End of an era for British Airways.

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283
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England
Hi
British Airways retired their last two 747s today. Several years early because of C19.

The airline once had a fleet of 31 of the 747-400. The last two took off from Heathrow this morning and are to be broken for spares.


'It's going to be a very emotional day," said BA captain Al Bridger who has flown the 747 for three decades.


"You deliver an aircraft to its destination, you shut it down and it's almost like switching off its life support for the last time.

"In the past I have actually apologised to aircraft when I've done it. It's going to be a day of mixed emotions."
 

4WD

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14,314
Location
Texas
Here is a BA Boeing triple combo … I’m seated in a B789 … B772 to the right … the queen is rolling by in the background
8AF9E26D-5218-455C-B843-BC8290238ABA.png
 

Astro14

Staff member
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12,042
Location
Virginia Beach
We once had 44 747-400, at the same time we had nearly 30 747-200. Over 70 of those wonderful airplanes. I saw 14 747s in United livery on the ground in Narita one afternoon. More than JAL had there.

It is, and always will be, the Queen of the Skies.

I‘ve shared more than a few beers with BA 747-400 crews while on layover in Narita. Good blokes, all.

Many airlines are slashing their long-haul wide body fleets. BA, Lufthansa, DAL, AA, to name just a few.

I think it’s a mistake.

There is one airline that is not making that choice. Though the Queen of the Skies is retired, the widebody fleet is robust and growing here.
 
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15,155
Location
...
We once had 44 747-400, at the same time we had nearly 30 747-200. Over 70 of those wonderful airplanes. I saw 14 747s in United livery on the ground in Narita one afternoon. More than JAL had there.

It is, and always will be, the Queen of the Skies.

I‘ve shared more than a few beers with BA 747-400 crews while on layover in Narita. Good blokes, all.

Many airlines are slashing their long-haul wide body fleets. BA, Lufthansa, DAL, AA, to name just a few.

I think it’s a mistake.

There is one airline that is not making that choice. Though the Queen of the Skies is retired, the widebody fleet is robust and growing here.


I remember looking out the window as we taxied at Narita and seeing 747s one gate after another. There is and always will be a fascination attached to that plane.
 
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1,509
Location
New England, USA
I will miss them. I enjoyed many, many flights from BOS to LHR over the past 30 years.... If I couldn't get a seat in Business, I would always try and get one of the last rows where the fuselage tapered, had a bit more room.

The hardest commercial landing I ever experienced was on one. Returning to BOS late after a Winter storm blew through. I was sitting in back and after a rough final, saw the runway rising up...fast. Sitting in the rear, it always appears to rise up as the Pilot rotates the nose up to land, but we were coming down fast. Then a THUD and groans as the old bird flexed, and about ten or so O2 masks fell down in my section. Guy sitting across the aisle from me looked over and I smiled and said "now that is an arrival", I then realized he was spooked as he said, somewhat panicked "...think we are ok?!?".

Then in typical British understatement the Purser announced himself, deadpan, and said; "For those who haven't noticed, we have now touched down in Boston..."

On another BA 747 flight, before 9/11, one of the flight crew was wandering the aisles and noticed I had the flight manuals for my then new to me airplane spread out over the three tray tables in my otherwise empty rear row, long flights are a great time to study anything. We made small talk. About an hour later, I was invited to the flight deck...sadly that will probably never happen again on a commercial flight.
 
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193
Location
Wichita Falls, TX
I will date myself a bit here...when I was very young, my dad used to take me to watch the initial cadre of crews do touch and go training at the old Schilling Air Force Base in Salina, KS. This was late '69 or early '70 if memory serves me. At that time, I believe it had the 2nd or 3rd longest runway in the country. My dad was an Air Traffic Controller there from '57 - '61 for SAC back in the glory days, then I came along and my folks went on to life outside the military. Those 747's would do touch and go landings along with full stop when refueling was required, day and night for the longest time. Slowly thinned down after a few years and then I stopped seeing them. I would even stand in the back yard and watch them fly their orbits. One of the most incredible thing my young eyes had ever seen.
 
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5,000
Location
Columbus,Nebraska
Saw the first 747 delivered to American in Tulsa while attending Spartan in spring of 1970. Entire school left classrooms to watch it go over. Crew misjudged taxiway clearance and buried one main mount. After multiple failed attempts to disinter the plane, a hole was bored in the taxiway and a heavy walled casing was driven into the ground. A large Cat was then used to winch the plane out of the mire. Any other member who might recall this event?
 
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5,000
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Columbus,Nebraska
Right you are Astro. Hosteen had to edit post as it was American and not United. Plane made multiple passes over the American maintenance facility north of the school. Remembering thinking to myself that I would never get any closer to a 747 as this, and I didn't. Completed the AMT curriculum, got the A&P endorsements and spent working career around large GE turbine/generator sets.
 
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229
Location
Texas
Once on a flight from Frankfurt to DFW in late 80's I was on Business Class upstairs and got to visit cockpit. The plane was on Auto and Crew just had graph in there logging manually as to the aircraft location. I worked for a defense contractor in Air Combat and Air Strike and the cockpit looked lavishly large compared to fighter jets. Since then have flown A380 monster jet.
 
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49
Location
Newport, RI
After visiting my daughter in Berlin, I was flying back to Boston on BA thru Heathrow. There was an equipment change for the Heathrow to Boston leg and fortunately it switched to a 747. I had a feeling then it might be my last flight on a 747 and it appears that I was right. Great Experience!
 

Tikka

Thread starter
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283
Location
England

Hi 4WD
That is a good find, thanks for posting.
For anyone interested, the programme 'Top Gear' is filmed here.
 
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