Farewell Jumbo

The most stable place in a plane is between the main wings. In a boat it is centre, bus or coach the same…)

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Sorry, i meant the same. Between, not above. :joy::+1:

Branniff airlines big orange for me.

Unfortunately my sister works for BA and frankly there are bigger things to worry about right now.

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Qantas pensioned off the last of theirs with a farewell flight here last week, they looked magnificent in fly past over Sydney. These planes were import to us down under they made OS travel accessible to the masses. It’s amazing how long they’re been around.

I remember my first (and only First Class) flight with BA, I wanted to go to sleep.

The stewardess asked me stand up, pressed a button and the seat converted into a six foot six inch bed. She gout out a mattress and pillows, I got on them and she covered me with a duvet.

Then she strapped me in so that in the event of turbulence I would not be disturbed.

And I though to myself, “Ian you’re being tied to a bed by a woman in uniform , that hasn’t happened in a while…”


And probably hasn’t since :rofl::rofl:

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You’re right there :roll_eyes: :roll_eyes: :roll_eyes:

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Yes, I use to fly LHR to SFO on the Virgin 747 every month for a while.
Made it into the cockpit jump seat for a landing into LHR once (obviously pre-9/11)

Are Lingus moved away from 747s, so my Dublin to Boston, Chicago, LA flights were all Airbus. But occasional a flight East would involve a 747-400 to Singapore etc.

Last 747 trips were KLM to Nairobi, however the return on Kenya Airlines is operated on a Dreamliner, and yes you then notice the seat comfort (it is me, or did the ones 747 get narrower over the years!) and that KLM plane was a bit rattly.

But yes, there was an excitement about flying in a 747, the upper deck (both spiral stairs & straight).

Back in the day when I had a proper job, I worked in IT for the duration. One of the IT companies I worked for in the 90’s provided the host computers for the BA747 flight simulators located at their training facility on the south perimeter of Heathrow. We provided the systems for all of their 747 sims - about 6 as I recall. So naturally I have “flown” a 747 - well sort of.
I can tell you all sorts of great stories about putting the sims through their paces during maintenance routines. It was a plum job for our engineers and analysts.
Suffice to say I always try to fly BA whenever I can - despite their service being degraded over the last few years. The reason being is that BA pilots are trained on those sims to the nth degree. The BA training programmes are ultra vigorous. They are exceptional pilots whatever aircraft they fly.

I remember going to Heathrow airport as a kid with my grandparents to watch a Jumbo land and take off. Only flew on a Virgin Jumbo but did experience the fabulous unaccompanied minors service from BEA, being shown around the cockpit and generally spoilt by the airhostess.

I thought that Cathay had retired their 747-400s in 2016 with a final commemorative flight taking place over Hong Kong’s harbour in October of that year. In any event it has given us many wonderful memories of an era when plane travel still had an element of romanticism and who can forget Daryl Chapman’s iconic photograph of a 747 coming in to land at the old Kai Tak airport. The ‘Queen of the Sky’ will be missed.

Great picture! I loved coming into land at Kai Tak - very much a part of the old Hong Kong experience.

Yes, you may be right there, although I think Cathay are still operating 747-400s and 747-8s, but only doing freight.

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Fond memories, landing at Kai Tak was always exciting, the precursor to a vibrant city, beauiful people & excellent street life.


Yes, sad to see them go, on the other hand if you turned up at a car rental desk and they offered you a vehicle designed in the 70s, built in the 80s, and with 2 million miles on the clock …
Just joking, a truly great plane

When China first opened up to tourists we did Hong Kong and the first tourist rail journey to the then Canton. We flew Cathay Pacific coach class, it was a good service. China was amazing, everyone on bikes 2 stroke tractors, food was amazing. Got back to Hong Kong…wanted a steak…stupidly eat the salad. Boy did i regret that, worst food poisoning i have ever had. I did not eat until i arrived back in the UK.
But the landing at Kai Tak was, well special and memorable. We were sitting on the windows over the wing and it was unbelievable, it looked like we we were brushing past the skyscrapers with only a few feet to spare.
We did not have much money then so the trip was the cheap dates. We would walk out of our nice air conditioned hotel…we were soaked in sweat in a few minutes. Happy memories, and a Jumbo got me home when i was feeling poorly.:wink::sweat_smile:

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I’ve enjoyed reading this thread. I’ve never flown on a 747 but remember first seeing them as a child visiting Heathrow. They seemed enormous (stating the obvious). The photo of the 747 in BOAC livery brings back memories. BOAC aircraft always looked magnificent -
a livery unmatched since. The many later facelifts by BA do no favours. Flying in those days was something special, pre 9/11 security and cheap flights.
Anyone flown on a BOAC VC10? I think one of the most beautiful airliners ever made.

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The last Qantas 747 flew out of Sydney today on route to retirement, they flew her in a pattern off the coast as she left.

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This was El Al’s 747 goodbye drawing:


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My first flight on a Jumbo was in 1992 to Hong Kong, including my first landing at the old Kai Tak airport: what a memorable experience it was when the plane banked sharply giving a great view of Kowloon, then flew between buildings so I was looking straight into people’s apartments! Said to have been the most dangerous commercial airport, with only the most experienced pilots permitted to fly there, and though thankfully rare there were a few occasions when it went wrong with planes overshooting the end of the runway on landing, to end up in the sea, including at least one Jumbo. The new airport at Lantau Island that replaced it 20 years or so ago is reassuringly boring!


the Brits have a long history on beautifull aircraft design.
my fav ever is the Supermarine Spitfire. (no comercial, but…)