Boeing 747 - A Jumbo Spot for a Jumbo Jet

Can someone please move this to #real-world-aviation? Thank you.

So, since I will be flying Delta’s final 2 B747 flights, I felt that it would be fitting to write an entire thread on this. After the December retirement of the Delta B747, no more American passenger airlines will be flying the 747. However, the 747 is still widely used throughout the world, with the heaviest user being British Airways.

History of the “Jumbo Jet”

In 1963, the United States Air Force started a series of study projects on a very large strategic transport aircraft. Although the C-141 Starlifter was being introduced, they believed that a much larger and more capable aircraft was needed, especially the capability to carry outsized cargo that would not fit in any existing aircraft. These studies led to initial requirements for the CX-Heavy Logistics System (CX-HLS) in March 1964 for an aircraft with a load capacity of 180,000 pounds (81,600 kg) and a speed of Mach 0.75 (500 mph or 800 km/h), and an unrefueled range of 5,000 nautical miles (9,300 km) with a payload of 115,000 pounds (52,200 kg). The payload bay had to be 17 feet (5.18 m) wide by 13.5 feet (4.11 m) high and 100 feet (30 m) long with access through doors at the front and rear.
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Featuring only four engines, the design also required new engine designs with greatly increased power and better fuel economy. In May 1964, airframe proposals arrived from Boeing, Douglas, General Dynamics, Lockheed, and Martin Marietta; engine proposals were submitted by General Electric, Curtiss-Wright, and Pratt & Whitney. After a downselect, Boeing, Douglas, and Lockheed were given additional study contracts for the airframe, along with General Electric and Pratt & Whitney for the engines.

All three of the airframe proposals shared a number of features. As the CX-HLS needed to be able to be loaded from the front, a door had to be included where the cockpit usually was. All of the companies solved this problem by moving the cockpit above the cargo area; Douglas had a small “pod” just forward and above the wing, Lockheed used a long “spine” running the length of the aircraft with the wing spar passing through it, while Boeing blended the two, with a longer pod that ran from just behind the nose to just behind the wing. In 1965 Lockheed’s aircraft design and General Electric’s engine design were selected for the new C-5 Galaxy transport, which was the largest military aircraft in the world at the time. The nose door and raised cockpit concepts would be carried over to the design of the 747.

Airliner proposal
The 747 was conceived while air travel was increasing in the 1960s. The era of commercial jet transportation, led by the enormous popularity of the Boeing 707 and Douglas DC-8, had revolutionized long-distance travel. Even before it lost the CX-HLS contract, Boeing was asked by Juan Trippe, president of Pan American World Airways (Pan Am), one of their most important airline customers, to build a passenger aircraft more than twice the size of the 707. During this time, airport congestion, worsened by increasing numbers of passengers carried on relatively small aircraft, became a problem that Trippe thought could be addressed by a larger new aircraft.

In 1965, Joe Sutter was transferred from Boeing’s 737 development team to manage the design studies for the new airliner, already assigned the model number 747. Sutter initiated a design study with Pan Am and other airlines, to better understand their requirements. At the time, it was widely thought that the 747 would eventually be superseded by supersonic transport aircraft. Boeing responded by designing the 747 so that it could be adapted easily to carry freight and remain in production even if sales of the passenger version declined. In the freighter role, the clear need was to support the containerized shipping methodologies that were being widely introduced at about the same time. Standard containers are 8 ft (2.4 m) square at the front (slightly higher due to attachment points) and available in 20 and 40 ft (6.1 and 12 m) lengths. This meant that it would be possible to support a 2-wide 2-high stack of containers two or three ranks deep with a fuselage size similar to the earlier CX-HLS project.

In April 1966, Pan Am ordered 25 747-100 aircraft for US$525 million. During the ceremonial 747 contract-signing banquet in Seattle on Boeing’s 50th Anniversary, Juan Trippe predicted that the 747 would be “… a great weapon for peace, competing with intercontinental missiles for mankind’s destiny”. As launch customer, and because of its early involvement before placing a formal order, Pan Am was able to influence the design and development of the 747 to an extent unmatched by a single airline before or since.

Design effort
Ultimately, the high-winged CX-HLS Boeing design was not used for the 747, although technologies developed for their bid had an influence. The original design included a full-length double-deck fuselage with eight-across seating and two aisles on the lower deck and seven-across seating and two aisles on the upper deck. However, concern over evacuation routes and limited cargo-carrying capability caused this idea to be scrapped in early 1966 in favor of a wider single deck design. The cockpit was, therefore, placed on a shortened upper deck so that a freight-loading door could be included in the nose cone; this design feature produced the 747’s distinctive “bulge”. In early models it was not clear what to do with the small space in the pod behind the cockpit, and this was initially specified as a “lounge” area with no permanent seating. (A different configuration that had been considered in order to keep the flight deck out of the way for freight loading had the pilots below the passengers, and was dubbed the “anteater”.)

Current Passenger 747 Fleets

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Airline 747-200 747-300 747-400[a] 747-400F 747-8I 747-8F Total
Air Atlanta Icelandic — — — 2 — — 2
Air China — — 3 — 7 — 10
Air Hong Kong — — — 3 — — 3
Air India — — 4 — — — 4
Asiana Airlines — — 2 10 — — 12
British Airways — — 36 — — — 36
Cathay Pacific — — — 6 — 14 20
China Airlines — — 6 18 — — 24
China Southern Airlines — — — 2 — — 2
Delta Air Lines — — 7 — — — 7 (To be all retired)
El Al — — 6 1 — — 7
Etihad Airways — — — 1 — — 1
EVA Air — — 2 5 — — 7
Iran Air 1 — — — — — 1
Iraqi Airways — — 2 — — — 2
KLM — — 15 — — — 15
Korean Air — — 5 9 9 7 30
Lion Air — — 2 — — — 2
Lufthansa — — 13 — 19 — 32
Mahan Air — 1 — — — — 1
Martinair — — — 4 — — 4
Max Air — 3 1 — — — 4
Med-View Airline — — 1 — — — 1
Norwegian[vague] — — 1 — — — 1
Qantas — — 11 — — — 11
Qatar Airways — — — 1 — — 1
Rossiya Airlines — — 9 — — — 9
Royal Air Maroc — — 1 — — — 1
Saudia — — 7 9 — 2 18
Sky Gates Airlines — — — 1 — — 1
Suparna Airlines — — — 3 — — 3
Thai Airways — — 10 — — — 10
Turkish Airlines — — — 1 — — 1
Virgin Atlantic — — 8 — — — 8
Wamos Air — — 3 — — — 3

THIS DATA IS AS OF JULY 2017, SORRY IF IT IS INACCURATE I TRIED MY BEST TO FIX IT ALL UP

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Please let me know how I did, and comment anything down below! Have a lovely day here in IFC!

Sources are mainly Wikipedia and google images, other photos are credit on them. Please don’t have this be a duplicate

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Hello. You have to be TL2 to post in #real-world-aviation. Unfortunately, us regulars and moderators are permitted not to move topics to another category that the poster can’t post in.

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Really? I’ve had that done in the past, I’ve put an event in live and a mod moved it to Events. I’ll see and talk to mods if need be. Thanks for the heads up!

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You’ll get to TL2 in no time ;)

Trust the process, Cheers

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