Almost any jet can do a powerback.
The question is "can a jet SAFELY do a powerback"?
The answer is no for the 747.
Jets with tail mounted engines such as the 727, DC-9, MD-80 series, MD-90 series, 717's can safely do powerbacks.
To do a powerback you increase power a bit, release the breaks, and roll forward a bit, pull back to idle, put on the reverse (reversers won't activate unless you're in idle, at least on modern jets), apply a bit of power and start backing up. Once momentum is established little reverse is required after that, the rest can be done on idle, the tiller is used for steering (duh). No breaking unless you want to see the sky prematurely. Once you're done backing up, bring the engines out of reverse and back to idle.
Increasing power, increases engine RPM, which in turn results in an increase in air being sucked in. If the engines are mounted high up (such as tail mounted engines) there's a small risk of foreign object damage.
Low mounted engines however present a much greater probability of FOD. This by the way can include ramp-workers
. Very dangerous.
Many aircraft with wing-mounted engines such as the 747, use high-bypass turbofans. Turbofans reverse cold-stream only as a rule. Some do not though. (The first DC-10's and L-1011's reversed both hot and cold stream, but they were taken out because they only made up a small percentage of overall braking power). The hot-stream is still in forward thrust so when you start applying power to back up, you're also applying some forward thrust too (some is shooting out the back). An unsuspecting truck passing by and BAM! They're suddenly flying a couple of hundred feet. OUCH!
Most tail-engined aircraft dont' even do powerbacks because of the noise produced. The only reason you would do that is if you had no ground equipment available. Airlines like Northworst for example do powerbacks frequently.
Eastern Airlines as an interesting note did powerbacks with some of their small aircraft up to the 757 in size! AA did the same thing and had FOD problems. I hope they didn't suck in anybody, but they did get their engines fodded up one time to many and they said f**k it! They now do regular pushbacks with 757's, no more. The MD-80's and up to recently their 727's