Boeing Commercial Airplanes reported the final 747 aircraft left its Everett, Wash., assembly plant on December 6, in advance of delivery to Atlas Air early next year. The 747-8F Freighter is the 1,574th aircraft in the 747 series built over 54 years.
Atlas Air Inc. is a New York-based cargo and charter airline, and the world’s largest operator of 747 jets. It ordered four 747Fs in early 2022.
"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,” according to Boeing vice president and general manager Kim Smith, in a release. “We are proud that this plane will continue to fly across the globe for years to come."
The 747 is a four-engine wide-body aircraft developed for high-volume global transportation.
Boeing built the Everett assembly plant to accommodate the “jumbo jet” design, and the first aircraft in the series was completed in September 1968. The 747’s first commercial flight was conducted by Pan-American Airways in January 1970.
The 747-8F Freighter variant was introduced in 2010 (followed by a passenger-jet version in 2011.) The 747-8 measures 250 ft. 2 in., the longest commercial aircraft in service. It has a payload of 133.1 metric tons (146.7 short tons.)
For the past decade nearly all new orders for 747s have been of the Freighter variant, and Boeing began considering the end of production as early as 2016. Delta Air Lines was the last domestic airline to operate the aircraft for passenger service, though some international carriers continue to use it for high-volume routes.
The end of production was announced in July 2020, with Boeing cited insufficient demand for the large-capacity jets and the availability of the 777 Freighter since 2009.