With its cockpit and second story bulging from the top of its ample body, the Boeing 747 is one of the most recognizable airplanes in the world. Introduced in 1969, it is a symbol of the jet age, and elicits romantic notions of long-haul travel.
I have personally travelled in the Boeing 747’s cockpit several times (pre 9/11 days) and its so sad to see it going extinct 🙁
Not only is the 747′s share of wide-body service shrinking; the total amount of 747 traffic is dropping fast too. The capacity of the global 747 fleet has declined at an annualized rate of 12% since 2009. A passenger 747 can carry 400 to 500 passengers, and the freight version can carry 19 million ping-pong balls or golf balls, according to Boeing, the company that makes the planes. But the global air-cargo business took a hit during the recession, and Boeing last fall announced that it has dropped its production rate for 747s to 1.5 planes per month through 2015 “because of lower market demand for large passenger and freighter airplanes.”