The last 747 has just rolled off the Boeing assembly line.

New York
CNN Business

After 53 years and more than 1,570 aircraft, the last Boeing 747 rolled off the assembly line in Washington State on Tuesday evening to serve as a cargo plane.

The once pioneering giant jet with its distinctive second-story bulge is arguably the most visible and popular aircraft Boeing has ever built. It was even large enough to be used to ferry a space shuttle from a runway in California to a launch pad in Florida. And it’s set to start a new type Virgin Orbit spacecraft already next week, after he lifts him under the wing.

The 747 was once the choice of the rich, glamorous and even royalty. In many films, including the 1973 James Bond classic Live and Let Die, the plane or set has been made to look like a first-class living room on the upper level. The Boeing 747 is still in use as Air Force One, as it has been since 1990. The two already assembled aircraft are currently undergoing work to become the next generation presidential aircraft. These aircraft will not be delivered for at least four years. due to delays.

The last Boeing 747 left the wide-body company's plant in Everett, Washington on Tuesday evening.  It should be delivered to Atlas Air for use as a cargo aircraft early next year.

Apart from this use, the days of the 747 as a passenger aircraft are now almost completely over. Airlines have moved away from fuel-hungry four-engine aircraft like the 747. Rival Airbus

dropped his own bilevel jetA380, in 2019.

Boeing signaled in 2020 that it would end production of the 747, even in its cargo variant, as customers were either buying a more economical cargo 777 or saving money by converting former passenger 747s into cargo 747s. Plans to build a plant in Everett, Washington have not yet been announced. where he builds 747 but expects to leave it open. It takes 200 million cubic feet to build a massive aircraft, which Boeing says makes it the largest building in the world by volume.

Passenger versions of the aircraft could carry 400 to 500 passengers, at the most about twice as many passengers as one of Boeing’s current wide-body aircraft, the 787-8 Dreamliner. But Boeing hasn’t made a passenger version of the 747 since it delivered the latest version to Korean Airlines in 2017. This last 747 will go to Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings.

, which will operate the aircraft for the Swiss logistics company Kuehne+Nagel. The last aircraft on Tuesday will be taken to another Boeing shop for painting and other final details before being delivered to Atlas early next year.

Only 44 passenger versions of the Boeing 747 are currently in service, according to aviation analyst firm Cirium. More than half of them – 25 – fly Lufthansa.

That’s down from over 130 passenger planes at the end of 2019, shortly before the pandemic crippled demand for air travel, especially on international routes that primarily used Boeing 747s and other wide-body aircraft. Most of these passenger versions of the aircraft were shut down in the early months of the pandemic and never returned to service.

But there are still 314,747 cargo aircraft in use, according to Cirium, many of which were originally used as passenger aircraft before being converted to cargo aircraft.

“The Boeing 747-8 is an incredibly powerful aircraft with a capacity unmatched by any other cargo aircraft in production,” UPS said in 2020 when Boeing made it clear that stop building soon airplane. “With a maximum payload of 307,000 pounds, we use them on long, high volume routes connecting Asia, North America, Europe and the Middle East.”

The current version of the 747 is 250 feet 2 inches long, the longest commercial aircraft currently in service, or about twice the length of the Wright brothers’ first flight. The wingspan is 224 feet and 5 inches.

Boeing delivered the first 747 passenger aircraft in December 1969 to two defunct airlines, TWA and Pan Am. Delta Air Lines

was the last US airline to operate a passenger version of the aircraft, also in 2017. This was the last year that the last 747 passenger flights were made in the US – by both Delta and United Airlines.

— attracted a large number of fans of the aircraft, which testifies to its enduring popularity.

—Jackie Wattles of CNN contributed to this report.

Correction: A previous version of this article said that the wrong company, Virgin, is using a Boeing 747 to launch rockets into space.