Forty Years of the Boeing 747

By Paul Parkinson

Today, it’s exactly forty years since the first flight of the Boeing 747. (Photo: Flight Global).

This significant milestone was discussed on the BBC Radio 4 business programme ‘The Bottom Line‘ on Saturday. During the programme, two key questions were raised: firstly, whether the 747 had changed people’s lives; and secondly, whether the 747 has improved service or not? I listened with interest, as I had just flown back to London from Cape Town from the Wind River A&D Seminars on a British Airways Boeing 747-400 the previous day. 

question of impact of the 747 on people’s lives is hard to dispute. The
747’s impressive range, speed and capacity have brought long-haul
destinations around world within reach of many people, and has also
drastically reduced travel times. The 747 also is affectionately
referred to by many people as a ‘jumbo jet’, and even after having
flown on a 747 many times, I still find it an awesome sight when it
comes into view at an airport departure gate.

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