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Iemand91
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November 3, 2019. After 48 years; last ever El Al 747 flight

Sun Nov 03, 2019 1:11 am

I'm making another thread about this. (There are some more topics about this subject made in the past)
I've made several extensive posts on this forum before on several other objects but they got deleted right away.
It's very discouraging since making these posts takes a lot of time, so hopefully this one will stay..


In about 9 hours, El Al will fly their very last commercial flight with their Boeing 747.
Flight LY1747 from Rome to Tel Aviv will depart at 10 in the morning, local time. This will end more than 48 years of El Al 747 service.

I encourage people to follow the flight on Flightradar24 because:

This flight path will create a “sky painting” of a Boeing 747 that will be broadcast live throughout the world in cooperation with Flightradar24


El Al became one of the 27 original Boeing 747 customers when they ordered their first 747-200B on January 25, 1968.
Today there are only 5 original launch airlines left flying the 747; including El Al. After today, there will be only 4 left...

El Al ordered the improved 747-200B so they could fly non-stop from Tel Aviv to New York. Their older 707's could fly New York to Tel Aviv non-stop, but Tel Aviv to New York was just to long.
The 747-200B however had the legs to do both flights non-stop.

On May 26, 1971 El Al received their first 747; the 747-200B 4X-AXA. Pictured here at Everett:

Image

El Al put a lot of seats in their 747, right from the start. Including the upper deck instead of lounges and bars other airlines did at the time.

On June 2, 1971 their first 747 landed at Lod Airport (current Ben-Gurion). Here's the inauguration ceremony with prime-minister Golda Meïr:

Image

On board of the El Al 747 in July 1971:

Image


The El Al 747's became famous in 1991. On May 24 and 25 1991; the covert Israeli military operation Solomon transported 14.325 Ethiopian Jews to Israel in 36 hours time.
They used 35 Israeli aircraft including El Al 747's and Israeli Air Force Lockheed C-130 Hercules aircraft.
On of El Al's cargo 747's was fitted with 760 seats but this proved not to be enough. Captain Arie Oz allowed more and more people on board, with people and children sitting in the aisles.
Eventually the 747 was filled with 1088 people including 2 babies born during the flight.
To this day this is still a record for the most people transported on a plane.

Image

As a Dutch person, El Al's 747's are unfortunately mainly known for the Bijlmer Disaster.
On Sunday night, October 4, 1992, an El Al cargo 747 flight 1862 (4X-AXG) crashed into the Groeneveen and Klein-Kruitberg flats in Amsterdam, resulting in the (official) deaths of 43 people, including 4 people on the aircraft.

This picture (one of apparently 4 taken that morning) of 4X-AXG landing at Amsterdam after a flight from New York shows the upright position of engine #3.
It was taken just about 4 hours before the crash.

Image

And now today, after more than 48 years of flying, the 747 era at El Al comes to an end. The sole remaining El Al 747 4X-ELC departed from Tel Aviv to Rome last Friday:

Image

Sam Chui was on board:

Image
Image
Image
https://twitter.com/SamChuiPhotos/statu ... 0756036608

There goes another 747 airline...
Some aviation photo's on my Flickr-page: https://www.flickr.com/photos/iemand91/
 
a320fan
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Re: November 3, 2019. After 48 years; last ever El Al 747 flight

Sun Nov 03, 2019 1:22 am

And another queen gone, won’t feel like long before passenger 747 ops are largely a distant memory.

On another note, it surprises me how generous El Al seems to be with flight deck access in flight. I’ve seen many Instagram stories showing off the flight deck taken at various points during commercial flights in pretty much every wide body type they run from 777, 747s and their newest 787s all from the personal pages of aviation fans.
A319, A320, A321, A330-200, A350-900, A380, 737-700, 737-800, 777-200ER, 777-300, 777-300ER, 787-8, Q300, Q400
 
crownvic
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Re: November 3, 2019. After 48 years; last ever El Al 747 flight

Sun Nov 03, 2019 3:19 am

Glad your post was not deleted! It was a nice brief story of the past 747 operation and it's final flight for EL AL. Thank you.
 
MaksFly
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Re: November 3, 2019. After 48 years; last ever El Al 747 flight

Sun Nov 03, 2019 3:22 am

Very cool post. Thanks. Would certainly hope it does not get shut down.
 
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aemoreira1981
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Re: November 3, 2019. After 48 years; last ever El Al 747 flight

Sun Nov 03, 2019 3:37 am

A while back, I remember seeing a schedule of initial LY B742 operations when the operation started in the summer of 1971 compared to the B707 operations at the time. JFK to TLV was the longest 707 flight in the world at the time, and non-stop JFK to Lod was advertised in the schedules, as well as the fact that this was a 747 flight.

The retirement of the B744 leaves a huge capacity shortfall on the two routes where it's really needed: JFK and BKK. Israel still has 747 operations with 5C (and subsidiary X7), a 4-aircraft strong fleet of 2 B744(ER) freighters, 1 B744 freighter and 1 B744(BCF) freighter, but LY really needs the B78X for capacity to and from JFK and BKK.
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: November 3, 2019. After 48 years; last ever El Al 747 flight

Sun Nov 03, 2019 5:42 am

Never really found it sad when airlines get rid of obsolete aircraft, though it does seem a bit odd to picture LY with no 747s... the two seemed to go hand and oh.

Oh well, on to future progress.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
KosherCoder
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Re: November 3, 2019. After 48 years; last ever El Al 747 flight

Sun Nov 03, 2019 6:27 am

aemoreira1981 wrote:
The retirement of the B744 leaves a huge capacity shortfall...

For sure. DL increased their frequency this year, American is coming from DFW soon, and LY has a net+ capacity to the USA now, but spread out (BOS, MIA, LAS, SFO, MCO, soon ORD, and more). I don't know the numbers, but as a semi-frequent flyer TLV-JFK I see a notable amount of people connecting via B6 or AA, myself often among them. My guess is that the new markets LY is introducing are informed in part by these common connections.
 
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DocLightning
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Re: November 3, 2019. After 48 years; last ever El Al 747 flight

Sun Nov 03, 2019 6:55 am

What a wonderful and comprehensive post, a worthy tribute to a venerable aircraft serving in an iconic role. Thank you for your research that you undoubtedly put into this well-written post.

Long Live the Queen.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
-Carl Sagan
 
LY777
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Re: November 3, 2019. After 48 years; last ever El Al 747 flight

Sun Nov 03, 2019 6:57 am

Very interesting thread, thanks :)
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N14AZ
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Re: November 3, 2019. After 48 years; last ever El Al 747 flight

Sun Nov 03, 2019 10:03 am

Great thread! I am glad it survived the first critical hours after its birth ... ;-)

Somehow I always thought that LY would order some 748i‘s ...

LY777 wrote:
Very interesting thread, thanks :)

You must be very brave to post here in this thread with your username :mad: .... just kidding... ;-)
 
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Iemand91
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Re: November 3, 2019. After 48 years; last ever El Al 747 flight

Sun Nov 03, 2019 10:37 am

Some aviation photo's on my Flickr-page: https://www.flickr.com/photos/iemand91/
 
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aemoreira1981
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Re: November 3, 2019. After 48 years; last ever El Al 747 flight

Sun Nov 03, 2019 12:16 pm

LAX772LR wrote:
Never really found it sad when airlines get rid of obsolete aircraft, though it does seem a bit odd to picture LY with no 747s... the two seemed to go hand and oh.

Oh well, on to future progress.


The problem is: LY still needs the capacity. I don't get why they never ordered B78X frames or end-of-the-line B77Ws.
 
jetwet1
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Re: November 3, 2019. After 48 years; last ever El Al 747 flight

Sun Nov 03, 2019 12:27 pm

It will be strange to have no LY744's, but for me it will be strangest when BA retires it's last 744.
 
zanl188
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Re: November 3, 2019. After 48 years; last ever El Al 747 flight

Sun Nov 03, 2019 1:03 pm

Iemand91 wrote:


Odd that they appear to be doing the plan view vs the very distinctive 747 side profile.
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BA744PHX
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Re: November 3, 2019. After 48 years; last ever El Al 747 flight

Sun Nov 03, 2019 1:16 pm

zanl188 wrote:
Iemand91 wrote:


Odd that they appear to be doing the plan view vs the very distinctive 747 side profile.



I noticed this earlier when they finished the wing, i wonder if they are going for the full plane or just half side
 
LMFNINJA
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Re: November 3, 2019. After 48 years; last ever El Al 747 flight

Sun Nov 03, 2019 1:27 pm

Excellent post. Thank You for sharing the pictures and information with us. Cheers.
 
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JannEejit
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Re: November 3, 2019. After 48 years; last ever El Al 747 flight

Sun Nov 03, 2019 1:35 pm

Going for the full profile by the looks of it...

Image
 
maverick4002
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Re: November 3, 2019. After 48 years; last ever El Al 747 flight

Sun Nov 03, 2019 2:17 pm

Nothing much to contribute except that when I first came to the USA on that rainy Fall day, the El Al 747 (two actually) were the first aircraft I saw at the airport and the first time in real life and I was astounded at the size
 
TheWorm123
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Re: November 3, 2019. After 48 years; last ever El Al 747 flight

Sun Nov 03, 2019 2:20 pm

I can’t imagine how much organisation and coordination it took with ATC’s and local authorities for El-Al to arrange that.

What happens to their old aircraft? I believe that they carry bombproof and some proprietary secret protections?
B752 B753 A332 A321 B738
 
SwissCanuck
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Re: November 3, 2019. After 48 years; last ever El Al 747 flight

Sun Nov 03, 2019 2:23 pm

Pointy end isn't quite right but some of those turns must have been something. Would have loved to be onboard the Queen @#$%ing around at 10K feet. My step-grandfather was onboard a water-tanked-up prototype for certification in Canada in the early 70s doing stability testing. He still talks about that ride!

Thanks for the post OP, great shots and information.
 
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N14AZ
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Re: November 3, 2019. After 48 years; last ever El Al 747 flight

Sun Nov 03, 2019 2:24 pm

JannEejit wrote:
Going for the full profile by the looks of it...

Image

Looks rather like an A340 or a DC-8, the Wing sweep is not correct :duck: :duck: :duck:
 
Karlsands
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Re: November 3, 2019. After 48 years; last ever El Al 747 flight

Sun Nov 03, 2019 2:26 pm

Sam Chui sure gets around !
 
SwissCanuck
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Re: November 3, 2019. After 48 years; last ever El Al 747 flight

Sun Nov 03, 2019 2:27 pm

TheWorm123 wrote:
I can’t imagine how much organisation and coordination it took with ATC’s and local authorities for El-Al to arrange that.



I only have charts for CH airspace so can't be sure but it's possible that's a defined "practise area" or similar unrestricted airspace especially given its over water at 10k feet. Go VFR, announce your intentions like a ride in a 172 on a Sunday afternoon, and have fun. :)
 
georgiaame
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Re: November 3, 2019. After 48 years; last ever El Al 747 flight

Sun Nov 03, 2019 2:34 pm

I can't begin to imagine how many lives were changed forever by that airline! I know mine was. I never got to fly on an ElAl 747, my parents did. In 1969, my first international flight, was on an ElAl 707. Non stop New York to Tel Aviv. Never understood until this posting why my return stopped in Paris Orly before continuing on. It is an amazing airline, even if the moniker was Every Landing Always Late. Todah rahbah, ElAl!
"Trust, but verify!" An old Russian proverb, quoted often by a modern American hero
 
Ziyulu
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Re: November 3, 2019. After 48 years; last ever El Al 747 flight

Sun Nov 03, 2019 2:51 pm

Is that 2-4-2 seating in economy?
 
SwissCanuck
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Re: November 3, 2019. After 48 years; last ever El Al 747 flight

Sun Nov 03, 2019 2:56 pm

Ziyulu wrote:
Is that 2-4-2 seating in economy?


2-4-3.

You can clearly see 3 heads in at least one row. This was the standard 74 config at launch (and for some time after).
 
flybaby
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Re: November 3, 2019. After 48 years; last ever El Al 747 flight

Sun Nov 03, 2019 3:12 pm

Here it is...

About the size of Cyprus :D

55D35F1C-95D5-4389-9A8C-1DDED9C1241F.jpeg
 
MadameConcorde
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Re: November 3, 2019. After 48 years; last ever El Al 747 flight

Sun Nov 03, 2019 3:21 pm

ELC just landed.
I remember flying on ELAL 747-200s. I was on many flights to JFK.
All before 9/11.
The old days of aviation were the best. Now is a different story. All uptight and no fun.
Thank you EL AL Jumbos for all the years of service and goodbye.
There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
 
MadameConcorde
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Re: November 3, 2019. After 48 years; last ever El Al 747 flight

Sun Nov 03, 2019 3:23 pm

There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
 
na
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Re: November 3, 2019. After 48 years; last ever El Al 747 flight

Sun Nov 03, 2019 3:38 pm

jetwet1 wrote:
It will be strange to have no LY744's, but for me it will be strangest when BA retires it's last 744.


Not to speak of LH, the longest-standing 747-operator! Currently it looks like as if the 777-9-delays will prolong the life of some of their 744s.
BA though will still be the last major airline to retire the 744 in the mid 2020s.
 
bluefrog
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Re: November 3, 2019. After 48 years; last ever El Al 747 flight

Sun Nov 03, 2019 3:46 pm

looks more like a A380 EL AL sorry but the queen needs to be done side on ,but a great way to end its last flight unlike many last flights great thread as well thank you
 
9w748capt
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Re: November 3, 2019. After 48 years; last ever El Al 747 flight

Sun Nov 03, 2019 4:02 pm

Just curious why did so many of you think this thread would get deleted? I agree, I'm also impressed it's lasted this long. But just curious why it's that way. I have my theories but I'll just get banned again.

And thank you OP for the interesting and informative post! Very much enjoyed it. Love live the 747!
 
steveinbc
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Re: November 3, 2019. After 48 years; last ever El Al 747 flight

Sun Nov 03, 2019 4:11 pm

I fondly remember going "up top" on El Al's 747s between Heathrow and Ben Gurion. Great service and food. I would try to avoid the triple sevens in favour of the Queen of the skies.
Thanks for the great post
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MadameConcorde
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Re: November 3, 2019. After 48 years; last ever El Al 747 flight

Sun Nov 03, 2019 5:05 pm

na wrote:
jetwet1 wrote:
It will be strange to have no LY744's, but for me it will be strangest when BA retires it's last 744.


Not to speak of LH, the longest-standing 747-operator! Currently it looks like as if the 777-9-delays will prolong the life of some of their 744s.
BA though will still be the last major airline to retire the 744 in the mid 2020s.


Lufthansa will have their B747-8i flying for quite a bit of time.

What makes you think BA will be retiring their 744s later than Lufthansa?

ELAL still has 747F in the skies. Not sure how much longer. It isn't quite the end yet.
There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
 
Yoav
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Re: November 3, 2019. After 48 years; last ever El Al 747 flight

Sun Nov 03, 2019 5:26 pm

I made my first El-Al 747-200 flight back in 2005, to Bangkok. Today I was on board this plane, in an amazing flight, and it was so much fun. The drawing, 1.5 hours flight on 10,000 feet and those sharp turns.. so much fun!
Thank you El-Al for organizing this unique flight (which actually started on Friday with the onwards flight), and so much thanks to this legendary aircraft. It'll be so weird to imagine El-Al without the queen.
 
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TheZ
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Re: November 3, 2019. After 48 years; last ever El Al 747 flight

Sun Nov 03, 2019 5:29 pm

Thanks for sharing! Long live the 747!
If you have to say "pun intended," it's not a good enough pun.
 
na
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Re: November 3, 2019. After 48 years; last ever El Al 747 flight

Sun Nov 03, 2019 6:18 pm

MadameConcorde wrote:
Lufthansa will have their B747-8i flying for quite a bit of time.

What makes you think BA will be retiring their 744s later than Lufthansa?

ELAL still has 747F in the skies. Not sure how much longer. It isn't quite the end yet.


I was only speaking about the 744. According to my knowledge BA plans to retire the last frames in 2025, LH by 2023. Of course its still time to change schedules. El Als single 744F was returned to lessors in July this year.
 
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aemoreira1981
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Re: November 3, 2019. After 48 years; last ever El Al 747 flight

Sun Nov 03, 2019 6:25 pm

a320fan wrote:
And another queen gone, won’t feel like long before passenger 747 ops are largely a distant memory.

On another note, it surprises me how generous El Al seems to be with flight deck access in flight. I’ve seen many Instagram stories showing off the flight deck taken at various points during commercial flights in pretty much every wide body type they run from 777, 747s and their newest 787s all from the personal pages of aviation fans.


Just a guess, but with how they screen everyone before going on the flight (in addition to country screening), the idea is that it's so secure there that there's nothing to fear at that point. El Al has not lost a revenue passenger on their aircraft since 1955.

MadameConcorde wrote:
na wrote:
jetwet1 wrote:
It will be strange to have no LY744's, but for me it will be strangest when BA retires it's last 744.


Not to speak of LH, the longest-standing 747-operator! Currently it looks like as if the 777-9-delays will prolong the life of some of their 744s.
BA though will still be the last major airline to retire the 744 in the mid 2020s.


Lufthansa will have their B747-8i flying for quite a bit of time.

What makes you think BA will be retiring their 744s later than Lufthansa?

ELAL still has 747F in the skies. Not sure how much longer. It isn't quite the end yet.


4X-ELF (the cargo frame) was retired earlier this year. Today ended El Al 747 operations forever.

TheWorm123 wrote:
I can’t imagine how much organisation and coordination it took with ATC’s and local authorities for El-Al to arrange that.

What happens to their old aircraft? I believe that they carry bombproof and some proprietary secret protections?


Owned wide-body frames tend to be scrapped at TLV. The narrow-body frames usually are ferried to MZJ, GYR, or VCV for scrapping.
 
TheWorm123
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Re: November 3, 2019. After 48 years; last ever El Al 747 flight

Sun Nov 03, 2019 6:47 pm

SwissCanuck wrote:
TheWorm123 wrote:
I can’t imagine how much organisation and coordination it took with ATC’s and local authorities for El-Al to arrange that.



I only have charts for CH airspace so can't be sure but it's possible that's a defined "practise area" or similar unrestricted airspace especially given its over water at 10k feet. Go VFR, announce your intentions like a ride in a 172 on a Sunday afternoon, and have fun. :)


I didn’t know that thank you, I’m guessing the pilots had a lot of fun making sure that they changed their heading at the precise time!
B752 B753 A332 A321 B738
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: November 3, 2019. After 48 years; last ever El Al 747 flight

Sun Nov 03, 2019 7:37 pm

aemoreira1981 wrote:
The problem is: LY still needs the capacity.

Sure, though I'd argue that they need more capacity on the lower end of gauge, not 747-size.


Karlsands wrote:
Sam Chui sure gets around !

Well, when your family's wealthy and you don't have to work.....
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
OmerMaz
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Re: November 3, 2019. After 48 years; last ever El Al 747 flight

Sun Nov 03, 2019 8:31 pm

And so October 12th was actualy the last time I saw LY's 747 roar...It's quite shocking and sadeninng to see them go, but it's a neccessary change.

I never had the chance to fly on the queen with LY, but I do hope to get a chance elsewhere.

Thank you, great almighty queen of the skies!
 
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Iemand91
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Re: November 3, 2019. After 48 years; last ever El Al 747 flight

Mon Nov 04, 2019 12:03 am

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Some aviation photo's on my Flickr-page: https://www.flickr.com/photos/iemand91/
 
mirrodie
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Re: November 3, 2019. After 48 years; last ever El Al 747 flight

Mon Nov 04, 2019 12:17 am

nice pics! Look like they all had a ball! Really one o fate best color schemes out there on the 747
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Cadet985
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Re: November 3, 2019. After 48 years; last ever El Al 747 flight

Mon Nov 04, 2019 5:10 am

I’m hoping that one of these ends up in a museum due to Operation Solomon.

That said, when I flew LY, it felt like a step back in time on the 744’s, and not in a good way. The seats weren’t particularly comfortable, and for planes that routinely flew 8-10+ hour flights, the IFE was abysmal. They didn’t modernize them like other airlines in terms of onboard comfort. Case and point...when I would fly LY, the IFE was generally of low quality and VERY limited selection. When a flew a DL 744, the interior was very modern, and there was so much to watch on IFE, that I actually didn’t find time to sleep!

I’m hoping LY improves their product.

Shalom, 747.

Marc
 
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millionsofmiles
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Re: November 3, 2019. After 48 years; last ever El Al 747 flight

Mon Nov 04, 2019 7:54 am

Even though LY opted for a higher density interior than other 747 launch operators (no lounges), they still offered a very comfortable 3-4-2 configuration for years. LY’s -200s were known for their bright sidewall panels which some believe looked like the sun rising over a landscape. I remember it being quite striking. I can still remember seeing 2 LY 747s sitting parked out on the tarmac far away from JFK’s IAB, awaiting their usual nighttime departures, and closely guarded at all times.
 
blink182
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Re: November 3, 2019. After 48 years; last ever El Al 747 flight

Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:48 pm

millionsofmiles wrote:
Even though LY opted for a higher density interior than other 747 launch operators (no lounges), they still offered a very comfortable 3-4-2 configuration for years. LY’s -200s were known for their bright sidewall panels which some believe looked like the sun rising over a landscape. I remember it being quite striking. I can still remember seeing 2 LY 747s sitting parked out on the tarmac far away from JFK’s IAB, awaiting their usual nighttime departures, and closely guarded at all times.


I have a soft spot for the LY744 as it was the first 747 I ever flew on. Second one was an LY 742, and I distinctly remember those side panels even as a youngster. The C class cabin on the -200, if I’m not mistaken, had purple seats whereas the -400 were delivered with a light blue C, and presumably were refitted in the late 90s-early 00s with the lie flats that served until the end.
Give me a break, I created this username when I was a kid...
 
goosebayguy
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ELAL retires 747

Mon Nov 04, 2019 7:42 pm

 
avi
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Re: November 3, 2019. After 48 years; last ever El Al 747 flight

Sat Nov 09, 2019 3:49 pm

MadameConcorde wrote:
ELAL still has 747F in the skies. Not sure how much longer. It isn't quite the end yet.


As said, El Al retired its freighter (4X-ELF) too but you may still see a B747-F with El Al flight number however it is a code share with CAL. It is CAL aircrafts and crews.
For El Al it is all over.

I was happy that even I was at work, I succeeded to see its last few seconds in the sky.

P.S. My signature is a little bit ironic or disregard reality.
Long live the B747

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Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos