Friday, 21 December 2012

And first... the first! 747, that is.

The first ever 747, taking off on its first ever flight, Feb 9th 1969. Photographer unknown
I've got a thing about the Boeing 747, and I'm not completely sure why. It was the first aeroplane I ever flew on, but I don't remember being all that impressed at the time (although my 10 year-old self was amazed by how the wings flexed in turbulence). It's also the plane that takes me back home to England from my adopted city, Seattle WA, on a flight path that goes directly over my apartment, so I see it at pretty close quarters pretty frequently.

But I think the reason I like it so much is just that unlike all other really really large planes, it's a great-looking aircraft. The 747 has been in production for more than 40 years, and every major variant (with the arguable exception of the short and fat SP) looks equally elegant.

But for my money, the first was the best-looking. This is the very first 747, factory fresh, pictured (I'm pretty sure) moments after its very first takeoff from Boeing Field, Seattle on February 9th, 1969. I don't know that this is the first flight with certainty, but the people in the foreground (and buses in the background) match up with published images of the inaugural flight.

I found this print with several others in a junk shop north of Seattle. I'll be adding the rest to this blog soon.

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