Op-Ed: Final Boeing 747 Repaint Was A Missed Opportunity

Photo Credit: Keith Miller via Twitter (@KeithPDXAir)

LONDON – As the final production Boeing 747 aircraft came out of the paint shop, it was definitely a missed opportunity to honor the program.

Photo Credit: Keith Miller via Twitter (@KeithPDXAir)

The final production 747 off the line was a -8F for Apexlogistics via Atlas Air, with both company logos being placed on either side of the jet.

With this in mind, there was no decal implemented to at least celebrate the milestone of the final production 747 to be built.

Rumors of a Decal To Follow…

Photo Credit: Keith Miller via Twitter (@KeithPDXAir)

It is rumored that a decal with the words “Uncle Joe” will be added to the jet before delivery, which is in tribute to Joe Sutter, the revolutionary behind the 747.

I hope that this is the case, as that would be a tribute worth making, especially with his responsibility in the way that air travel changed over the last 60 years.

Without the 747, it could be argued that the motivation for Airbus to develop a competitor such as the A380 wouldn’t have become a reality.

The 747 is known as the “Queen of the Skies”, so maybe like how the UK gave a significant send-off to HM Queen Elizabeth II, maybe something of that equivalent should be done with Boeing and the aviation sector.

If The Rumor Isn’t True…

Photo Credit: Keith Miller via Twitter (@KeithPDXAir)

If the rumor isn’t true about the “Uncle Joe” decals, then I definitely think this was a missed opportunity by Boeing & Atlas Air in this regard.

Then again, it could have been made out of choice by the customer, which again would have been a disappointing aspect.

I have approached both Atlas Air and Boeing for a comment on this in the hope that some form of clarification can be made regarding such a choice.

Atlas Air responded but said the following:

“Thank you for reaching out and for your interest. We will certainly keep you posted as we get closer to a release date.”

If there are no plans, then that will be a sad end to the 747 production line.

It’s Not All Doom & Gloom, However…

Photo Credit: Keith Miller via Twitter (@KeithPDXAir)

Even if a dedicated decal or livery doesn’t happen, it’s not the end of the world, as Boeing has a lot to be proud of with this project.

If it weren’t for the 747, air travel wouldn’t have been easily accessible to the masses, as well as being an incredible asset for the freighter world.

But for a lot of enthusiasts like me, having some form of livery or decal to say farewell would be a very nice touch to make.

Because whether you are an Airbus or a Boeing fan, you cannot deny that the 747 changed the way that the industry went.


Photo Credit: Keith Miller via Twitter (@KeithPDXAir)

As the final 747 prepares itself for delivery, this brings to a close an incredible part of the aviation industry that I myself have been lucky to live through.

It is a shame that the industry is now heading more towards a dual-engine narrowbody and widebody market because the 747 was a sight to see in the world.

But for now, we await the final delivery of the aircraft with sadness but hope that the legacy of the jet lives on for so many years.

By James Field - Editor in Chief 5 Min Read
5 Min Read
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