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Subject: R.I.P. Boeing 747 Passenger Flights (1969-2017) as the reign of the 'Queen of the Skies' is in the final days (Tues. Nov. 7) of her reign. ...


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Cargo uses of the famed jumbo jet will continue.
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Date Posted: Sunday, November 05, 11:50:15pm


End of an era for the Boeing 747, the Queen of the Skies. ...
By Cynthia Washicko / Daily Breeze
Oct. 16, 2017

The Queen of the Skies is in the final days of her reign.

For decades, the Boeing 747 ruled over the airline industry, a workhorse with a royal nickname that made flying more affordable because of its huge seating capacity.

The planes have put their wheels down on several continents, leaped across oceans and ferried countless passengers since the first craft roared off the runway in 1969. And, in that time, the line of Boeing planes built in Washington state has built an allegiance among travelers and airline workers alike.

Now the iconic jet is nearing the end of its time lording over the clouds.

Following an industry trend toward more efficient models, United Airlines is retiring its fleet of 747s. The last of the jets bearing the United logo will take to the skies Nov. 7 for a final operation before putting down their landing gear for good.

The 747 has served as Air Force One for 5 U.S. Presidents. ...


At a send-off Monday at Los Angeles International Airport, airline workers flocked to one of the last of the planes still in operation.

Employees snapped selfies in front of the jet’s turbines and others posed beneath the peaked nose of the 249-foot craft that towers six stories above the ground and has a range of more than 6,000 miles.

What they shared, among the selfies and group shots and tours of the jet’s interior, was an allegiance to the plane and a desire to see it off with a fitting farewell.

There’s something about the 747 that inspires allegiance, and hearkens back to a different era of travel, said Kathy Hesse, who worked for 18 years aboard the aircraft.

“It’s beautiful to me,” she said. “It’s the beginning of an era.”

The plane is something of a touchstone for a time when well-dressed travelers convened at the piano bar on the second floor of the 747 to pass the time on long-haul flights.

“It was a totally different era of flying back in the days,” she said. “This airplane still fosters that sense of going on a trip.”

After 13 years in the cockpit of a 747, it’s a bittersweet goodbye for pilot Tim DeVries. The Boeing was versatile, he said, capable of handling a wider variety of routes than some of its newer replacements.

He recalled landing one of the planes in Shanghai, ending a flight in difficult weather.

“The visibility was down to nothing, practically … and the airplane just did a beautiful job,” he said. “As my nose came down I came out of the clouds on a very wet runway.

And that versatility altered how passengers view travel, Hesse said. Even after the days of suit coats and Sunday best for a flight were long gone, the fact that the 747 could easily fly nonstop from cities that would otherwise require two or three stops altered air travel for good.
“It paved the way in the sense of (travelers) just had more access to the world without stopping,” she said.

Perry Cockreham, a retired 747 pilot who worked with Hesse, his wife, aboard the aircraft, said from the first time he saw one of the planes, he was awestruck. And, nearly 50 years later and after years in the cockpit, that feeling hasn’t faded.

“It really is majestic,” he said.

Link ...
http://www.dailybreeze.com/2017/10/16/end-of-an-era-for-the-boeing-747-the-queen-of-the-skies/

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Today's CBS Sunday Morning did a fantastic segment on the end of her reign. ...VIDEOSunday, November 05, 11:53:43pm


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