EL AL “Draws” 747 In Sky For Last 747 Flight

Filed Under: El Al

Today (November 3, 2019) EL AL is operating their last ever 747 flight from Rome to Tel Aviv. It’s even operating with a special flight number — LY1747.

The 747 is an iconic plane, and to me will always be one of the most special planes to ever grace the skies. It’s the plane that changed global aviation, and opened up routes that were otherwise never possible (not just economically, but in terms of range).

It makes me sad when airlines retire 747s, though at the same time it also makes sense, given the more fuel efficient and lower capacity planes out there, like the 787 and A350.

Perhaps in the case of EL AL it’s especially good to see these planes retired, since they’ve taken delivery of 787s with great new business class seats, while the 747s had very outdated cabins.

Anyway, that’s all besides the point. At the moment EL AL is operating the last 747 flight with passengers, and the plane will be landing shortly in Israel.

EL AL did one of the coolest tributes imaginable — they used their last 747 flight to “draw” a 747 in the sky using their flight path. Here’s a look at what they did, via Flightradar24:

How cool is that?!? It looks like this added somewhere around an hour to the overall flight.

This isn’t the first time that we’ve seen pilots “draw” something in the sky with their flight path. Boeing once drew a 787 in the sky, and Airbus once drew a Christmas tree in the sky, just to give a couple of examples. However, in those cases they were test flights where they needed to fly without a destination anyway, while in this case it was a flight with real passengers.

  1. Pretty cool. Although it must have been a little odd if the captain told passengers what they were doing and that our flight will be delayed bc of it.

    I assume they let the passengers know , that many turns and watching the flight path on IFE would be kind of weird.

  2. It’s kinda funny, since all passenger must be seated once a TLV-bound flight passes Greece on its way there. Which means these poor people (LY’s executives and guests, I guess) had to be seated for an extra hour.

  3. These always look cool but when you really think about sitting in the plane while they make it, you couldnt tell and youd never be going straight more than like 10 minutes lol I might go crazy.

  4. Sad to see the 747 coming to the end of its days, for me and many more it was the introduction to long haul travel.

    I wonder how many people in the midst of Qantas and Project Sunrise remember that LHR – SYD has been operated non-stop once before? It was on 16th of August 1989 and it was operated by a 747-400 VH-OJA City of Canberra. At the time Qantas described it as “throwing down the gauntlet” to the manufactuers that they had to build a plane that would do this so it’s only taken thirty years for Airbus and Boeing to get their act together. The flight time was about 20 hours. We of course had no flight radar in those days or even much of an internet but I was at LHR that morning to watch it leave and amazing it was.

  5. Man, people will always find a reason to complain. According to the US Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics, US carriers alone logged 18,279,665 Revenue Aircraft Hours (worldwide) from Aug 2018 through July 2019 – on average, that’s 50,081 flight hours per day. Is an extra hour once in a blue moon really “wasteful?”

  6. To add, in case you’re calling it wasteful not in terms of global impact, but specifically for El Al: In 2016, they logged 180,700 weighted (in terms of 767) flight hours. Not sure how it’s weighted, whether by tons or by passengers or what, but let’s give the 747 a weight of 4. Over a single average day, it’s 1Ă·(180700/365)Ă—4=0.81% for one day. If they do this once every 10 years, that represents a 0.00022% increase over that period.

  7. It’s not wasteful for El Al, it’s a waste of passengers time who had to endure an extra flight hour for no reason

  8. Lucky, you praise hotels for removing single use plastic bottles from bathrooms, but then say how cool this is..

    I’m surprised they’re not being criticized more, considering the current hysterical climate.

  9. Predictably, the complainers were out in full force. Nothing can ever be done without some sad sack taking a dump all over it.

  10. OMG. Is this really worth complaining about people. I was on a flight to Singapore the other day and we spent 30 minutes circling the airport waiting for a landing slot.

  11. Nothing new with the Every Landing Always Late(ELAL) airline.

    As a child I used to watch the arrivals going East to West into ORD. I would watch for hours from my apartment with an old pair of binoculars. I was perpendicular to the point on the flight path where they usually lowered the landing gear. One big highlight was a B747 doing a landing gear extension. Yes, I adored the DC-10s and L-1011s also.

  12. @Lucky is on a roll. Always find some post to indirectly stab at Greta Thunberg.
    Which by the way, someone needs to tell her even if she’s not flying, the plane flies anyway. Rather than creating more carbon footprint by alternate transportation, just fly instead of leaving the seat empty.
    They should teach her the concept of sunk costs even for carbon.

  13. Special 747 Farewell weekend in Rome party(It’s a 3 hour flight – usually a 737 route).
    747 Round-trip, marketed as a special points only flight, with no extra payments.
    Half Priced -points and money wise, EL-AL frequent flyers only.
    It was sold-out in a matter of hours, with a long S/B waiting list.
    Everybody on the plane knew about this “delay”.
    Coolest thing EL-AL did in the last 20 years.

  14. Fifty years ago! The Boeing 747 – often referred to as the Queen of the Skies – went into service. Pan Am was the launch customer, placing a $525 million order for 25 B747-100’s and B747-SP’s. The Pan Am Museum, located in Garden City, New York, is just opened a new exhibit to celebrate. Now, believe only British and Lufthansa operate 747 passenger service.

  15. To those who complained this was a wast.Are you really avation lovers(I’m not using the word geek because you are far from it)?Don’t you think The Queen Of Sky deserve a parade for her abdication?

  16. I do believe the Queen of the Skies deserve such a parade after fifty years of service . Very sad to see the Queen of the sky retiring!!!!

  17. Wow this is so bad for the environment… Like it makes sense to do for required test flights imo (and I love it in those cases), but idk how I feel about this

  18. George – No, there being lots of other flying doesn’t stop it being wasteful…

    Not that I really care about the waste of fuel. I’d be furious if I was a passenger though – wasting an hour of my time to do a stupid publicity stunt that only complete aviation nerds would ever see or care about.

  19. The queen of the sky deserves a special goodbye!
    I am sure that all of the passengers knew that this would be a special tribute flight and were happy to be part of it. I would have been.
    Thanks El-Al for making history.

  20. Air China (CA) flies 747, also Rossiya (taken over from Transaero). Anyway, more than just a couple of airlines still fly the type.

  21. What is the energy consumption and environmental impact of these devices we use to criticize people online costing? How much energy does it it take to power the 24 hour news cycle.

    I’m pro environment but I don’t believe one second I’m saintly enough to criticize someone else saying this is cool, or the people that did the cool thing.

    FYI I wrote this while picking up litter in the median of a freeway to save the sharks from choking on our pollution, so unless you’re outside in work clothes and a safety vest your criticism is void.

  22. Actually this flight was sold as special farewell flight for Matmid members only (San Chui was invited for the TLV-FCO leg) and passengers were well informed about the detour beforehand, so no one can complain about the delay.

  23. I have no idea how the EA AL deal with aviation departments. How it possible flight passed without fixed route.

  24. @ Ahmad…. Yes, you DO know how you feel about this – you feel “this is so bad for the environment”!

  25. Sam Chui’s instagram comment section for anything El Al is toxic AF. Nothing but Palestinian/Israeli flags being posted back and forth. That and the so-called keyboard environmentalists on this site….ugh, FYA.

  26. @chff
    It was known before they will do a drawing, see this tweet from a week prior.
    Doesn’t sound like Israel to me. Having all the waypoints marked and made public.
    This is asking for SAM, then again MANPADS probably can’t reach cruising altitude either.

  27. It’s hard enough to draw that accurately on paper leave alone draw it with precision in the air. The coordinates on fr.24 should be interesting.

  28. Bunch of idiots..it’s a tribute to a classic iconic airplane, NOBODY CARES about the “carbon emissions” which are not even registerable they are so miniscule, give me a break..stop complaining. Also the passengers DIDN’T MIND! most is not all were excited about flying on the last 747 flight of Elal…sheesh.

  29. RayFlyer – they didn’t order the SPs until a few years later. That version wasn’t even available when they initially bought the -100s.

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