LONDON – During the final Boeing 747 delivery ceremony, Atlas Air announced that it will fly a special “747” flight plan on the delivery flight.
N863GT will depart from Paine Field tomorrow and paint “747” in the skies for the world to see.
Atlas Air CEO John Dietrich said the following when the aircraft was revealed:
“She’s a darn good-looking airplane… An incredible honor for me”.
The image above highlights the route that the aircraft will take, which provides a fitting tribute to an aircraft program that has been around for over half a century.
The Final 747 Delivery Route: A Tribute to Joe Sutter…
Within this delivery ceremony, many tributes were made to Joe Sutter, the brainchild behind the aircraft type all of those years ago.
Earl Exum of Pratt & Whitney said tonight: “Joe Sutter, of the 747, would be proud”, relating to how far the 747 has come in the over 1,500 units sold in its lifetime.
Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Stan Deal addressed the massive crowd also and paid significant tribute to Bill Boeing and Joe Sutter in emphasizing how far Boeing has come over the life of the 747 and other projects.
It remains clear that this does mark the end of an amazing era in jet travel through the final Boeing 747 Delivery Flight, with there now to be the focus on twin-engined widebodies and even as far as twin-engined narrowbodies.
Through innovations such as the 787, 777X, Airbus’ A321XLR, A350, and A330neo aircraft, it remains clear that the beginning of significant change is only just beginning.
But for now, this is a great time to reflect on how far the industry has come since the creation of flight under the Wright Brothers, all of the way to how the Queen of the Skies made the earth a smaller place.
Following The Flight…
UPDATE #1 @ 1600 UK time (1/2/23) – The Final Boeing 747 delivery is about to take off. Here is the routing as per RadarBox.com. Follow our coverage here minute by minute.
UPDATE #2 @ 1618 UK time – Atlas Air Flight 747 is now rolling down the runway.
UPDATE #3 @ 1619 UK time – And 5Y747 is now airborne, as history and milestones continue to envelop in this flight.
UPDATE #4 @ 1623 UK time – Cool little moment as 5Y747 flies underneath KAL281, also a Boeing 747-8I, between Atlanta and Seattle.
UPDATE #5 @ 1625 UK time – The Atlas Air Boeing 747 is turning back to Everett, with a fly-past of the airport assumed as the reason to say farewell to the program!
UPDATE #6 @ 1629 UK time – And that is the flypast completed from the aircraft. The aircraft descended from 3,000 feet down to 500 feet as part of this low-fly past.
UPDATE #7 @ 1632 UK time – 5Y747 now appears to be climbing out of Everett and will proceed to the next stage of this flight. A drawing in the skies!
UPDATE #8 @ 1636 UK time – Webcams from Paine Field show how low the Atlas Air Boeing 747-8F was during its fly past of the airport.
UPDATE #9 @ 1638 UK time – And here we go! The footage provided by @scottiebateman shows the departure of the final Boeing 747 Delivery flight.
UPDATE #10 @ 1647 UK time – 5Y747 has begun its right turn in preparation to start the drawing of “747” with the crown. More to follow shortly.
UPDATE #11 @ 1657 UK time – It’s drawing time! The aircraft has begun the process of slowing down so then it can begin to make the necessary tight turns!
UPDATE #12 @ 1700 UK time – The flight is now working on the process of drawing the crown section before moving into the number “747”.
UPDATE #13 @ 1710 UK time – The aircraft is nearing the halfway mark of the top of the crown.
UPDATE #14 @ 1728 UK time – The top of the crown is now complete; the next step is the bottom of the crown before transitioning over to the number “747”.
UPDATE #15 @ 1748 UK time – And that is the crown completed, now onto the numbers! It’s 747 time!
UPDATE #16 @ 1756 UK time – Work on the first seven begins!
UPDATE #17 @ 1821 UK time – That is the first seven done on this special flight. The aircraft is making good time towards the start of the four section of the routing.
UPDATE #18 @ 1832 UK time – During its maneuvers in drawing out 747, the aircraft will have to go as slow as 150 knots to make the tight turns.
UPDATE #19 @ 1839 UK time – A closer look at the tight turns this behemoth of an aircraft has managed to conduct whilst creating the inner ring of the “4” section on the routing.
UPDATE #20 @ 1853 UK time – 5Y747 is just about to finish the “4” section of the routing. Now, it is time for the final “7” section of the routing before the aircraft finishes the mid-air graphic and continues onward to Cincinnati.
UPDATE #21 @ 1921 UK time – We are nearly there with the finished product! The numbers are done! Now for the right-hand border to complete this amazing mid-air graphic!
UPDATE #22 @ 1930 UK time – And there we have it! The finished product from Atlas Air whilst en route to Cincinnati to conclude the delivery.
UPDATE #23 @ 1941 UK time – Courtesy of @RadarBoxCom, here is a timelapse of the flight filling in the mid-air graphic! Enjoy!
UPDATE #24 @ 2033 UK time – Excellent video emerging of the final Boeing 747 performing a fly-by as mentioned in our coverage earlier!
UPDATE #25 @ 2055 UK time – And that wraps up our coverage for tonight! Thank you very much for following!