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End of an era as final Boeing 747 rolls off assembly line

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David Ryder/Bloomberg via Getty Images

(EVERETT, Wash.) — After 54 years of production, the most recognizable and iconic commercial aircraft is fading into the sunset as Boeing prepares to deliver its final 747 aircraft.

Late Tuesday night, the 1,574th 747 rolled out of the Everett, Washington, hanger where the 747 was first produced in 1967.

In 1970, Pan Am became the launch customer of the double-decker jumbo jet, forever changing the way people moved around the world.

“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. We are proud that this plane will continue to fly across the globe for years to come,” Kim Smith, Boeing vice president and general manager, 747 and 767 programs, said in a press release.

At 250 feet-long, donning a massive hump at its front, the 747 can carry 400-500 passengers and became an unmissable behemoth crisscrossing the globe for more than 50 years. The plane quickly became a sign of luxury travel, with some airlines adding bars, lounges and even pianos on the upper deck.

The last 747 won’t carry passengers but will be used as a freight aircraft for Atlas Air.

U.S. passenger airlines stopped flying the 747 in 2017 as more efficient, twin-engine, wide-body aircraft became more practical.

The last passenger 747 went to Korean Air in 2017. German airline Lufthansa currently operates the most 747 passenger planes.

Air Force One is the most famous 747 and first flew during the George H.W. Bush presidency. Two, already-manufactured 747s are currently undergoing retrofitting and will replace the current aging Air Force One aircraft in about four years.

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