Dec 8, 2022 - Energy & Environment

Boeing retiring iconic 747 jet

The last Boeing 747 left the company’s widebody factory in advance of its delivery to Atlas Air in early 2023. Photo: Boeing

The last-ever Boeing 747 airplane left the company's Washington state factory this week, ending production of the iconic jet after half a century soaring the skies.

Why it matters: The world's first twin-aisle aircraft transformed global travel after making its debut in 1970.

Details: The last 747 jet will be delivered to Atlas Air in early 2023, Boeing said in a statement.

By the numbers: Production of the groundbreaking aircraft began in 1967 and spanned 54 years, during which a total of 1,574 airplanes were built, the company said.

  • At 250 ft 2 in, the 747-8 model is the longest commercial aircraft in service. At typical cruising speeds, it travels roughly the length of three NFL football fields per second, according to Boeing.
  • The final airplane is a 747-8 Freighter, and can carry 133.1 tonnes — that's enough to transport about 19 million ping-pong balls.

What they're saying: "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," said Kim Smith, Boeing's vice president and general manager of the 747 and 767 programs, in a statement.

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

In photos: Last Boeing 747 leaves Washington factory

Employees at the company's facility in Everett, Washington, on Dec. 6 watch a Boeing 747 during an event marking the end of production of the plane after more than 50 years. Photo: David Ryder/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A Boeing 747 plane during the Everett event on Dec. 6. Photo: David Ryder/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A Boeing 747 plane at the Everett facility on Dec. 6. Photo: David Ryder/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A worker snaps the iconic Boeing 747 plane in Everett, Washington, on Dec. 6. Photo: David Ryder/Bloomberg via Getty Images
The tail of a Boeing 747 plane in Everett on Dec. 6. Photo: David Ryder/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Employees capture a Boeing 747 plane on camera in Everett on Dec. 6. Photo: David Ryder/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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