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In pictures: Last 747 leaves Boeing’s Everett factory

written by Adam Thorn | December 8, 2022

The final 747 to be manufactured has left Boeing’s Everett factory in Washington ahead of its delivery to Atlas Air.

The last model to roll off the production line was a 747-8 Freighter variant. It marked the 1,574th Jumbo Jet built.

Boeing’s VP of the 747 program, Kim Smith, said, “For more than half a century, tens of thousands of dedicated Boeing employees have designed and built this magnificent airplane that has truly changed the world.

“We are proud that this plane will continue to fly across the globe for years to come.”


Production of the ‘Queen of the Skies’ began in 1967 and spanned a remarkable 54 years. Upon its release, it was the world’s first twin-aisle and double-deck commercial aircraft.

“At 250 ft 2 in (76.2 m), the 747-8 is the longest commercial aircraft in service,” said Boeing in a statement.

“At typical cruising speeds, the 747-8 travels roughly the length of three FIFA soccer fields or NFL football fields per second.

“This model has a revenue payload of 133.1 tonnes, enough to transport 10,699 solid gold bars or approximately 19 million ping-pong balls or golf balls.”

It comes after Australian Aviation reported in July how the final Qantas 747, VH-OEJ, would never fly again, despite leaving the desert boneyard where it was being stored.

The aircraft initially left the Mojave facility in California, thought to be its final resting place, in June to fly 3,500km to Oscoda Airport on the other side of the United States. It led to speculation the iconic Queen of the Skies could have a new lease of life flying for cargo airline Kalitta Air, its new owner.

However, Kalitta later told Australian Aviation it purchased the 19-year-old jet for spare parts to aid the maintenance of its existing 747 fleet.

VH-OEJ was the last of six Boeing 747-438ERs that Qantas ordered in 2001 and the final 747 to be delivered to the airline.

OEJ, named Wunala Dreaming, was also the final Boeing 747 to be farewelled from the airline after the COVID-19 pandemic sped up the airline’s planned retirement of its iconic 747 fleet.

Its last Qantas flight, QF7474, became a major national media event in July 2020, when it flew to LAX before heading to the Mojave Desert boneyard.

After an emotional take-off to the tune of I Still Call Australia Home, first-leg captain Sharelle Quinn flew the aircraft over Sydney’s CBD, Harbour and beaches before heading to the HARS Museum, where she dipped its wings in a final salute to the first 747-400 housed at the attraction, VH-OJA.

As she made her way across the Pacific, Captain Quinn took the opportunity to honour the final Qantas 747 flight by drawing a 275-kilometre x 250-kilometre Qantas Kangaroo in the sky. Hundreds of thousands of Twitter and Instagram users shared Qantas’ official post of the stunt.

When it finished, VH-OEJ climbed to cruising altitude and headed for Los Angeles, where it touched down at 1:23pm after 15 hours in the air.

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