Even if you don’t work for Boeing, you’ve probably heard a lot about the last 747 to be built. Today, Steve Rice photographed the above view of the jet after it left Everett for Cincinnati and delivery to Atlas Air and shared the photo with WSB. Here’s the Boeing take on its takeoff:

14 Replies to "SEEN FROM WEST SEATTLE: The last 747"

  • GF February 1, 2023 (6:25 pm)

    Great iconic shot!

  • M February 1, 2023 (6:58 pm)

    Was that taken from West Seattle? It flew out of Everett and so it would be facing the other direction if it was flying through Seattle unless it did a flyby loop over Boeing field.

    • Steve Rice February 2, 2023 (10:20 am)

      Yes, I was down by the Don Armeni boat ramp. The 747 came south and did a clockwise loop just shy of Kirkland to head back north for a flyby of the Boeing factory. I marked the flight map below to show where it was when I took the photo.I didn’t know exactly where it was going to go after it took off, so this shot was a stroke of luck. I only spotted it with binoculars a few moments before the lineup.

  • Thomas February 1, 2023 (7:02 pm)

    I remember as a little boy looking towards the Space Needle and seeing the 747 for the first time

  • wihoxa February 1, 2023 (7:09 pm)

    The flight path included a drawing of the number “747” within a crown while over Moses Lake on its way to Cincinnati.


    • WSB February 1, 2023 (7:19 pm)

      Thanks, I only saw the live link to that, which was outdated by the time. As that shows, the plane did a loop after leaving Everett – which likely explains the angle. Steve has sent us photos before, and tweeted this one tagging only WSB and Boeing, but I didn’t ask exactly where he was.

  • HS February 1, 2023 (7:26 pm)

    Second the “iconic image”.

  • 1stFlight February 1, 2023 (9:11 pm)

    My first flight to America was on Pan Am 747 in March, 1979 when I was just 17yrs old.Me and others-so called  “boat people”.We were given the nice Pan Am white bag and I used it to carry books until it was worn out.Will never forget. 

  • Me February 1, 2023 (9:26 pm)

    Very amazing!!!!!!

  • 1994 February 1, 2023 (10:06 pm)

    So amazing that giant bird can fly!

  • Ann February 2, 2023 (9:26 am)

    Well done, Steve Rice! Hard to imagine a better “farewell from Seattle” image. 

  • Christopher B. February 2, 2023 (10:08 am)

    This is so bittersweet. I’m totally in favor of the benefits of progress, efficiency, and modern jets with fewer engines (especially the 787 Dreamliner which I love to fly in these days). But I feel like some of the romance of travel is lost with the phasing out of the 747. A member of Generation X, I was just a month old when the 747 flew its first paying passengers. So we sort of grew up together. As a child I was fascinated with aviation and the 747 was distinct enough in its design that it was one of the first jumbo jets I could easily identify by sight. Never in a million years did I imagine that I’d one day fly in them routinely. As an adult I found the 747 to be a really comfortable way to travel, and I’ll always have fond memories so many flights in the “upstairs cabin” on British Airways flights to Heathrow, and on Cathay Pacific to Hong Kong.At this point I feel like so much of my life has gone by in a flash. The years have wings. And it’s sometimes unsettling to still feel like a kid but to see a middle aged man looking back at me in the mirror. In some ways, seeing the 747 put out to pasture seems to foretell my own future.

  • John Nuler February 2, 2023 (12:44 pm)

    West Seattleites had a great to do with the 747.
    Joe Sutter, the legendary head of the 747 design lived unpretentiously his whole career as a Fauntleroy neighbor (almost across from Fauntleroy School).  
    You can see Sutter’s name painted on the nose of this last behemoth! I was proud seeing that lumbering giant of an airplane performing test flights from Colman Pool.  

    My concern was on the huge engines which were hung from the wings that my father, a Stress Analysis Engineer had engineering responsibilites for that part of the plane (nacelle).  

    Back then most everyone had only one car, and my father was disappointed to be transferred from close-by Boeing Plant One to the newly built Everett facility.  Car-pooling seemed quite common then, both to the Duwamish offices and Everett.  
    There were enough Boeing engineers in Fauntleroy for car-pooling well before our current obsession with single occupant vehicles or the advent of company vans.

  • Rhonda February 2, 2023 (7:51 pm)

    I still have my dad’s 747 Systems manual from his years as an engineer at the Everett plant. He was so proud to build such an iconic aircraft.

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