There’s no denying that the 747 changed commercial aviation, and that it will always be the “queen of the skies.” And there’s no denying that the 747 has a special place in lots of peoples’ hearts, given how long it has been flying.
The Airbus A380 is bigger, and I prefer it from a passenger comfort standpoint. But I don’t get quite the same feeling when boarding an A380 as I do when boarding a 747.
For that matter, I don’t think the A380 actually revolutionizes many aspects of commercial aviation. With smaller long-range aircraft that are more fuel-efficient (like the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350), it’s tough to justify the whale jet. Ultimately passengers value frequencies and direct flights, and that’s an area where the A380 can’t compete.
Anyway, given what a gas guzzler the 747 is, we’re seeing a lot of airlines retire them, especially in favor of the much more fuel-efficient 777-300ER.
Singapore Airlines retired their last 747 back in April 2012, and the video that a passenger made just about made me tear up (especially starting at the four minute mark):
Philippine Airlines had their last 747 flight in August, and I just came across this beautiful tribute video they made:
Am I the only one that gets sort of emotional when I see these types of videos? And am I the only one with an emotional connection to the 747?