Force One

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360 Trivial Fact
Boeing 747’s are also serving as America’s Presidential planes. People know them as Air Force One, but that’s only accurate when the president is aboard. When the vice-president is on the plane, the Boeing is called Air Force Two.


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