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United Says Farewell to the 747

United Says Farewell to the 747

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17,275 days after the first United 747 flight the airline retires its 747 fleet today with a special flight between San Francisco and Hawaii. Passengers aboard UA747 will be treated to a flight that recreates the atmosphere of the first flight in 1970. Take a tour of United’s 747 fleet through the years and see how you can follow the final flight.

The first United 747

In nearly 50 years of service, United operated the 747-100, -200, and -400. United took delivery of its first 747-100 on 26 June 1970. N4703U (s/n 19753) operated for the airline until 1986 when it was transferred to Pan Am.

N4703U, the first United 747, after repaint into the Saul Bass ‘tulip’ livery

After service with Pan Am, it got a second life as a freighter, operating for Polar Air Cargo and finally Kalitta Air before being stored in 2008.

The flight deck of 747-100 N716CK, the final registration worn by United’s first 747

The colors of the Queen

The Queen of the Skies has worn five separate color schemes during its time in the United fleet.

Friend Ship First now in Saul Bass Battleship Blue Rising Globe
Saul Bass ‘Tulip’, 1974-1993

Photo credits: Friend Ship, Tulip, Battleship, Rising Blue, Globe

The last the same as the first

The final United 747 flight will recreate the atmosphere of the first flight from San Francisco to Honolulu on 23 July 1970. The flight will include a 1970s-inspired menu and retro uniforms for flight attendants, among other touches to recall that first flight.

N118UA with ‘Friend Ship’ titles applied

Flight UA747 is scheduled to depart San Francisco at 11:00 local time and arrive in Honolulu at 14:45. The flight will be operated by N118UA, a 747-400 delivered in 1999. N118UA has received special ‘Friend Ship’ titles to match the original United 747 which wore the Friend Ship titles until 1974.

Replay the flight

View playback of UA747

If you missed the flight live, replay it on Flightradar24 or download the data below.

✈️ UA747 CSV File

✈️ UA747 KML File


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