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Celebrating 50 years of the Boeing 747

Celebrating 50 years of the Boeing 747

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On 9 February 1969, the Boeing 747 lifted into the sky for the first time, completing a years-long effort to design and build the world’s first twin aisle aircraft. The first flight 50 years ago ushered in a new age of air travel.

Compared to Boeing’s previous aircraft, the 747 is a behemoth. The airliner is so large, Boeing needed to build a new factory just to assemble it.

The first 747 parked next to the first 737 in Seattle.
The first 747 (RA001 | N7470) parked next to the first 737 in Seattle.

How the 747 is used today

From first flight to over 1500 aircraft delivered to customers, the Boeing 747 has come a long way in 50 years. We looked at data for a single day this week to see how the 747 is still used to carry passengers and cargo around the world.

How the 747 is used today (data from 00:00-23:59 UTC 4 February 2019)

Modification magnet

One of the most remarkable things about the 747 is its versatility. From the 747-100’s technological leap to heavily modified versions of the airframe that do everything from carry spacecraft to fight wildfires. Here’s a look at some of the modified 747s through the years.

Learn how Qantas ferried an engine on the wing of a 747

Learn more about the GE Aviation flying test bed

Track 747s around the world

Follow every 747 we’re tracking below or use aircraft code ‘B74’ on Flightradar24.com or in our app to track them.


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