back to article Boeing confirms last 747 to roll off production line in 2022

Boeing has confirmed that production of its 747 aircraft will end in 2022. The company on Tuesday announced that the last four 747s will all be sold to freight operator Atlas Air Worldwide. The 747 revolutionised aviation in the 1970s by hauling more people, at lower cost, than had previously been possible. By making …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who rides the top deck?

    Genuinely curious as to what function of the upstairs deck is on the freighter version. I see windows so does it have seats?

    1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

      Re: Who rides the top deck?

      It's crew space.

      1. legless82

        Re: Who rides the top deck?

        Crew space - as seen in Die Hard 2...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Who rides the top deck?

          You might wish to try the passenger compartment of the An124 - windowless and with canvas seats above the cargo bay in almost full length.

          So much for how the Soviet Union treated their soldiers.

          1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

            Re: Who rides the top deck?

            And the West's cargo planes don't have canvas seats? I thought that was pretty standard fare considering others like the C-130 for example.

            1. VicMortimer

              Re: Who rides the top deck?

              That's a military plane.

              Since UPS and FedEx generally convert old passenger planes, there's no reason to use anything but passenger seats or crew jump seats since they've already got them and they're already FAA approved, and the FAA doesn't really have much to do with military planes so their seats... aren't.

              I understand FedEx leaves the 1st class seats installed in their 747 upper decks.

              1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

                Re: Who rides the top deck?

                And the Antinov AN-124 wasn't? It was designed as a strategic airlift plane for the glory of USSR. It just so happens to be useful to the Capitalist pig dogs of the decadent West! * starts ranting incoherently about how much better things were when you had real queues outside the shops and empty shelves before chugging another bottle of vodka *

                Tramp icon, natch.

          2. Spanners Silver badge

            Re: Who rides the top deck?

            So much for how the Soviet Union treated their soldiers.

            Having spent time in a couple of military transports, I can confirm that the C130 is pretty much the same. Does the AN124 have a "passenger" toilet? The Hercules does not.

            Also had a flight across the Atlantic in a KC135. Same type of seats but it had a really neat window in the floor!

            1. imanidiot Silver badge

              Re: Who rides the top deck?

              An-124 apparently has quite comfortable crew rest accommodations (including a toilet):

            2. RobThBay

              Re: Who rides the top deck?

              The Herc's I been in had a passenger toilet (sort of). It was a small chemical toilet hidden behind a curtain.

    2. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: Who rides the top deck?

      Indeed, as commented, crew rest area. Small galley, some seats and a few beds/bunks to sleep. 747 freighters usually fly the longest international routes, so probably have a crew of 3 or 4 (a pilot/captain, co-pilot and 2 relief pilots.)

  2. Chairman of the Bored

    So long!

    It will be decades before the last 747 makes a final approach and landing, but that date is definitely moving closer.

    While I am glad that newer designs are more economically and environmentally sound, I must admit the 747 is one hell of an engineering feat.

    Plus, it looks absolutely stunning.

    I will miss long flights between Frankfurt to Washington, drinking whatever beer Lufthansa has on offer.

    1. CuChulainn Silver badge

      Re: So long!


      I remember being in First Class on business between London and Forth Worth, where it was even snug enough for me to be prepared to watch the initial runs of Babe (the Babe Ruth movie) and The Bodyguard (please don't hate me). Beer and wine has much to answer for, both in solving and creating all life's problems.

      Slightly less impressed on a BA flight part of a return from another business trip to Karachi, as I was near the toilet, and some guy had picked something up and kept going to be (loudly) sick! Took the edge off the smoked salmon, somehow.

      The Jumbo was a beauty of a plane, though.

      1. NeilPost Silver badge

        Re: So long!

        I hear what you are saying - flew a BA 747 London-Kuala Lumpur/Jakarta (over the Himalaya’s) and also Air NZ London-Hawaii/Fiji/Tahiti (amusing the huge plane at the shed Airport at the Cook Islands as a stop on way back).... but TBH past the glassy-eyed-ness the Airbus A350XWB and Boeing 787 are far-far jollier places in cattle class thankfully these days.

    2. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: So long!

      I;ve also got many hundreds of thousands of miles of time over the Atlantic in 747s. Not going to miss that travel though. Soft spot for the 747 though, yes definitely. Boeing's glory days.

    3. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: So long!

      You guys are talking about it like it is going away. 747s will still be flying long haul passenger routes when we're all dead.

      1. Mike Richards

        Re: So long!

        Not many of them still in passenger service. No US airline flies them, Qantas has got rid of the 747, and even BA - the biggest recent user - has sent them off to the boneyard or breakers. Lufthansa and Korean are your best bet for a Jumbo flight these days as they both bought the 747-8 Intercontinental in relatively large numbers.

    4. Citizen99

      Re: So long!

      Ah, the red-eye flight from LA to LHR :-)

  3. imanidiot Silver badge

    The end of an era. That's the only proper way to describe it I think. It'll be a sad day when the last 747 takes off from the factory.

  4. Keith Oborn

    Worth a look at this documentary on the development of the 747, which was a skunkworks job while Boeing's board was entranced by the SST project.

    Best bit for me is the way they bounced Pratt and Whitney's CEO into Doing Something about the slight problem of exploding engines.

    1. NeilPost Silver badge


      Not available right now. The similar BBC one on Concorde was enthralling.

  5. Daedalus

    Payload shmayload

    While 137.7 metric tonnes is impressive for an aircraft, you'll still see several times as much on display at a typical truck stop, never mind the miles long trains that chug across the USA and Canada. Aircraft are good for high value freight that has to get there quickly.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Payload shmayload

      Um, boats.

  6. Borg.King

    747's will be missed

    Have flown many 747s from SFO, LAX and SEA to LHR, AMS & CDG and will miss the slightly shorter journey times as 747s fly about 80 knots faster than 777s and 787s.

    Only flew once in first class, on a Singapore 747-400(?) from Mumbai to LHR back in 1991. Great airline, plane, and exceptional service from the cabin crew - a true memory to savor for many years.

    1. genghis_uk
      Thumb Up

      Re: 747's will be missed

      Singapore's service is exceptional in cattle class too (747 and 380)

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