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End of an era - BA to retire the 747 fleet 'with immediate effect'


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I've had the experience over the years of flying in BA, Lufthansa, Phillipine Airlines, and Pan-Am Jumbos (the latter on the corresponding flight the day before the Lockerbie bombing...).

I also had the pleasure of rummaging around in the cargo hold and sitting in the captain's seat of a Lufthansa Jumbo at the Lufthansa engineering facility at Frankfurt Airport some 30-odd years ago. I'd been teaching a Lufthansa engineer, who invited me to see behind the scenes.

It'll be sad to see the old lady leave the skies, but she has had a good innings.

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I was in the Science Museum in London a few years ago and on the top floor there is a slice of 747 preserved. It’s quite extraordinary to see how thin the shell is.

 

Science-Museum-BA-Cross-Section-40385_20

 

internet photo
 

Trevor

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Max Headroom said:

I was in the Science Museum in London a few years ago and on the top floor there is a slice of 747 preserved. It’s quite extraordinary to see how thin the shell is.

 

Science-Museum-BA-Cross-Section-40385_20

 

internet photo
 

Trevor

 

 

There is a complete DLH 747 on display at the Technik Museum Speyer in Germany, if you would ever pass by. 
 

https://speyer.technik-museum.de/en/boeing-747

 

If you are in the area, there is also a sister museum with a Concorde on display in Sinsheim.
 

https://sinsheim.technik-museum.de/en/concorde

 

The two museums are only 50 km apart, but both would qualify for a full day visit. 

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1 hour ago, desert falcon said:

There is a complete DLH 747 on display at the Technik Museum Speyer in Germany, if you would ever pass by. 
 

https://speyer.technik-museum.de/en/boeing-747

 

If you are in the area, there is also a sister museum with a Concorde on display in Sinsheim.
 

https://sinsheim.technik-museum.de/en/concorde

 

The two museums are only 50 km apart, but both would qualify for a full day visit. 

I live halfway between the two! They're both well worth visiting, not just for the planes. I took my Dad around the museum in Speyer the other year and his eyes lit up when he saw the selection of cars there. The classic motorcycle meet in Sinsheim last year was a thing of beauty too.

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14 minutes ago, Steve Coombs said:

I live halfway between the two! They're both well worth visiting, not just for the planes. I took my Dad around the museum in Speyer the other year and his eyes lit up when he saw the selection of cars there. The classic motorcycle meet in Sinsheim last year was a thing of beauty too.

I’ll be moving to Germany this summer and shall make sure to put a re-visit to both museums on top of the to-do list. My last visit to Sinsheim must have been in 1996, can’t imagine the collection has grown smaller 🙂

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I think a couple of early examples have already been reduced for spares but I wonder how long it will be before we start seeing operators begin to retire their Airbus A380s in significant numbers as well ? 

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11 minutes ago, Richard E said:

I think a couple of early examples have already been reduced for spares but I wonder how long it will be before we start seeing operators begin to retire their Airbus A380s in significant numbers as well ? 

Air Chance already has.

 

Tony 

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24 minutes ago, tony.t said:

Air Chance already has.

 

Tony 

Ditto Singapore Airlines. The first examples were returned at the end of their operating leases and not finding new owners, got the chop - literally.

 

Trevor

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2 hours ago, tony.t said:

Air Chance already has.

 

Tony 

Its looking like Etihad will retire some of thier A380 fleet too, the oldest is only 6 years old. Furthermore, their recently delivered A350-1000s have been mothballed without entering service.

 

Tommo.

Edited by The Tomohawk Kid
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2 hours ago, Richard E said:

I think a couple of early examples have already been reduced for spares but I wonder how long it will be before we start seeing operators begin to retire their Airbus A380s in significant numbers as well ? 

Air France has withdrawn it's whole fleet, they are in the process of reclamation and scrap, and Lufthansa is reducing it's fleet by half.

I find it amazing that there doesn't appear to be a second market for these, even as freighters.  I guess the layout doesn't suit freight operators.

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1 hour ago, 71chally said:

I find it amazing that there doesn't appear to be a second market for these, even as freighters.  I guess the layout doesn't suit freight operators.

I believe that the 747 was designed with both passenger and freight roles in mind whilst the A380's two deck passenger layout probably doesn't easily lend itself to efficient freight handling.

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I flew Heathrow - Tokyo - Sydney, then Sydney - Osaka - Heathrow on JAL 747’s around 93. They still had a massive screen on the bulkhead in those days not individual screens, the films being showed changed on the Europe/Japan and Japan/Oz legs while I was there, so got stuck with the same films on each leg. However on the flight back from Oz I’d bought a proper full size Didgeriddo, when I boarded at Sydney the stewardess took it from me and put it in a large cupboard. After my overnight at Osaka having taken the didg as hand luggage to my hotel, I went to board and instead of turning right and heading for cattle class I was shown to the left and up the stairs! Better still I got a seat next to the large blanket boxes built in alongside the windows, and told to put my didg on the box, not only that I was front row with the emergency exit in front to me, so there was enough room for a pool table between me and the bulkhead where the stewardess sat and faced me for take off and landing!!! There were only a few people on the top deck and I had the whole row to myself and pretty much I had the undivided attention of the stewardess, happy days!

Edited by GordonM
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2 hours ago, Richard E said:

I believe that the 747 was designed with both passenger and freight roles in mind

There's a very good reason for that.

 

The 747 originally derived from the Boeing response to the USAF C-5 program. Although Lockheed was the winner, Boeing took the work they had done towards the (losing) military proposal and developed the 747.

 

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25 minutes ago, KevinK said:

There's a very good reason for that.

 

The 747 originally derived from the Boeing response to the USAF C-5 program. Although Lockheed was the winner, Boeing took the work they had done towards the (losing) military proposal and developed the 747.

 

Indeed not to mention initially passengers were meant to be carried by the 2707 SST project 

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I’m still waiting for Boeing’s blended wing to come out...

 

Scrshot1458-1000x658.jpg


Scrshot1441-1000x658.jpg

 

OSJJf.jpg

Edited by Blimpyboy
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Have a couple of shots of the first issue Airfix kit of the plane. Vintage 1969 plastic. The tail makings look like fun to apply.

 

20200718-191625.jpg

 

20200718-191641.jpg

 

Airfix did quite a few different liveries over the years. The great big box made the artwork really stand out.

 

Tony.

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Somewhere I have a complete set of transfers for the original BA livery

 

Trevor

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2 hours ago, Max Headroom said:

Somewhere I have a complete set of transfers for the original BA livery

 

Trevor

I suspect they would be past their best by now. Old Airfix transfers can be very hit and miss. I use them a lot on refurbs and period builds and it's always a tense moment when they are used. They tend to crack up, even with a helping clear coat or two.

 

Sorry for the thread hijack, normal service will be resumed shortly...

 

Tony.

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I got a real lump in my throat when I listened to this earlier, a Qantas ad from 1987. Perhaps it was Mark Knopfler's sublime instrumental from the sound track of the great movie "Local Hero" or perhaps it was some real sadness at the end of an era that has encompassed some of the best years of my life & some amazing travelling around the world.

Enjoy,

Steve.

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I propose the A380 combi. The main deck with new frieght door fitted and upper deck for passengers. These aircraft have twenty years in them yet and the cost of conversion must be close to the hull loss on break up.

 

Keith

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Etihad as widely predicted are to remove their A 380's from service starting Sept, this initially is a temporary move but if traffic does not improve it could see them withdrawn permanently  from some or possibly all routes in the longer term.

 

Tommo.

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My first flight on a 747 was in 1972, from Montreal to London, first class! Shame I was only 9 at the time and slept most of the way. My brother worked for BOAC and the tickets for the family were standby ones. We got lucky.

 

My latest flight was last year on a  KLM Combi, with tiny TV screens, awful cramped seats and lots of rattling bits. Still fun though, but it made me realise what a long way air travel has come in 45 years.

 

Andy

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20 hours ago, Red Dot said:

Shame I was only 9 at the time and slept most of the way.


Typical kids. No sense of appreciation.

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