Within 13 years of the Wright Brothers’ invention of the aeroplane, William Boeing started the aeroplane company Boeing. The Boeing 747 then took its first flight in 1969. It took ‘The Incredibles’ 16 months to build the first 747 only 66 years after the invention of the aeroplane. This double-decker Jumbo Jet Boeing 747 with its distinctive hump, commonly known as the “Queen of the skies”, has held the passenger capacity record since its introduction. Here are some interesting features of the Boeing 747.
The Boeing 747 is powered by four GEnx-2B 787 Technology Engines, which means that it can travel the length of three FIFA soccer fields in one second. Usain Bolt, who has the fastest 100m sprint time of 9.89 seconds, can run the length of the plane in 7 seconds.
Once you enter the plane you need to climb 14 stairs to get to the upper deck, which is the same square footage as the 737. The tail of the plane is as tall as an average 6 story city building, which is around 20 meters high. The plane weighs a whopping 1020 tons and has the power to fly 965km an hour.
It takes 90 gallons of paint to paint a Boeing 747 and to build it requires approximately 2.3 million parts, which are supplied from all over the world. The landing gear tyres are filled with nitrogen to prevent explosive tyre blowouts on landing.
The passenger Boeing 747 has flown more than 3.5 billion people, which is almost half the world’s population. The Boeing 747 freighter is capable of transporting 10 767 solid gold bars from Fort Knox. At R6 515 165 per gold bar, the value that the freighter can carry is R70 148 781 555. For those who struggle to read numbers accurately, that is more than seventy billion rand. In 1991 Operation Solomon, a covert Israeli military operation airlifted 1 087 Ethiopian Jews to Israel in a 350-400 person Boeing 747.
Next time you're about to board the enormous and comfortable Boeing 747 that’s valued at R4 906 268 400 (almost five billion Rand), take some time to let the features of this aircraft sink in. You will be sitting in a 1020ton piece of equipment that has the power to fly 965km per hour. Appreciate the power and presence of this iconic plane.