• End of production for 747

    From Aviation HQ@2:292/854 to All on Mon Jul 6 11:04:19 2020
    Boeing is pulling the plug on production of the 747 after more than half a century. Bloomberg reports this based on insiders to the American aircraft manufacturer. According to information not yet officially released, the last 747-8 will roll out of the Everett factory hall in a year or two.

    According to insiders Bloomberg has spoken, the fact that 747 production is nearing its conclusion can be deduced from subtle wording in Boeing's financial statements.

    The first Boeing 747 flew in 1969, a year later the first production aircraft was transferred to Pan Am. Since then, the type has been in continuous production. For fifty years, Boeing received 1,571 orders for the widebody aircraft, which was (and is) loved by both travelers and crew members.

    Over the years, the 747 has been regularly upgraded, but the base remains the same. The distinctive hump on the fuselage and the four engines under the wings make the 747 one of the most striking commercial aircraft ever.

    In recent years, Boeing has only delivered freight versions of the 747-8, the most modern and latest version of the "Jumbo Jet". The passenger version of that type, unlike previous versions, was not a great success.

    Like the Airbus A380, whose production will already come to an end next year, the 747-8 is too big for most airlines. Smaller, more economical twin-engine aircraft such as the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350 offer airlines greater flexibility. Due to the corona crisis, the demand for large aircraft - including for freight transport - has completely collapsed. Moreover, Boeing itself has been in financial difficulties.

    Although production ends, the type will remain in use for a long time, possibly decades. But mainly as a cargo plane. Due to the corona crisis, many companies keep their jumbo's on the ground and the question is whether they will return to operational service in the long term. Airlines such as KLM, Qantas and Virgin Atlantic even decided to put their entire 747 passenger fleet out of service early.

    Boeing did not confirm Bloomberg's reports to Reuters. At a current production level of 0.5 aircraft per month, the aircraft manufacturer says that it has more than two years of 747 production ahead of it.

    --- DB4 - July 1 2020
    * Origin: AVIATION ECHO HQ (2:292/854)