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What Was You First Impression Of The 747  
User currently offline747400sp From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3662 posts, RR: 2
Posted (11 years 2 months 1 day ago) and read 5030 times:

The Boeing 747 is the biggest and most unique airliner ever built. During Vietnam War farther came home on one of the first 747's ever built, you see Pan Am use 747's as military transport before they put them in services. He told me when he first saw the 747 it was of the scariest thing he ever saw because the 707 was the biggest plane he flew on so far and he was going to fly on a plane three times the 707 size. For me I thought it was a funny looking plane, later I thought it was beautiful. What did you think of the 747 when you first saw it.

25 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
User currently offlineStretch 8 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 2568 posts, RR: 16
Reply 1, posted (11 years 2 months 1 day ago) and read 5010 times:

Here is my recollection of my first 747 experience: The circa is December, 1970. I am ten years old. We are heading to Miami from Detroit for Christmas, and as a surprise for me, my Dad has booked us on the brand-new Delta 747.

I thought the plane was huge, of course. I could not get over the two aisles, and the seperate sections filed with seats. We were seated aft, and it amazed me to look to the front as the huge thing lifted off the tarmac. At both DTW and MIA, jumbo jetways had not yet been installed, so we had to use jet stairs in both locations. That gave me an even better impression of the immense size of the bird. A great memory.

Maggs swings, it's a drive deep to left! The Tigers are going to the World Series!!!
User currently offlineCitationJet From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 2444 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (11 years 2 months 1 day ago) and read 5003 times:

My first experience was seeing Braniff's N601BN for the first time in about 1971. Inside, it was just amazing at the size; both the width and length.
The size of the engine inlets were another thing I remember.
Eventually I was able to fly on it on a couple of ferry flights, where there were no flight attendants, pilots were not in uniform, and only about 30 people on board. On one of those flights I even got to sit in the co-pilots seat IN FLIGHT.
I have eventually flown in the 747-100, -200, -300, SP, and Combi.
I have also seen the Shuttle Carrier 747 with the Space Shuttle Enterprise on the back at the Paris Air Show in the early '80s.

Boeing Flown: 701,702,703;717;720;721,722;731,732,733,734,735,737,738,739;741,742,743,744,747SP;752,753;762,763;772,773.
User currently offlineNtspelich From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 764 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (11 years 2 months 1 day ago) and read 4989 times:

The 747 is the whole reason that I love aviation so much. I remember driving by ORD once as a kid, going to the IceCapades or something like that at the Rosemont Horizon across the highway, and seeing a 747 coming in right over us. Ever since then, it's been "my thing."


United 717 heavy, you're facing the wrong way. Any chance you can powerback to get off of my deice pad?
User currently offlineOlympus69 From Canada, joined Jun 2002, 1737 posts, RR: 7
Reply 4, posted (11 years 2 months 1 day ago) and read 4992 times:

My first sight of, and first flight in a 747 was on April 23rd, 1970, from JFK to LHR. The plane was Pan Am's 'Clipper Victor' - N736PA, which, sadly, was destroyed in a collision with a KLM plane at Tenerife, 7 years later.
I was awed by the size of the plane when I got on board, and the other passengers were 'oohing' and 'aahing' as well. This was the first flight in a 747 for nearly all of us. The huge Boeing had only been in service for 2 months.

User currently offlineSkyhawk From United States of America, joined May 2001, 1066 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (11 years 2 months 23 hours ago) and read 4964 times:

The first time I saw a 747 take off was in Miami, my roommate and I were sitting in a restaurant on 36th street in Miami(that goes right by the airport). Right about then the National 747 was taking off on its' way to LHR. We were both stunned, especially as we had just had our initial interview for National. All either of could say was, "WOW"!

User currently offlineAvObserver From United States of America, joined Apr 2002, 2472 posts, RR: 9
Reply 6, posted (11 years 2 months 23 hours ago) and read 4962 times:

I first saw one in person at Newark in April, 1972 (though I'd followed its' test flights and subsequent initial service in Aviation Week for 3 years prior). My reaction: DAMN, that's BIG! I wonder if we'll all be as awed at out first glimpse of the A380. Bigger though it is, it's not the quantum leap in size going from the 707 to the 747 was, not by a long shot.

User currently offlineZK-NBT From New Zealand, joined Oct 2000, 5351 posts, RR: 11
Reply 7, posted (11 years 2 months 23 hours ago) and read 4947 times:

I rememeber as a 4 year old sitting in the departure lounge at Auckland as some rediculous time of the night 0130ish and seeing this huge thing head on which I was about to board for my first flight ever (Continental 747-200) that was September 1987 some 16 years ago, and here I am today nearly 21 and have a love for aviation and flying, nothing in Aviation compares to the MIGHTY 747!

Only flown on 1 since then and that was an NZ 747-400 in 1999, I will be flying a QF 747-300 in October though which I am so looking foward to!

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User currently offlineTNboy From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 1131 posts, RR: 19
Reply 8, posted (11 years 2 months 23 hours ago) and read 4907 times:

It was on PanAm in early 1970 LHR-JFK. It just looked so big and powerful - MUCH too big to actually fly! Inside, it was just enormous, of course, and I remember taking lots of photos. My first thought was that I would never be able to find my seat! I am still overawed every time I get on board a 747!

"...every aircraft is subtly different.."
User currently offlineCaribb From Canada, joined Nov 1999, 1639 posts, RR: 8
Reply 9, posted (11 years 2 months 22 hours ago) and read 4899 times:

I saw my first 747 flying over my house in the early 70s.. It was Air France's inagural 747-100 flight into Montreal. Caught me totally by surprise and I remember as a kid running and pointing to it with my friends as it flew over.. quite a beautiful site.

User currently offlineAmericanF100 From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 243 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (11 years 2 months 22 hours ago) and read 4883 times:

first was a NWA 747, not sure which type, probably a -200... not sure what age i was... huge is all i could think

User currently offlineIMissPiedmont From United States of America, joined May 2001, 6305 posts, RR: 33
Reply 11, posted (11 years 2 months 20 hours ago) and read 4845 times:

"you see Pan Am use 747's as military transport before they put them in services."

Ummm. sorry. not accurate. The 747 was in scheduled passenger service for quite a few months before starting military charters to SGN.

The first 747 I saw was a CO bird in LAX in 1972 and my thought was this, "how the hell can that thing get off the ground?" And as it was twice the size of a 707-300 and 40% percent bigger than a DC-8-61/-63, I was amazed to see it could, in fact, leave the ground.

Damn, this website is getting worse daily.
User currently offlineVimanav From India, joined Jul 2003, 1516 posts, RR: 14
Reply 12, posted (11 years 2 months 19 hours ago) and read 4825 times:

My first meeting with the Great Bird was on a very special date too:


I was 8 and AI operated an ISKON charter into Calcutta. It was also the first ever 747 arrival in CCU. I recall it was very early in the morning about 2AM or so when my Dad (who had promised to take me to see the B747) took me to the airport. As an airport staffer, in those days it was not a problem to take me into the aircraft and to visit the flight deck.

It was just amazing... it seemed as though half of Calcutta was there at the airport to greet the 747. HUGE ! the only word I can use to aptly describe what I felt when I saw the B742 for the first time.


Sarfaroshi kii tamannaa ab hamaare dil mein hai, Dekhnaa hai zor kitnaa baazu-e-qaatil mein hai
User currently offline747400sp From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3662 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (11 years 2 months 19 hours ago) and read 4815 times:

May be he came back after 1970 all I know is my father said he came back from Vietnam on one of the first 747.

User currently offlineAvioGuy From India, joined Jan 2001, 99 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (11 years 2 months 19 hours ago) and read 4811 times:

My first flight on B747 was on Ansett from HK to MEL....... i think i dropped my jaw.:D

the scale of my sanity is not linear..
User currently offlineIMissPiedmont From United States of America, joined May 2001, 6305 posts, RR: 33
Reply 15, posted (11 years 2 months 19 hours ago) and read 4813 times:

747400SP. I have no reason at all to suspect your fathers flight on one of the early 747s. In fact, I supect it is true.

Many US servicemen returned to the US aboard PA 747s in the 1972-1975 period.

If your dad served in Vietnam, and again I have no reason to doubt this, he is one of the American heroes. May God bless him for his sacrifice.

Probably too deep for most here, but, I hope your dad will understand.

Best to all, Steve.

Personal pain begins now. Goodnight.

Damn, this website is getting worse daily.
User currently offlineJMChladek From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 331 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (11 years 2 months 18 hours ago) and read 4789 times:

Indeed, checking Pan Am's records, 747s went to Saigon as Pan Am flight PA841, via Hawaii, Guam, Manila and then Saigon. After 1975 when Saigon fell, PA841 terminated in Manila, although on some days they flew an alternate route with the final two destinations (after Guam) being Okinawa and Taiwan. I'm not sure exactly when they started this service though. Last commercial flights out of Saigon in 1975 were 747s, two being used to ferry orphans after the C-5 crash and the last one being used for the ferrying of Pan Am's Vietnamese employees and their immediate families. This information I got from panam.org.

First time I saw a 747 in person was in 1977 (a young lad of 6 years old) on a Braniff 727 flight that landed in DFW. One of Braniff's Pumpkin 747s was sitting out away from the terminal building near the runway, acting like a giant billboard. Considering this was my first ride (in memory anyway) on a 727, It was a fun experience but the big 747 just dwarfed our little plane. I was amazed how large it was.

Later in early 1978, my dad was assigned 18 month TDY duty in Okinawa, Japan. So our family moved there. The pacific leg was PA841 and it originated in San Francisco with a 2100 PDT departure time onboard a Pan Am 747 (probably a 100 model, although I can't be sure). So at night, I see this large behemoth sitting next to the terminal building, looking much like pictures of what Clipper Young America did at JFK on that inaugural flight to LHR. Getting on the plane, I was amazed at the number of seats on it. We sat pretty close to the back of the airplane and it seemed like walking through several large classrooms. The takeoff and climbout were smooth as we winged our way to Hawaii. Being over water, I couldn't see anything out of my windowseat, but the tail cones on the P&W JT9D engines gave off a faint red glow in the pitch black night. It was quite a sight.

The night was long, naturally because we were chasing the sun on the otherside of the world. It was so long that they served a meal on the plane before breakfast (but it wasn't dinner either). Dawn didn't appear until shortly after we landed in Guam and at that point I got to see how big the plane was when we got out to stretch our legs. Guam didn't use a jetway, so we got off with airstairs, just like it used to be done so long ago. The Clipper was a beautiful sight, silhouetted against the pre-dawn sky. The rest of the trip was pretty uneventful in the daytime, with breakfast being served before touchdown at Naha airport in Okinawa. I also got one of those cool kids packs with games and a set of Pan Am toy wings. They don't do things like that anymore. At one point I also walked as far forward as I could go, only being stopped by the big black curtain that separated first class from the rest of the plane. Maybe I should have pressed ahead so I could see the first class lounge.  Smile

The trip back brought the only anxiety I ever felt on a 747. It was a Northwest Orient flight as Pan Am dropped that route from their schedule in 1979. We were delayed in our departure by a day as the plane developed engine trouble in Taiwan. So my passport from back then has a VOID stamp over its first exit entry and a new stamp from the next day. The plane was still late and you wouldn't believe the cheer go up from grown servicemen as the plane touched down in Naha. We eventually did takeoff. When we landed in Osaka, we stayed on the plane for about two hours and it was a bit odd as mechanics were servicing all FOUR engines on the plane. I read later how troublesome those early JT9D powerplants were and I can believe it after remembering that little exercise. The rest of the flight was uneventful though and we made it back safe. But I remember both flights so vividly as to this day, they have been my only flights on 747s.

So, despite engine trouble on the early planes, I have fond memories of the 747.

User currently offlineTango-Bravo From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 3806 posts, RR: 29
Reply 17, posted (11 years 2 months 6 hours ago) and read 4742 times:

When boarding a 747 (Iberia) for the first time, it was by stairs rather than jetway. My first and most lasting impression when boarding through the forward door is that the fuselage seemed to go on forever. To use hyperbole, the tail was so far away that it seemed to be almost beyond visual range.

User currently offlineDispatch From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (11 years 2 months 6 hours ago) and read 4729 times:

The first thing I noticed boarding my first 747 was the stairs going UP! (of course I did not go there  Smile )
Also remember disembarking a 747 via some very wobbly stairs (no jetway), it was a VERY long way down.......


User currently offlineMeister808 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 973 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (11 years 2 months 4 hours ago) and read 4681 times:

Actually, for me, the first close-up impression of the 747 was a bad one. I had always had awe for the big plane until I boaded one (AF's 742 F-GPVX) for a flight CVG-CDG. The whole aircraft seemed a bit dirty... of course, the a/c vents were blowing water because of the humid June air outside. Then we had a 3-hour gate delay because of some electronical problem on the flight deck. Once we were in the air everything went alright, but I just got a bad taste in my mouth for the plane.

I did get the safety card, though.

Twin Cessna 812 Victor, Minneapolis Center, we observe your operation in the immediate vicinity of extreme precipitation
User currently offlineFutureualpilot From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2605 posts, RR: 8
Reply 20, posted (11 years 2 months 4 hours ago) and read 4649 times:

It was a NW 744, and I was about 5 years old. I saw it tgaxying for takeoff from MSP, and I remember then, thinking how big it was, and now, I realize how graceful they are when they rotate and climb out. Every time I see one or fly on them, I am amazed at their beauty and grace.

Life is better when you surf.
User currently offlineACEregular From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2003, 676 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (11 years 2 months 3 hours ago) and read 4622 times:

The 747 has always been a very special aircraft, even so I cannot remember the first time I saw one in the flesh so to speak, but I had always wondered what it must be like to be in one when it took off, because while sitting in my Ramada hotel room at Heathrow in 1994 they seemed to crawl into the air.

My chance to find out wasn't until last November when I flew BA from LHR-JFK. Walking down the jetway at LHR and seeing the over large door gave you an idea of it already, but onboard, walking through a relatively large galley area and past the stairs its seemed so unique. My seat was in World Traveller but the area the seat was in did not give you an indication of the size of the cabin as it was at the front of 5 rows of Y class seating, with a partition at the front into Traveller Plus which is slightly better. I was expecting to see this huge cabin, but I didn't until I flew back home 5 days later and was allocted row 41 in the big Y class cabin at the back and that was something the plane is in a class of it's own.

User currently offlineShankly From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2000, 1545 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (11 years 2 months 3 hours ago) and read 4613 times:

28th June 1978, G-AWNK, BA 747-100 London Heathrow to Bermuda.

Funnily enough I can remember being really disppointed it wasn't a VC-10 (!), but this first flight in a 747 as a 13 year old, still remains with me, particularly visiting the cockpit and deplanning in Bermuda down steps with the giant 747 towering over us.

In following years enyoyed rides in various series 74's of BA, Virgin, Pan Am, Continental, SIA, Cathay and MAS.

This year also took my 1st ride in the "lump" of a BA 744 to Hong Kong, which I have been lucky enough to repeat last week on a flight from NY and will also enjoy on my way to Singapore with SIA in December.

The 747 installs enormous confidence in me and I have to say, that despite the 777 being a wonderful aircraft, i'm always slightly happier when my flight will be aboard the giant Boeing.

L1011 - P F M
User currently offlineACEregular From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2003, 676 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (11 years 2 months 3 hours ago) and read 4607 times:

I am with you Shankly. When browsing the internet for fares to JFK I was very aware that I wanted a 747 as a 777 only has 2 engines somehow - stupidly I know I wanted an extra two for the leap across the pond. The 747 does give you confidence.

User currently offlineRuscoe From Australia, joined Aug 1999, 1576 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (11 years 2 months 3 hours ago) and read 4590 times:

big, comfortable, quiet


User currently offlineRayChuang From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 8018 posts, RR: 5
Reply 25, posted (11 years 2 months 1 hour ago) and read 4575 times:

My first experience with a 747 was on a Pan Am flight (HKG to SFO via TYO in 1970). I remember the plane was MUCH bigger than the airliners I've flown before, and it had big overhead storage bins and quite comfortable seating.

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