By Mike Mangano
Boeing’s Final 747 Exits Everett Factory
Manufacturing giant Boeing has marked the end of an era as its last 747 rolled out of the factory in Everett,Wash., on Tuesday. With the event having dominated global headlines, the 747-8 Freighter will be delivered to Atlas Air in early 2023, becoming the freight line’s 53rd 747.
Referencing the history of the world’s first wide-body airliner, Boeing Vice President Kim Smith, stated: “for more than half a century, tens of thousands of dedicated Boeing employees have designed and built this magnificent airplane that has truly changed the world”, adding “we are proud that this plane will continue to fly across the globe for years to come.”
The 747’s operational history is extensive, having entered commercial service with now-defunct airline Pan Am in January 1970. Since then, a total of 1,574 of the ‘jumbo jets’ have been manufactured since production first commenced in 1967, meaning the iconic aircraft has been in service for over half a century – approximately 46% of the 119-year history of flight.
While the 747 gave Boeing a long-time edge over its competition, the manufacturing giant’s future is far less certain. The 737 MAX’s legacy continues to haunt the company, with a critical U.S. Senate report finding that “during 737 MAX recertification testing, Boeing inappropriately influenced FAA human factor simulator testing of pilot reaction times involving a Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) failure.”
Boeing this week has been left to continue dealing with the MAX fallout, with Tuesday, Dec. 6 seeing Congress dropping an exemption that would have allowed it to bypass new regulatory requirements. This saw the company’s shares drop two percent on Wednesday, Dec. 7. as Boeing runs out of options to avoid the increased costs required to upgrade the 737-MAX 7 and 737-MAX 10.
According to Reuters on Nov. 29, a proposal was drafted by Senate Commerce Committee chair Maria Cantwell to give Boeing an exemption to the MAX 7 and MAX 10 if it could implement increased safety “such as enhanced angle of attack (AOA) and a means to shut off stall warnings and overspeed alerts, for all MAX aircraft.”