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KC Sim

Boeing 747 - 40th Anniversary of Maiden Flight

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On 2 February 1969, the prototype B747 took to the air for the first time - capping a long design process that took it through 75,000 drawings, 4.5 million parts, 136 miles of electrical wiring, 5 landing gear legs, 4 hydraulic systems and 10 million labour hours.

 

It went on to drive a new wave of travel and tourism across the world and particularly here in the Asia Pacific region. From one version to another, the iconic buldge which contains the upper deck remains so iconic and recognisable. Whether it is referred to as the B747, the Jumbo Jet, Sutter's Balloon (as the B747SP was nicknamed) or the Queen of the Sky . . . we all know exactly which plane is being talked about. So 40 years on . . . thank you Boeing, thank you Joe Sutter for a truly magnificent airplane.

 

So the following is a quick selection of B747 images I have . . . there are tonnes more, but I am sure many others have them too.

 

This First Flight Cover was carried onboard the B747 prototype when it took off on its maiden flight 40 years ago. By a stroke of luck, I acquired this on eBay just days ahead of my trip to Seattle for the premiere of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. And it was there that I managed to obtain Mr Joe Sutter's autograph on the cover - thanks to his absolutely wonderful secretary Linda.

mw-Boeing747-FFC-JoeSutterSignature.jpg

 

One of the most sought-after B747 for many of us in this part of the world - up to 2008 - was this B747-4H6 in Malaysia Airlines' hibiscus livery.

mw-9M-MPB-2006-07-01-03Cr-Hibiscus-.jpg

 

A couple of home-grown birds for me are the B747-400 MEGATOP, the B747-400F MEGA ARK and Jett8 Airlines Cargo's B747-200F.

mw-9V-SPM-2006-03-25-01Cr-TOS-Close.jpg

 

mw-9V-SFO-2006-12-16-03Cr-LDS.jpg

 

mw-9V-JEA-2007-06-01-04Cr-TestFlt-R.jpg

 

Fifteen years ago, Boeing and Singapore Airlines came together to celebrate a most auspicious event - the roll-out of the 1000th Boeing 747. It was a B747-400 that was registered 9V-SMU which for many years carried the "1000th Boeing 747" markings in red. For the purpose of this rollout, Boeing produced a beautiful artwork that simultaneously celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the B747 . . . and this was used to decorate the event's venue. Thanks to a passionate collector, one of these was saved and here's what it looks like.

mwBoeing747-1000th-9V-SMU-Commemora.jpg

 

During my stint in Thailand, I have always enjoyed every opportunity to photograph airplanes - especially the B747 and Thailand does have tonnes of them. Here's one from Thai Airways International landing at Phuket Airport.

mw-HS-TGN-01Br-26Dec2005-oc-APS-Bea.jpg

 

One of my favourite Thai-registered B747 must surely be this handsomely-painted B747-300 of Orient Thai / One-Two-GO.

mw-HS-UTK-003D-07Mar2004-OneTwoGO-R.jpg

 

Another company that I had the privilege to get to know in the course of my work was Phuket Air. Their less-than-rosy story notwithstanding, the family that owns Phuket Air is full of wonderful people. And here's one of their Jumbo Jet . . . HS-VAA. I had the opportunity to fly BKK-DXB and LGW-BKK on HS-VAC.

mw-HS-VAA-04A-26Feb2005-APS.jpg

 

One of the largest customer for the B747 is Japan Airlines and one of their B747 in their former livery featuring the famous Tsuru on the tail is seen here taking off from Changi Airport.

mw-JA8086-06Cr-20Nov2005-oc-SINtwr-.jpg

 

And here's a B747-400ERF in a livery that I consider to be truly marvellous. This one's for you - Mischa and Cyn!!!

mw-OO-THA-2008-07-20-04Cr-APS.jpg

 

Please feel free to post your favourite shots of the B747 (any version) to help celebrate this anniversary.

 

KC Sim

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Truely the Queen of the Skies...Happy 40th Anniversary :clapping:

A small contribution of smokey landings at KLIA

Cheers :drinks:

MAS-742F.jpg

Luf744.jpg

Cargolux.jpg

744F-ChinaAirlines.jpg

744-EVA2.jpg

744-KLM-PH-BFS.jpg

 

 

 

 

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Here's more pictures of the Jumbo Jet.

 

This is one of the two Japan Air Self-Defence Force B747-400s landing at Don Muang Airport in Bangkok . . . while the expectation was for it to land on the runway 21L (being closer to Don Muang Airbase where it was to park), this one took the approach to 21R and sent it right over me - perched on an overhead pedestrain crossing. Note: I added the lens flare on the landing lights . . . just for fun!

mw1-20-1101-2006-06-11-01Cr-JASDF-B.jpg

 

One angle I like very much when the opportunity arises to get on the ramp is this . . .

mw1-9V-SMB-001-21Apr2002-WingtipNos.jpg

 

This one's for you Pieter! Shot on the ramp at Don Muang Airport in Jujne 2003, I had the choice to shoot it on its sunny side but elected to shoot against the strong afternoon light . . . and I love the intensity in the livery brought about by this choice.

mw1-PH-BFK-002-14Jun2003-nc-Closeup.jpg

 

Although the B747 is an American-icon, there are somehow far fewer in operation at US carriers than one would expect. At Tokyo-Narita Airport, this however isn't the case with Northwest and United dominating the scene. Here's a United B747-400 on final approach to 16R.

mw1-United-B744-01A-22Oct2004-APS-C.jpg

 

The Koreans have been avid supporter of Boeing's products and the B747 is a hot favourite for a long time. While Asiana has only the B747-400 in passenger and freighter versions . . .

mw1-PowerfulEngines-01A-26Dec2004.jpg

 

Korean Air has B747-200s, B747-200Fs, B747-300s, B747-400, B747-400Fs and B747SPs. A B747-400 is seen here landing at Narita Airport.

mw1-HL7486-02A-22Oct2004-APS-Closeu.jpg

 

Even airlines from and close to the cold war adversary Russia could finally not resist acquiring the B747s! And they rewards avid photographers with beautiful liveries such as those of Transaero Airlines and Blue Sky.

mw1-VP-BVR-2008-01-26-01Cr-Transaer.jpg

 

mw1-RA-74783-2008-01-11-03Cr-APS.jpg

 

KC Sim

 

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Happy 40th birthday Boeing B747, truly the rightful and only Queen of the Skies! :D

 

If I were to choose my most memorable B747 aircraft, it would have to be Thai Airway's 'Royal Barge' B747-400 HS-TGO. I still recalled that I had taken a morning off to do some aircraft spotting in the midst of my 'A' Levels - while all my friends were busy studying and my parents expected me to - and was simply awestruck when I saw her land and taxi in to park at gate C20. By sheer coincidence or karma, I met her again while spotting just before enlistment into National Service, and again during my first 'book-out'. It was a pity that she was also one of the first to be repainted in Thai Airway's new corporate livery.

 

B747-3HS-TGO_111104.jpg

 

I rarely make an effort to collect postcards, but a friend of mine passed me this postcard after learning how smitten I was with the Royal Barge. The back of the postcard details the reasons for this special livery (note that actually 2 B744s exist in this livery):-

 

In celebration of His Majesty the King's 6th-cycle birthday, Thai Airways International has spectacularly adorned one of its Boeing B747-400s with a larger than life-size painting of Suphannahong, the famed Royal Barge which received " The World Ship Trust Maritime Heritage Award" in 1992. This unique aircraft will now serve as Tourism Envoy for "Amazing Thailand" as it takes off into the millenium and flies the world throughout the Year 2000"

B747-HS-TGOpost.jpg

 

Sri Ubon shows off the classy Thai livery as it was being pushed back for an afternoon departure at Bangkok Don Muang airport.

B747-HS-TGF_pushback.jpg

 

Cathay's Asia's World City B-HOY, otherwise also known as 'Green Alligator', never fail to cause much excitement at the viewing mall whenever she makes a visit as CX713 from Hong Kong via Bangkok.

B747-B-HOY.jpg

 

I was truly amazed by how soft the landing was when I first flew on a B747 (Alitalia B742), and 9V-SPP demonstrates how this feat is performed as she tip-toes into Changi on an early morning arrival.

B747-9V-SPP_rear1.jpg

 

The Boeing B747 is truly a head-turner everywhere!

B747-9V-SPF.jpg

 

With its cavernous cargo hold and the ability to carry out-sized items, the B747 had found service with many cargo operators worldwide, such as Great Wall Airlines seen here returning from a pre-delivery test flight and still wearing its Singapore registration.

B747-9V-SFH_approach.jpg

 

Bathed in golden evening light, 9V-SPR is seen on short finals as SQ286 from AKL.

B747-9V-SPR.jpg

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Wow . . . thanks Hoe Jyh for adding your take on B747s . . . the B747-400s of THAI in Royal Barge liveries must surely reside with the other B747s in full-body special liveries as the most memorable for a long long time.

 

Come to think of it, there seems to be quite a few B747s (all versions) by now in full-body special liveries, including:

 

- Now more than ever, a greater way to fly (Tropical) by SIA

- 50th anniversary - SIA

- An Experience Redefined (Hibiscus) by MH

- Wunala Dreaming by QF

- Nalanji Dreaming by QF

- Formula 1 Grand Prix (MEL) by QF

- Spirit of Hong Kong by CX

- Same Team, Same Dream by CX

- Asia's World City by CX

- Dreamliner by CI

- Taiwan - Touches Your Heart by CI (never flew in this livery)

- Hannover World Expo by LH

- Amazing Thailand by TG (two B744s)

- Ndizani by SA

- Marine Jumbo by NH

- Pokemon (3 different versions) by NH

- JAL 50th Anniversary / Disney 100th Anniversary (5 different versions) by JL

- 50th Anniversary of Trans-Pacific flights by JL

- World Cup 2002 by JL

- Worldplane by NW

- can anyone think of more . . . surely I have missed out some

 

I too strongly recommend everyone to read "747" by Joe Sutter as recommended by Hoe Jyh. Although he is an engineer by training, Joe is highly articulate in areas of management uncommon for his chosen trade. He clearly knows that engineering and aircraft design cannot stand as an oasis in the desert.

 

KC Sim

 

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Wow . . . thanks Hoe Jyh for adding your take on B747s . . . the B747-400s of THAI in Royal Barge liveries must surely reside with the other B747s in full-body special liveries as the most memorable for a long long time.

 

Come to think of it, there seems to be quite a few B747s (all versions) by now in full-body special liveries, including:

 

- Taiwan - Touches Your Heart by CI (never flew in this livery)

 

KC Sim

 

Hi. I am not sure the Taiwan touch your heart livery exist. Does it?

Edited by waiping

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"Taiwan - Touches your heart" was painted . . . but never flew and was quickly restored to regular China Airlines livery as a result of China's displeasure. A lovely Dragonwings model in 1:400 scale was produced as a corporate model.

 

Nice images - Simon and Ian. Nice touch Ian, makes your images look like very beautiful postcards.

 

As this whole year marks the B747s 40th anniversary, please feel free to keep posting new and interesting Jumbo Jet pictures you unearth from your collection.

 

KC

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VH-EBW_MEL.jpg

Qantas 747-338 just a few days before she is due to retire, taken on 24 December 2008, at Melbourne Tullmarine airport.

Gotta love the loud roar of the Rolls Royce RB211. Apologies for the window glare.

 

J-DSC00211.jpg

Taken onboard 9V-SPR, flight SQ285 from SIN to AKL, June 2007. (SQ girls working on MH equipment)

 

J-DSC00212.jpg

Taken onboard 9V-SPR, flight SQ285 from SIN to AKL, June 2007. (SQ girls working on MH equipment)

Edited by S V Choong

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My little contributions, taken with Digi Cam. :yahoo:

 

MAS Cargo approaching 32L

Mascargo-1.jpg

 

EVA Air from country with a lot of nice food and ''leng lui'' -- Taiwan

eva-1.jpg

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Speaking of books, I also highly recommend this book written by Joe Sutter himself on the B747 programme. It is an interesting read that contains many unique viewpoints which are not mentioned in other B747 books. :good:

 

747 by Joe Sutter, Smithsonian.

9780060882426.jpg

http://www.amazon.com/747-Creating-Worlds-...n/dp/0060882417

:yahoo: I'm one happy chap today!... I just recieved this book I purchased over the Amazon in less than 2 weeks. And at a bargain price of USD$4.00 too (new, paperback)...

 

Thanks for the recommendation Hoe Jyh! A nice book to read :good:

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:yahoo: I'm one happy chap today!... I just recieved this book I purchased over the Amazon in less than 2 weeks. And at a bargain price of USD$4.00 too (new, paperback)...

 

Thanks for the recommendation Hoe Jyh! A nice book to read :good:

 

Yep, sure's a nice book...but why did you buy from amazon? I've seen the book on the shelf at Borders...

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Yep, sure's a nice book...but why did you buy from amazon? I've seen the book on the shelf at Borders...

I know it's available at Borders and MPH but did you checked the price? I got mine about RM10 cheaper than both bookstores (S&H included), plus I break no sweat for parking or fuel. Just sit and wait at home... Things you can do at home nowadays... :)

Edited by Yusoff

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I know it's available at Borders and MPH but did you checked the price? I got mine about RM10 cheaper than both bookstores (S&H included), plus I break no sweat for parking or fuel. Just sit and wait at home... Things you can do at home nowadays... :)

 

Oh, well when I bought the book I was a Borders staff, so I got a 20% discount, so I didn't know that. ^_^

Edited by Mohd Suhaimi Fariz

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