It's called a high-flying tribute.
The crew of the Boeing 747-8F, registered November-863-Golf-Tango, deviated from the usual flight plan in its race between Everett and Cincinnati, all in the east of the United States.
Shortly after takeoff, the pilots began to draw, 12,000 meters from the mainland, the three crowned numbers 7, 4 and 7.
", which weighs close to 200,000 kilos, followed the route impeccably, visible from the Flight Radar site, very famous among aeronautics enthusiasts.
The purpose of this flight on February 1 was to deliver the last 747 to leave Boeing's factories, after more than half a century of good and loyal service for airlines around the world.
This type of aircraft, which has four reactors and therefore consumes a lot of kerosene (13,000 liters per hour of flight!), is no longer popular.
Not to mention the setbacks of the American giant with another plane, the Boeing 737-Max, which ended up taking over second place in the world aeronautical industry, behind the European Airbus, firmly clinging to its new place as leader.
"The most beautiful airplane in the world"
The route was studied at length by the Boeing teams before the flight.
The pilots follow a flight plan that has been thoroughly worked out on the ground.
Once in the air, they are followed very closely by the air traffic controllers in their helmets
”, explains a French airline pilot.
The crew was also able to rely on help from the autopilot.
The on-board computer commands the plane to follow a succession of headings over a certain distance, for example ten nautical miles
,” continues the Frenchman trained on Boeing aircraft.
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Is the tribute a feat?
Airbus had done this before.
And we must not forget that during this kind of manoeuvre, the pilots have the sky for them.
Prowess or not, the airline pilot does not hide his emotion.
It is undeniably the most beautiful plane in the world.
There is not a single pilot who does not dream of one day holding the stick of a 747 in his hands.
Unfortunately, it will become more and more complicated
, ”he regrets.
The takeoff of the 1574th and last Boeing-747 was preceded by a ceremony with great pomp in the cradle of Boeing.
In the shelter of an Everett factory hangar, a bolt's throw from the tracks of Paine Field, cohorts of engineers and technicians who wrote the 55-year history of this humpback monster pressed around the ultimate model.
From now on, the brand new 747-8F will fly in the colors of the air freight company Air Atlas and will perpetuate a little more the history of this mythical plane, the eternal
“queen of the skies”