|BCFL02||50th Anniversary of the Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet First Flight||£10.95||Limited Availability|
Issue Date: 09/02/2019
Issue Name: 50th Anniversary of the Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet First Flight
Producer: Buckingham Covers
The Boeing 747 is an American commercial jet airliner and cargo aircraft, often referred to by its original nickname, Jumbo Jet and was the first wide-body airplane produced. This lovely cover celebrates 50 years of the Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet first flight and features a post & Go Machin 50 stamp and a Washington, Co. Durham postmark. It has been doubled with a USA stamp and special cachet.
Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet
Its story started in 1966, when Pan American Airways ordered 23 passenger and two freight jumbo jets for $550 million, and Boeing got to work. In order to build the 747, Boeing built a new facility in Everett, Washington. At 472 million cubic feet of space, it is the largest building in the world. Electrical engineer Malcolm Stamper was tasked with leading a team of over 50,000 people to develop and build the 747, which they did in less than 3 years.
On 9 February 1969, Boeing flew its 747 model for the first time. The jumbo jet, christened the City of Everett, was the first new Boeing transport not painted in traditional prototype colours. Crowds of people gathered at Paine Field in Everett that morning to witness the flight of the largest transport plane in the world. On board were pilot Jack Waddell, co-pilot Brien Wygle, and flight engineer Jess Wallick. As Waddell eased the throttles forward the super-jet accelerated down the runway, its nose lifting. Halfway down the field the giant plane took flight at 164 m.p.h. Accelerating the craft up to 184 m.p.h., Wadell ascended to 2,000 feet, circled the airport and began climbing to 15,500 feet. Once at the test altitude, the three-man crew successfully performed a series of tests, including sideslips and a simulated loss of hydraulic power. The jet made a perfect landing with a speed of 150 m.p.h back at Paine Field. After the flight, Waddell described the craft as “a pilot’s dream.” He noted the responsive movement of the aircraft, which he referred to as a “two-finger” airplane, meaning that it only took a forefinger and thumb around the control wheel to fly it. Throughout the rest of the year the 747 took part in the most rigorous flight testing program in aviation history until it was certified by the FAA on 30 December 1969, ushering in the new era of Jumbo Jets.
The original 747 model had a wing span of 195 feet, 8 inches and a length of 231 feet, 10 inches. With a cruising speed of over 600 m.p.h., the 747 has a service ceiling of 40,000 feet, and a range of about 6000 miles. The plane can carry up to 450 passengers, up to 270,000 pounds of cargo, or a mixture of both, it held the passenger capacity record for 37 years from 1970.
Though the 747 was expected to become obsolete after 400 were sold, it exceeded all expectations and as of July 2018, 1,546 variant aircraft have been built, with 22 of the 747-8 remaining on order, with 462 Boeing 747s still in airline service, British Airways being the largest operator with 36 747-400s. The 747-400, the most common variant in service, has a high-subsonic cruise speed of Mach 0.85–0.855 and different 747 models have been modified to serve as Shuttle Carrier Aircraft for NASA and Air Force One.
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