The Boeing 747, which was nicknamed the jumbo jet, first flew on 9 February 1969. This long range aircraft was powered by four Pratt & Whitney JT9D turbofan engines, which were up to 50% quieter than earlier models. It could fly up to 8,560km or 5,418 miles, carrying around 366 passengers.
It entered service with Pan Am on 22 January 1970 flying from New York JFK to London Heathrow. With its widebody cabin, unique upper deck and massive passenger capacity, it changed the nature of air travel for everyone.
Boeing 747 Video
Following on from the last video about the German Junkers F 13, the world’s first passenger plane made of metal, this time we head to Seattle for a look at the Boeing 747. There are three videos here, with the first two being serious Boeing promotional videos. The first runs for 14 minutes and shows some of the flight testing.
As you can see, it’s very much aimed at an airline business audience. Executives and high level staff members probably saw a video like this when Boeing was presenting the new jumbo jet to them. The next one runs for about 14 minutes and leads up to the first flight.
While the quality is not amazing, these are real little slices of aviation history. It shows how much effort went into the testing and design of the aircraft, which was, at the the time, the largest passenger airliner in the world.
Another Jumbo Jet Video
Once the Boeing 747 was in service, the manufacturer created this light presentation called “Assignment 747”. It features actress Bernadette Pelletier as a secretary getting information on the new plane. While it’s very of its time, the colour footage is unparalleled and it’s much more fun than the previous pair.
From 4:47 is boarding and inside a Pan Am jumbo jet, showing the economy cabin and the upper deck lounge. Even better is from 6:55 when they had upstairs into a Japan Air Lines upper deck, complete with the mural on the back wall.
After a funky interlude in Tokyo, our heroine is on board a Northwest Orient example, with some very comfortable looking seats. Next is some discussion from a pilot, then an Air Traffic Controller in New York. From the tower, you can spot a BOAC Vickers VC10, plus Air France, Sabena and El Al Boeing 707s.
She gets a flight on an Alitalia 747 from 13:55, speaks to baggage handlers and then is in Rome. From 19:05 it’s Lufthansa’s turn in the spotlight and Air France from 23:48. Cabins, on board service, air to air photography, the cockpit and more – it really is a snapshot of the early 1970s.
Flying on the jumbo jet is always an experience, though I haven’t been on one since 2012! My first overseas flight was on a United Boeing 747-400 from Sydney to Los Angeles way back in 1991, and the aircraft is always steady as a rock.
My first business class trip was on one (Sydney to Hong Kong on Qantas) and also my very first first class (Bangkok to Sydney on British Airways). Fond memories indeed – now all I need to do is get on another one before they’re retired!
Have you flown on a Boeing 747 before? What do you remember most? Did you like the videos? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
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Featured image by Richard Vandervord on Airliners.net via Wikimedia Commons.