DL is going to be increasing the leases on their 16-ship 747-400 fleet for 5 to 7 years. As the 747-451's were some of the very-first delivered 744's back in 1989, is it possible they will go on to become the longest flying 747's in history??
When NW retired their pax 742's from scheduled passenger service some years ago, they were 28 years old serving from 1979 to 2007. If the DL 747-451 leases are extended until 2017, some of the ships will make 28 and nearly 29 years old. Have there been any other 747's that have flown in scheduled passenger service for longer??
na From Germany, joined Dec 1999, 10058 posts, RR: 11 Reply 3, posted (3 years 8 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 26514 times:
Good news that these birds will be around some time longer. Please note that only 10 of Delta´s/NWAs 744s are in an advanced age, they are 20-22 years old now. The other 6 are much younger, having been built 1999-2002.
While quite common for a Jumbo freighter thirty years service are quite rare for a pax-747 though some have served that long continously. 747-151 N601US was 30 years old when retired by NWA in 2000, as were N623US and N624US when retired last winter. Other example: Transaero has some 742s in its fleet which are 29 years old.
spartanmjf From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 480 posts, RR: 0 Reply 5, posted (3 years 8 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 26483 times:
N749EV - a Boeing 747-132 - originally delivered to Eastern in 1970, flew for PA to 1991, and was carrying cargo for Evergreen well into the 2000's [pics show her in 2007]. She was converted into a flying tanker and is pictured in the a.net database doing a water drop at Frankfurt Hahn in 2009 - not bad for 39 years old.
na From Germany, joined Dec 1999, 10058 posts, RR: 11 Reply 8, posted (3 years 8 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 26332 times:
Quoting OA412 (Reply 1): As I recall, the 741s at both AF and BA went close to, if not above, 30 years old as well.
BA retired its 741s when between 24 and 29 years old, AFs 741s were sold when ca. between 22 and 26 years old.
Quoting Flyinround731 (Reply 2): Iran Air has a 747-100 that's been in service since 1977 or 1979. That's 31 years at the least.
That 741 is from 79. I´ve flown with it, its still in good shape. Iran Air has 4 SPs and two 742s which were built in 1976-79, the oldest, a SP, being an impressive 34 years old now. Almost NWA DC-9 level This SP MUST hold the record as longest-serving 747 in continous pax-service. One of their 742s is also from 1976.
n901wa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 406 posts, RR: 0 Reply 9, posted (3 years 8 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 26314 times:
I think Evergreen's N749EV was a orignal Delta Bird. I think they took that 747-132. 32 being Delta's Boeing cust. nbr. I am glad they are keeping the whales around. Thats what my NWA boss calls them I wish they would order the -8i.
Viscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 23221 posts, RR: 23 Reply 11, posted (3 years 8 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 26136 times:
Quoting Transpac787 (Thread starter): Have there been any other 747's that have flown in scheduled passenger service for longer??
Quoting na (Reply 8): BA retired its 741s when between 24 and 29 years old
Did any BA 741s make it to 29 years? I thought 28 was the maximum if you count from delivery date in 1970 until retirement in 1998. However, in terms of their time in service, their first few 741s were delivered between April and June 1970 but sat idle at LHR for almost a year due to a dispute with their pilots. Their first 741 flight didn't go into service until April 14, 1971. By then they had 6 parked 741s, including 3 more delivered in February 1971.
That dispute gave Pan Am and TWA a major competitive advantage on the important U.S.-LHR routes with a one-year headstart with 747 service while BA was still flying only 707s and VC-10s..
spartanmjf From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 480 posts, RR: 0 Reply 12, posted (3 years 8 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 26107 times:
Delta. Eastern. What the heck - both were in Atlanta, right?
Thanks, n901wa - my error!
N712CK - now in service with Kalitta - began her life in July 1970 with her first flight and delivery to United. There are several -131's [1969 first flights] listed on another site as still serving with the Iranian air force.
seabosdca From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 4729 posts, RR: 4 Reply 14, posted (3 years 8 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 26032 times:
Quoting na (Reply 8): That 741 is from 79. I´ve flown with it, its still in good shape. Iran Air has 4 SPs and two 742s which were built in 1976-79, the oldest, a SP, being an impressive 34 years old now.
You have to hand it to Iran Air. The fact that they keep 747s in good shape (and they really do look pretty good) for 30+ years, despite chronic parts supply issues related to politics, shows they have some of the best maintenance personnel in the world.
For all you DL personnel on here, imagine that you couldn't easily obtain parts for your DC-9s but had to keep them in the same shape they are currently in...
Most gorgeous aircraft: Tu-204-300, 757-200, A330-200, 777-200LR, 787-8
Flighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 7951 posts, RR: 3 Reply 19, posted (3 years 8 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 25520 times:
747s fly a lot of hours, but in terms of cycles they have an easy life. The 744 enjoys pretty efficient fuel burn and a 2 person crew. So economically they are still all right. The limiting factor for Delta might be maintenance of extremely high time 744s. I don't know what that involves, if anything. If they heavy check these planes and put new seats and IFE in them, they should account themselves pretty well until retirement.
Viscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 23221 posts, RR: 23 Reply 21, posted (3 years 8 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 25239 times:
Quoting seabosdca (Reply 7): The Iran Air Force still has some 1970-vintage 741s, and won't be retiring them anytime soon. They will almost certainly hit 50 years.
I think many of those are stored and inactive. It's hard to verify that kind of information.
Quoting davescj (Reply 16): I think Iran Air does have the oldest flying 747.
Several sources say that the GE engine testbed is the oldest 747 currently flying, 40 years old last month. It was the 25th built, delivered as N744PA to Pan Am on March 21, 1970. (It's ironic that GE's testbed has P&W engines.)