Queen of the Skies
In July British Airways announced that they would immediately retire its entire Boeing 747-400 fleet of 30 aircraft due to the disruption in the aviation industry as a result of the coronavirus.
The first flight of a 747 took place on February 9, 1969. The 747 was certified in December of that year and it entered service with Pan Am on January 22, 1970. It soon assumed the appellation of “Jumbo Jet”. BOAC was an early adopter of the “jumbo jet” philosophy – placing an initial order for 12 aircraft (plus four options) in August 1966, just months after Boeing had launched the 747.
On 22 April 1970 BOAC received its first 747, but the aircraft did not enter commercial service until 14 April 1971. BOAC and BA ultimately operated 110 747s across an era that spanned five decades as there have been many variants of the 747. In total 1558 747’s have been produced between 1969 and 2020.
Harold Wilson was in his second term of Prime Minister when BOAC received their first 747 and the top selling car in the UK was the Austin Morris 1100/1300, with the Ford Cortina a close second.