Last week, GE Aviation announced it was officially storing its 747-100 Flying Test Bed, making the 747’s 25 January flight almost certainly its last. N747GE was the oldest 747 in active service.

N747GE, the GE Aviation flying test bed

Delivered factory-fresh to Pan Am in 1970, the airline operated 747 line number 25 as N744PA ‘Clipper Ocean Spray’ for 21 years before selling it to GE in 1992.

N744PA, Clipper Ocean Spray

GE then removed most of the interior, and strengthened the left wing and tail to make it fit for engine testing duty.

N747GE with a GE90 under the left wing

GE had used the flying test bed registered N747GE since 1992 to develop engines like the GE90 (777), GEnx (747-8 & 787), Engine Alliance GP7200 (A380), CFM-56 (various), and the LEAP (737 MAX, A320neo, C919). The airframe completed more than 3,600 flight hours and 775 cycles with GE.

GE’s 747GF, a 747-400, will now be the exclusive flying test bed. This new airframe was acquired from Japan Airlines in 2010. Note that N747GF’s winglets have been removed.

N747GF, GE’s 747-400 flying test bed

You can see more of N747GE’s final flight and get a tour inside the aircraft in the video below.

Ian Petchenik’s love of aviation began at an early age growing up next to Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. As Flightradar24’s director of communications and co-host of the AvTalk podcast Ian now gets to share that passion for aviation with millions of Flightradar24 users and listeners around the world.

In this article

Try the Gold plan for 7 days…

Join over 500,000 subscribers and get access to 50+ premium-only features including:

No adsCustom alerts365 day flight historyWeather chartsAdditional aircraft details
No ads
Custom alerts
365 day flight history
Weather charts
Additional aircraft details

Start 7-day Gold plan

See all plans

No commitment. Cancel any time.

Send this to a friend