February 3, 2014

The Unexpected Success of the Boeing 747


"Passenger airplanes are extraordinary machines. They are a crucial element in a worldwide system that transfers millions of people safely and efficiently through thin, icy air over vast distances in a very short time. Day in, day out, they fly higher than the highest mountain ranges and move faster than any other means of public transportation. Yet there are surprisingly few of them: the total world fleet of all passenger airplanes presently amounts to 25,000 at the most, including almost 1,500 Boeing 747s.....


"No doubt one of the most heated debates concerned the basic shape of the fuselage. The general belief, one shared by many of Sutter’s personnel as well as by PanAm CEO Juan Trippe, was that the design process would inevitably produce a double-decker craft: a tall, narrow airplane with two floors. This was mainly due to cues taken from ship design and the general idea that the passenger airplane was a flying ocean liner. Words like ‘crew’, ‘captain’ and ‘purser’ still bear witness to this association."

The Unexpected Success of the Boeing 747 by Ed van Hinte (Works That Work magazine)Read it all HERE.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at February 3, 2014 7:58 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Everybody on the plane dressed up in their Sunday best. Things have changed.

Posted by: Fat Man at February 3, 2014 10:21 PM

n case you don't recognize the type, those are Boeing executive secretary ladies, and the men of the marketing, sales, customer sustainment departments and other such non-engineering management staff. They are all wearing mid-century "Mad Men" fashions. Flying commercial was still glam in those days,

Posted by: John A. Fleming at February 4, 2014 12:41 AM

Forget the wearing of mid-century "Mad Men" fashions. I yearn for the days when people showered, shampooed and shaved before leaving the house in the morning!

Posted by: Fausta at February 4, 2014 6:18 AM

How come there's 2 seats on the left and 3 on the right?

Posted by: ghostsniper at February 4, 2014 7:25 AM

It's too bad that people with no imagination or wonder for the airship's magic determined to reduce being whisked from ground level to many miles in the air by treating air travel as though it were merely a trip down the hallway to the loo. No one I know got a free bag of peanuts for going to the bathroom.

Posted by: AbigailAdams at February 4, 2014 10:39 AM

I have been lucky enough to fly on 747's a few times and loved it. very stable airplanes and comfortable as well.
Are you sure that there is only 25,000 commercial planes out there ? i am sure 60 % of them are in the stack in front of us when we fly out of any large airport

Posted by: Kelvin at February 4, 2014 11:12 AM

I got to re-fuel a couple of PanAm 747s when I worked at Orlando. While it was the biggest aircraft I re-fueld, it's under-wing fuel panel was not nearly as high off the ground as my most-hated aircraft, the Airbus A300/310. I only pumped a modest couple thousand gallons, compared to the 2-3 times upload for the more common L-1011 and DC-10. That was a function of the destination, not aircraft capacity.

Holy cow, it was a very long walk to take the fuel ticket up to the cockpit from the pavement.

Check out this cool pic of a 747 ferrying an engine http://www.airliners.net/photo/635769/M/

Posted by: Scott M at February 4, 2014 4:32 PM