On Tuesday Boeing announced that Atlas Air placed an order for four 747-8F aircraft. These will be the last four Queens of the Skies to be made. The last one will come out of the production line in Everett in 2022.
We have covered the fascinating history of the Boeing 747 many times. Originally seen as a stop-gap, the 747’s designers made sure it could operate well as a freighter. This was because they (and everyone else) expected supersonic designs to overtake then-current airliners. That’s why the plane has its cockpit positioned so high – and why it has its signature hump, of course. That door is why the 747 is so valuable to users like Atlas Air.
Boeing had already announced that they would stop producing the iconic aircraft in 2022. However, we didn’t know who its last buyer would be. This mystery went away with this latest announcement. And Atlas Air is perhaps ideal as the last buyer of the 747, because they have sort of… grown into them.