ST. LOUIS – For more than 50 years, Boeing’s 747 has been one of the most iconic airplanes.
On Tuesday, Boeing unveiled the final 747 that will be made. It is the 1,574 747 that will be built. The first of the 747 fleets took off in 1969.
“It’s a completely unique design,” said Jerry McGrath, an Oakville resident.
McGarth is an aviation enthusiast and semi-professional photographer who snaps photos of the iconic aircraft at St. Louis Lambert International Airport and other airports around the world.
“It’s a beautiful airplane,” McGrath shared. “It’s huge, magnificent, and it looks like it’s moving when it’s standing still.”
Boeing said in 2020 that it would stop making the 747 at the end of 2022 because there wasn’t enough demand.
“As an aviation lover, you know a design is eventually going to come to an end,” McGrath explained.
The 747 works as a cargo, freight, or passenger plane. In 1990, it debuted as the new Air Force One for then-President George H.W. Bush.
“It shows the versatility of the airplane that it can do all those things and still look really great doing it,” McGrath said.
He said he thinks the 747 is the last of the golden age of airline travel.
“When that last 747 flies, when that final touchdown happens, and it goes out to live in the desert,” McGrath said. “You will see just as much fanfare then as you see now.”
Planes have a rough life estimate of about 300,000 miles, which can take 30–40 years to reach.