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I guess the queen bee is needing some rest, time for a new one...

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2 hours ago, Matthew Kane said:

Hopefully they keep just one for the Antarctica flights:

But they probably won't, it would be pricey to maintain an ageing 747 for that one charter flight

I did read just today that Cargo haulers may grab up the aging 747 fleet.  Out in Goodyear, AZ, about 25 minutes from my home in Phoenix, the airport there takes in retiring heavies and turns them into cargo haulers.  People coming into Phoenix from California on I-10 are greeted by these aircraft, all lined up at the Goodyear airport, with some even thinking it is Phoenix's main airport.  I flew in a Robinson R44 copter at an airshow there some years ago.


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Two 747-8's (built but not delivered) will be the next Air Force One, replacing the current 747's. So that's one more cycle as the US President's plane to keep the 'ol bird flying and highly visible for a while yet.

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Will miss them when they go. I have been flying (as passenger) on Virgin 747s from LGW to MCO since the 90s and when possible I try to get seats in their upper deck cabin which I love. In the good old days, knowing a few of the pilots, I managed to get to sit in the jump seat for quite a few take offs and landings from LGW, MCO and MIA in Virgin’s old 200 series. I’m not sure if Gatwick’s runway was a little shorter in the 90s but the first take off I experienced in the cockpit from there seemed to use every available foot of runway!

It will not be quite the same when the A350s replace their remaining 747s but hopefully I might manage one or two more TATL flights on the Queen before it goes.


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