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Boeing Considers Ending Production of Iconic 747

Boeing Co. said in a regulatory filing Wednesday that it may stop production of the 747, ending nearly a half-century of producing the plane that became the aircraft of choice for the U.S. president and other heads of state. The prospect of ending 747 production after years of weak sales would close a chapter of Boeing's history that began when the humped jetliner won its first orders from Pan American World Airways five decades ago. ( More...

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2 busy trying to shove 737's at airlines. What they should have done was re-engine the 757 to a next-gen...They would have orders left and right for that plane.
They are not going to do it. Too bad they did not keep it in their back pocket when they shut the program down
Ric Wernicke 1
I would disagree. It is the airline hub and spoke business model that has airlines shoving passengers in to short haul comfort for transcon flights.

Boeing will take an order for what ever you'd like to fly.

The 747 is by far the best plane in the sky for those sitting in back.
paul gilpin 1
one of the reasons boing(not a typo) uses to shoot down that thought is that the manufacturing process to build a 757 is very expensive. uh, and whose fault is that!!!!!!
Joao Ponces 9
Well, sad, but times are a changing...
According to some older Friend-Pilots who flew the 747, from the 707 and then went on to more modern ones, the airplane of their lives was the doomed Lockheed L1011 Tristar, in the 500 version, considered by most Pilots the BEST airplane of all times...
And gone many years ago, now too...
Derek Thomas 3
As a pax, L10 was the best ride I ever had.
Jim Jacobs 2
As a mechanic, absolutely the aircraft!
Derek Thomas 1
But 74's, upstairs and down, were/are an awesome machine!
Loral Thomas 1
No sweeter sound than those RB211's.
Jeff Pelton 4
The 747 has been a HUGE part of my life, growing up in the Everett area in the 1960's. Watched the first flight, attended Everett Community College in 1969 - 1970 earning a Airframe Mechanic licence in a course structured to provide flight line mechanics for Boeing, went through the Boeing Layoff just before Christmas 1969, after which you couldn't find a job mowing grass, enlisted in the Navy Delayed Entry Program, after I WON the Draft Lotto. Dad and Mom both worked for Boeing, doing the standard "for a 30 year retirement, expect 15 years laid off, recalled, laid off. I said Hell With That, stayed in the Navy for 23 years.

My office is located in Mojave, CA where I can see the "Boneyard". I've seen many 747's get scrapped over the last 12 years. Always wondered how many Mom and Dad help build.
Maybe I'm talking senseless, but from a financial point of view, how cost-effective would these aircraft be if only used to cover shorter but busier routes having 600+ seats arrangements only? Say LAX-JFK, DFW/IAH-ORD, etc. It could take 1 747 to cover what 2 or 3 A320s serve.

Just thinking.
I agree. I live in Orlando and Jetblue flies 6 times from MCO to EWR. 7 times from MCO to ORD. What if we packed one big plane with 600 people twice a day and call it a day! Maybe that's why are only enthusiasts and not Airline CEO's.
Aidon Jennery 3
This is one of the skills of running an airline... balancing schedule with capacity (as well as other factors.) Not everyone wants to fly at one of those two times a day, so if your competitors fly at other times more attractive to customers, then you may start losing them, and soon your 747s are half empty, and not making money. This is one of the reasons that A380 demand is not what was hoped for by Airbus. Capacity isn't everything.
paul gilpin 1
one other aspect of juggling is gate assignments. last i checked, a 747 is a big plane. so of the airports GG mentioned, i would be willing to bet all the 747 gates are in the international terminals. if you schedule a domestic flight out of the international terminal you have not only a considerable trek to make a connection, if necessary, you also have intermingling of domestic and international passengers. usually, international passengers are routed directly to passport control after disembarking. if you put a 747 in a domestic terminal, it won't fit. the gate bridge won't accommodate the aircraft and the wingspan is very unfriendly sitting next to others.
with that said, i agree with the premise of GG initial comment. it's just that gate assignments and time slots are a killer.
GM Crump 3
There has got to be a way to save such a beautiful icon of the Jet Age !
Re-engine; new construction materials, re-deigned wing, etc
WE just can't standby and watch this beauty fly west into the sunset !
Captain G.M Crump
Joao Ponces 1
Indeed, Boeing has done it: the B-747-8. Still, no commercial success. Sold more cargo versions then passengers...
Brian Nasset 2
My Father is rolling over in his grave( sigh)
Mike OConnor 2
When are the 747-8's scheduled to be delivered to the Air Force for use as Air Force One to replace the current fleet of 747-200's
Mike Yorke 2
They are being used by air freight companies.
TWA55 1
Acrft must be in service for at least 5 years I think before it can be considered, has it been 5 years?
8c8g8r8 1
748i eis was june 2012. so no, but they will have been by the time usaf lets a contract for the aircraft. is this 5-year requirement documented anywhere? I've not heard that before.
8c8g8r8 1
They aren't under contract for airframes yet. May keep 2 earmarked for USAF?
8c8g8r8 2
That should have read "may keep 2 whitetails earmarked"
Joe Birts 1
Joseph Cooney 2
Probably overdue. Too much has changed in the last 40+ years. Just as I see the MD-80s still flying some of the older airframes must be beyond their lifespan. I do understand that they are talking about NEW construction but the 747 is the past.
Chris B 2
Here is the story in English.

As someone whose flew 747s for thirty plus years........
Mark Duell 1
Thanks, I posted a new squawk with that link due to the misleading title on the other one.
Chris B 1
Thanks Mark. Yours didn't come out when I logged in. Pleased to see that the Mods made yours the lead.
linbb -5
So what this has been posted before several months back.
As sad day. Boeing missed the boat in seizing the moment (and marketshare) when Airbus launched the A380 and Boeing turned their noses up at the idea of a future upgraded Jumbo. Although Airbus is now struggling with A380 sales, a large portion of the sales and deliveries it has successfully made, thus far, should have gone to the 747-8, had Boeing not dithered.
Joseph Cooney 1
Agree on the 757 point. They are losing some market share to Airbus so I guess the 737 is their current profit cash cow!
Joe Birts 1
As a passenger, my least favorite craft were/are the 757 & 767 due to the lack of fresh air.
Very sad. :( I love the 747
TWA55 1
Twins are the future. Putting love aside, why continue the 747. There are countless reasons why ending production would be the smart move and even smarter for the airlines.
It would indeed be a sad day in the airline industry if those massive aircrafts stop gracing our skies .
The biggest icon in the air.
The Queen of the skies for so many years has to meet the economics of the 777-300 and soon the 777X. While the 777 was designed to give added comfort with wider seats, at nine abreast, the airlines decided to stay at 747 seating comfort and install a ten abreast seating arrangement. A difficult airplane to compete with unless carrying oversize cargo.
I remember growing up in the 80's and seeing so many "big jets" at the airport. There were a bunch of dc-3's, MD-80's and 747's. Airline goals were so different back then, Now it looks like Queen of the Skies is going to have to join all those other wide bodied aircraft.
Amoc Sivunna 1
Times are changing quickly. The future is supersonic with short T.O. and Landing.
Billy Koskie 1
Easier said than done, but I wondered if a two engine version of the 747 might have a future. If would mean a redesigned wing and an engine with 20=25% more thrust than tho engines on a 777. Even still, would there be demand for such an aircraft?
Aidon Jennery 2
Sounds like one of the larger 777Xs. To be ultra competitive across a range of uses, a modern 747 would have to be a ground-up design, and I doubt one would end up with anything looking like a 747, be it two or four engined. Remember the 747 looks the way it does due to its initial design as a transport, not a passenger plane. A clean-sheet design would mean a 747 in name only.
Tom Frenchick 1
Just my thoughts thanks
jbermo 1
All is not only about the B-747's demise but also about four engined airplanes in general. Carbon emission restrictions are now the rule of the land and such are becoming increasingly restrictive worldwide. It's proven that carbon footprints favor fewer engines for the job. Because of this, DC-8's B-747 classics, DC-10's and L-1011's are pretty much outlawed today from entering European airspace. Can the B-747-400 and A-340 be far behind? The A-380?
Victor Engel 1
I've never flown in a 747, but I've always admired it. I was in Guatemala City when the very first one arrived there. I think there were about 15,000 people watching it come in. It seemed to fly in slow motion.
Peter Maas 1
Will the "AIR FORCE ONE" be replaced ????? Perhaps the C-17 should be used for "AIR FORCE ONE".
ken young 1
I think there is another wrinkle. Boeing is losing market share to Airbus.
The thing that I find curious is US Based carriers that eschew US made aircraft in deference to a foreign manufacturer.
Tedd Hope 4
No U.S. carriers ordered a single A380. Many foreign flags obviously did, because it best served them and had optimum pax appeal. So be it. Airbus has announced A380 production (which only recently reached break-even), will come to a halt by 2018. Passengers have long proven they prefer frequency and the convenience of closer-in, intermediate sized airports to mega jumbos. The time for the latter was fun and glorious, but it's on the wane. Mid-sized twins obviously are cheaper to buy, operate and maintain, (not to mention their incurring lower landing fees). And when a U.S. carrier decides on an order, that only happens after exhaustive, mind-numbing number crunching - no one cares where it's made or by whom. And that's the way it ought to be.
Tom Frenchick 0
I think you guys are all right about your thoughts but I'm not sure of my own thoughts the 737 is a good acft.The 757 is older as well but is able to land smaller runways that a737 can? I don't think so is 757 as effience has 787 is don't think so. What it they make as effience by building using materials as 787 and call it 757 Dreamliner. But if you go to all the trouble of doing this he'll give a new name like what's up 787 I'm the new kid on the block I'm 800 and more effience.
James Simms 1
TCL (6500 ft) gets a Delta 757 everytime the University of Alabama football teams flies for away games requiring plane travel. There are three opponents rotating every other year (1 home, 2 away or 2 home, 1 away- 1 is 85 miles, 1 is 150 miles, the other 139 miles) that are either close enough it makes economic sense to bus over. Only the 85 mile opponent has an adequate runway. I've often wondered what would be used when the 757's are retired.
Jd Young 1
Jeff Pelton 1
737's can operate on a 5'000 foot runway. Also the tire load per square inch is lower. One of the major problems, which I experienced in P-3's was the tire load was so high that many runways, taxi ways and ramps couldn't support it. Left some deep tracks on a couple of ramps. Also the size of the 737 is right, without having airports spend mega dollars to rebuild the terminals.
Jeff Pelton 1
Aircraft larger in size then 737 are categorized as Large Aircraft by Air Traffic Control for Wake Turbulence. Requiring increased spacing for arrivals and departures. slowing down the traffic flow at terminals.
Yusef Elnahas -3
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

Boeing decides to stop production of Boeing 747s

Boeing has decided to stop production of all Boeing 747 including the 747-8 type.


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