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The 747 Experience

Wed Jan 07, 2004 10:28 am

Yeah, it's safe to say that I have been suffering a serious case of 747 withdrawls recently...even though I have never flown on, let alone been on, a 47 before. When that Virgin 744 came to town on the 3rd, I made it a goal of mine to get on the plane. I got some Beignet mix and other local goodies for the Virgin flight crew, in the hope that if I butter them up enough (sucking up is a good term also), that I could get on the aircraft. I had a whole roll of film ready to go. Just the thought of walking through the cabin of the mighty 47 brought a huge smile across my face. But it was not meant to be. Even though I was invited on board, I did not have time to because our flight was late. The first day in maybe two months where it was late arriving from DEN, and it had to be on that particular day. Someone up there doesn't like me!

The 747 is the only Boeing jetliner (ex the 707) that I have not been on. I have always had a fondness of the plane. Maybe it's just the sheer size of it...the powerful yet graceful look...I do not know. I think part of it has to do to my lifelong love affair with Pan Am, as they were the first carrier to fly the type. In any case, all my previous attempts to get on a 747 have failed, most recently back in 1998 when I flew to FRA. We were booked on an LH 744 from IAD, but our reservations were changed at the last minute to a United 777 flight...never quite sure why that happened, but it did. Very odd.

Perhaps a flight on a 747 is not all it's cracked up to be, but I tell ya, I can't wait to experience one. Watching that Virgin 744 rocket off of runway 10 from the ramp, all I could do was just shake my head. Once again, so very close, but no cigar.

Steve/New Orleans

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RE: The 747 Experience

Wed Jan 07, 2004 10:41 am

I recently flew on one of Virgin's 744 from LOS-LHR this past Friday. The particular aircraft was "Tinker Belle" and I was seated one row from the rear of the aircraft which gave me a very good view of the contrails created from the engines. Half of the flight was EXTREMELY turbulent, but all in all I will always appreciate flying on a 744 since 777's seem to be the norm on long haul flights.
Admit it, you could care less about the continent Africa!
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RE: The 747 Experience

Wed Jan 07, 2004 10:45 am

I love flying the 777s nowdays, but Ill always love flying a 747 just that much more. That a/c has somehwta of a magical effect (at least on me) that makes the flight a little bit better than any other.
Life is better when you surf.
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RE: The 747 Experience

Wed Jan 07, 2004 10:46 am

My mistake. It was Lady Penelope that I flew on.
Admit it, you could care less about the continent Africa!
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RE: The 747 Experience

Wed Jan 07, 2004 10:52 am

I flew four4 legs on CX in late '02 to LHR return from SYD with the first leg to Hong Kong on the A330. We really noticed the difference when we changed to the 744 and thoroughly enjoyed the 747 experience. The noisy and rough A330 just accentuated the experience of the magical 747.
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RE: The 747 Experience

Wed Jan 07, 2004 11:25 am


Spent most of my flights on 747's, 250+. Indeed you sound like you need to fly on one. They are different from anything else, and when they are fully laden have a little vibration on rotation (Mumbai and Singapore most noticiable). When light, it's like a pocket rocket, flew QF 744 LHR-MAN a few times and SIN-KUL, they soon get up.

Spoil yourself one day, but try to do it in style on SQ or CX.
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RE: The 747 Experience

Wed Jan 07, 2004 11:55 am

I love 747s. Until the A380, there's nothing in the skies like it, and I usually go out of my way to pick a 744 flight, usually on QF or SQ. There's such a solid feeling when a 74 is taking off heavy. Plus, they are still the most spacious plane in the skies today. You really get an appreciatation of how big the plane is when you sit at the back of economy and glance down the aisle all the way to the's a huge MF!
I hate airbuses. They are tinny and just DON'T have the same solid, well built feel about them compared to Boeings...will prob cop flak for that last comment, but stuff's the truth. Will reserve judgement on the A380 until I fly on one, and seeing as both QF and SQ have ordered heaps. we're very lucky.

love live the 744.

Long Haul is the only way to go
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RE: The 747 Experience

Wed Jan 07, 2004 6:28 pm

My first 747 flight was in September, UA route ORD-SFO. When I booked the flight it was a 767, but the plane that showed up at the gate was a 744. Thanks to the equipment upgrade, my row ended up being in "Economy Plus," so I got a slight seat upgrade for free.  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

The thing that amazed me about the 744 was that it felt like we were barely crawling down the runway during our takeoff roll. I was thinking "Man, we really need to pick up our speed" and then the plane lifted into the air! Took me by surprise. Everyone else is dead-on when they talk about how "solid" the plane feels. The engines were a lot quieter on the inside than I expected. The flight was packed, though, and nearly 400 people can make any craft a little crowded feeling.

The 744 will never replace the 772 in my list of favorites, but it was an enjoyable (if short) flight.
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RE: The 747 Experience

Thu Jan 08, 2004 5:17 am

Living in Brazil, I usually end up on a 777 or 767 for overseas flights. But during Christmas of 2000, I had the great pleasure of flying on a JAL 747-400 (JA8902) from GRU to JFK. Here she is:

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Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Garry Lewis

What made the flight even better was that I ended up getting an upgrade to first class. Not only was the service excellent, but the FA gave me the plane's registration # without even pausing to think.

Adding the perfect touch, the monitors showed the take off and landing as seen from a TV camera on the front landing gear (I'm guessing here). Heavy snow made the approach into JFK even more memorable. NYC got around 2 ft. (60 cm) of snow that night, so it felt as if we were landing on a cotton-coated runway.

As you can imagine, my connection to DCA was cancelled and I had to take the train. No problem. My 747 "afterglow" lasted for a good two days!
"Pursuit Of Truth No Matter Where It Lies" -- Metallica
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Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2004 8:30 am

RE: The 747 Experience

Thu Jan 08, 2004 5:28 am

I am still looking forward to my first 747 experience. Don't where it will be. Don't know when it will be. But that doesn't stop me from looking forward to it.
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RE: The 747 Experience

Thu Jan 08, 2004 5:41 am

Working for PanAm I had many, many 747 experiences to say the least. Also the 727, 737, Airbus, L1011, and all of the ones they got from National. Of all of them, the very best one was the 747. To me it was the one plane that availed itself to true First Class service. I guess that was because its' galley was completely separate from everything else and the spaciousness of the cabin itself. Also it was by far the most enjoyable one to work on.
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Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2003 3:06 am

RE: The 747 Experience

Thu Jan 08, 2004 6:10 am

I go out of my way to see if I can get on a 747.
Its a diminishing opportunity now that BA and even VS have replaced them for the most part.
I think BA still have a few flights from JFK but none from EWR unless its Christmas or some other unforeseen situation.
It's a massive aircaft with the smoothest ride going.
You almost wish for a little chop to see how much she can handle.
I think any serious airline lover should make it a point to get on one at some point before she goes the way of the Concorde.
The routes from the US that they serve are disappearing, at least the more affordable ones.
Lets face it, Australia or South Africa aint cheap!
Suing is the new Lotto... if u wanna win u gotta sue!

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