The last Boeing 747 has been rolled out from a Washington State factory after more than 50 years of production.
Atlas Air, a cargo carrier, ordered four 747-8 freighters in early 2015. On Tuesday night, the final plane was taken out of Boeing’s huge factory in Everett (Washington).
The 747 jumbo jet was a cargo plane, a commercial airplane capable of carrying almost 500 passengers and even the Air Force One presidential aircraft.
It was the largest commercial plane in the world at the time it was built, and it had two aisles when it was first manufactured in 1969. It towers above all other planes.
The design of the plane included a second deck that extended from the cockpit out over the front three-quarters of the plane. This gave it its distinctive hump, which made it instantly recognisable. It was also given the nickname “The Whale”.
To produce the first 747, it took 16 months for more than 50,000 Boeing workers. Since then, 1,573 more have been produced by the company.
Boeing and Airbus, a European competitor, have shifted to fuel-efficient and more profitable aircraft over the past 20 years. Widebody planes now use two engines rather than the four on the 747.
The last US airline to use 747s for passenger flights was Delta. However, Lufthansa and other international airlines continue to fly them.
Boeing announced that its headquarters would be moving from Chicago to Arlington in Virginia in May.
Its executives will be closer to federal officials and the Federal Aviation Administration in Washington DC, where they can receive certifications for cargo and passenger planes.
Boeing and the FAA have had a difficult relationship since the deadly crashes of its bestselling plane the 737 Max in 2018 (2018). It took the FAA nearly two years for design changes to be approved and the plane was allowed back into the air.