747.Bon Voyage.Farewell to the Queen of the Skies.


747.Bon Voyage.Farewell to the Queen of the Skies.

A seemingly never-fading love affair high above the clouds comes to an end. The “Jumbo Jet with a hump” isn’t economically anymore. It’s 4 Royce Royce engines are in charge of too much Kerosene to take its passengers non-stop around the globe.

From its virgin flight operated in September 1968 and then as a mass passenger carrier from February 1969 on this aircraft full of grace operated 51 years as a safe & solid ambassador of the skies. Used for cargo it opened new ways of heavy loading due to the possibility to open “the nose”.

1969 was a magic year. Not just for the birth of 747 around the globe flights. From the first steps on the moon to Woodstock and Summer of Love, from David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” to refreshing and new ways of free-thinking. Changing attitudes, opinions, and traditions on a wide scale were more than just popping up, they had a deeper meaning and needed to come out. The cruel and makes-no-sense but grief n’ loss Vietnam War was still for another 6 years on. Make Love, not War was our daily mantra to changing things for the better, to not losing hope this useless drama in vain comes to an end soon. The average age of an American soldier in Vietnam was 19. In World War II it was 22. This is where the meaning of cannon-fodder got its origin.

It always has been an uplifting pleasure to board this elegant lady of skies, to take a comfy seat, and enjoy a convenient flight with mostly excellent service. A staircase led one to the first-floor lounge, the area for first-class passengers only. It’s always been a bit mysterious, what one has to achieve, to be fortunate of and privileged enough to be seated at the upper deck.

On countless flights between Europe and Sout East Asia, I loved to fly 747. She stood for elegance, grace and a wide world that needs to be discovered, explored, to enjoyed. Due to air pockets, we once sunk about 50 meters or more in a second. Having still a cup of coke in my right hand the sugary liquid suddenly showered me without being asked. The professional caring and pretty Thai Flight Attendant wrapped me in towels to dry, to calm me down from the shock.

Or to watch while the entire plane was sleeping how Flight crew of Air France prepared their cheese platters thankfully sat down in the crew kitchen, celebrated a selection of well-riped fromages, some warm baguette, and a good, small sip of Frances’ red liquid pleasures of life. It’s the little things that make a flight attendant happy. Unforgettable 747 flight experiences and observations.

While 747s are still in use in e.g. Asia several big airlines are operating farewell flights, carrying their 747s to their final destination. Called airplane graveyards where the huge planes are finally parked, dismantled, cannibalized, and crashed into, or sold piece by piece. Each and every single part could tell a story about aviation, turbulence, overloaded take-offs, and harsh landings due to heavy weather conditions.

Flight habits are rapidly changing not just triggered by the pandemic. And so are the conditions for huge planes. The biggest passenger aircraft at present the A380 was just 10 years in operation till it hit the end of its production line. Hardly possible to frequently fly fully booked, to gain profit. Immense development costs but never reached the ROI. Its wings were much too big designed, too heavy. The entire plane too hard to handle on the ground, at the airport’s busy 247365 traffic.

747. Bon Voyage. Never fade away ❤️

Thank you for your time, this has been Otto F. Gatternigg with Kindness.


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