747: The World’s Airliner

The first jumbo jet has transported the equivalent of 80 percent of the human race.

A gigantic financial gamble at the start, the 747 paid off big for Boeing. Eighty-nine countries have used it to move people and freight (here leaving Anchorage, Alaska) around the globe. (JPC Van Heijst)
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Nandan recalls that when the 747 debuted, flying was still special and the world full of inaccessible places. For more than four decades, the jumbo has given its passengers an experience unrivaled in modern air travel, one in which glamour and adventure came with the ticket.

About Christine Negroni

Christine Negroni is a freelance aviation and travel writer whose work appears in The New York Times, on ABC News and in other publications. She writes the popular blog, Flying Lessons. Her book latest book,The Crash Detectives, published by Penguin, is about Malaysia 370 and other aviation mysteries.

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