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luke3

Article tribute to the 747

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A big hello to all fellow 747-200 pilots!I have recently found this article from 2004 written in the Italian newspaper "Unione Piloti" (Pilot's Union) written by 742 pilots which officially confirms the retirement of the type from Alitalia's fleet. I think it is written by a poet more than a journalist and have tried to translate it since it turns out to be a beautiful ode to the 742, particularly to the last two in the fleet "Titano" and "Atlante"."This time it is true, after two years of agony and postponing Alitalia, with an ufficial note, has communicated the date of the final retirement of the glorious 747 from its fleet.The 29th of February 2004, the last of the two Cargo Jumbos remaining in their fleet, "Titano" a very patient giant and ferrier from various parts of the world (as written by my close friend who is a poet and 742 Captain), still in excellent shape even though it has worked very hard with the Italian flag on its tail and it has recieved poor treatments from the flag itself, will follow its other colleagues which carried passengers, sent in retirement a few years ago with a very rushed and miscalculated decision. "Titano" should see the curtain drawn at its back in the hangars at Fiumicino, where, together with it's companion "Atlante", after a deserved and needed maintainance operation, will continue to sail the skies happily transporting precious goods and producing richness, unfortunately for another airline [Air Bridge Cargo].Frankly, we that had the luck to fly him and love him, hoped in a more triumphal exit; because being a pilot luckily does not only mean being cold labourers, we often let the great passion we have for this job take us over and we feel close to the airplane in which we pass many hours of our lives and with which we share nights with our eyes that burn from the stress, breathtaking sunrises and sunsets and every once in a while some small emergency that leads us to madness and that brings us to call him with his name.And also, nobody be offended and with all due respect to other aircraft, the Jumbo is and will always be His Majesty the Plane!Thank you "Titano", now bring your four great hearts to beat for another lover; they have obliged you to betrayal. But do not fear, we will always miss you very much! Always have good luck and a big fraternal hug to all Flight Engineers (that disappear as a work category on 29 February 2004) and that have riden with us on the transonic hunchback for year and that now begin to face after a long period of uncertainty, one the unknowns of a completely new life, and the others the requalification course as pilots...."For us Flight Sim pilots its all different. Thanks to Ralph we can still fly this wonderful aircraft and see him every day if we want, unfortunately on our computer screens if you are not one of the few priviledged ones who have the chance to live where there is still a cargo operator of this model nearby. For us fortunately Ocean Airlines of Brescia has picked up the 747-200 and is using them with great pleasure, too bad Brescia is pretty far away from Rome otherwhise I would be at the airport probably every day ;)

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Very nice article about the 747-200 Luca...! I would say....Come to Holland and visit our National Aviation Theme park at "Lelystad" ...! Here we have an ex-KLM Boeing 747-206 (it's a Combi) where you can walk inside and outside the airliner,touch it...kick a tire...etc etc. I work there as a volunteer as the Boeing 747 visitors guide... So when in Holland do not forget to "chip-in" even it is for a very short while...Alex. ( www.alexalberto.com )

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Indeed very nice. Good to hear they flew it with passion. The automatisation of today makes it a bit harder, ive heared.I felt the same way about the 707, the DC8 and the IL-76 wich came to my hometown airport (EBOS) until late 2001. I still miss them every day.Today only one DC-8 is left, luckily it flies weekly (sadly for the UK air force to Irak). The day she dissapears aswell will break my hart.Good thing we still have the MK 747 classics! Long live the queen!

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Thanks for the nice story, but but but.. this one is better! (lol)http://www.avsim.com/pages/contrails/contrails_ott3.shtmlA Long Term Love Affair with a Big Hunk of Aluminum!By Mel OttWhen any airplane can give a 58 year old pilot GOOSEBUMPS by simply flying over his head, you do have a work of art!!!A 747 can hardly be called beautiful, when compared to the Lear, or the Grumman Gulfstream, or even the venerable DC3. However, she is a massive airplane that really put the meaning into "The Aluminum Overcast." This airplane, due to its size, "tricks" the mind while watching it fly an approach that seems to be way too slow for physical flight.While flying at 160 knots it looks like it is flying at a 80 knots. While landing at that same 160 knot speed, to the pilot, in the cockpit, it looks as if he is landing an airplane only traveling at 60 knots due to his almost 8 story height above the runway at touchdown. Most 747 pilots refer to the 747 as just a "Big Ol Piper Cub"!With FOUR HUNDRED TONS OF AIRPLANE under his seat belt/shoulder harness, the pilot can use finger tip pressure to change her direction. While in "shirt sleeve" comfort for hours on end, that same airplane is plying her way through temperatures of minus 70 degrees or below and that at times, can cold soak her fuel in the tanks to temperatures that threaten to "gel" that fuel and turn it into slush rather than a burnable liquid.After a 12 hour ocean crossing with over 400 passengers on board, it can "loiter" for another hour or two, in a holding pattern at the destination

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