The final Boeing 747 to leave a factory in Washington state

USA: Boeing will on Tuesday roll out its last 747 from a factory in Washington state after more than 50 years.

The jumbo jet made its debut in 1969 and has since served in a variety of capacities, including cargo plane, commercial aircraft, and Air Force One presidential aircraft. It still stands above most other aircraft as it was the largest commercial airliner in the world and the first with two aisles.

The 747's design included a second deck that extended back from the cockpit to the first third of the aircraft, giving it the recognizable hump that gave the aircraft its nickname the whale. More interestingly, the 747 earned the nickname "Queen of the Skies".

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The first 747 was built by more than 50,000 Boeing workers in less than 16 months. Since then, the company has eliminated 1,573 more.

However, over the past 15 years or so, rival European airlines Airbus and Boeing have introduced new widebody aircraft with two engines in place of the 747's four. They were more profitable and fuel efficient.


Although some other foreign airlines still fly the 747, including German airline Lufthansa, Delta was the last US airline to use it for passenger flights, which ended in 2017.

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Cargo company Atlas Air is the last customer and ordered four 747-8 freighters earlier this year. On Tuesday night, Boeing's massive factory in Everett, Washington, was to leave for the last time.

Boeing has its origins in the Seattle metropolitan area and has assembly facilities in South Carolina and Washington state. The company decided in May to move its headquarters from Chicago to Arlington, Virginia.

With its relocation to the Washington, DC, area, Boeing executives are now closer to important federal government figures and the Federal Aviation Administration, which approves Boeing passenger and freighter aircraft.

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Boeing's relationship with the FAA has been strained since the fatal crashes of its best-selling aircraft, the 737 Max, in 2018 and 2019. Boeing underestimated how long it would take for the FAA to approve the design changes and allow the plane to fly again.

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