The Queen is Dead

No, not that Queen. She’ll outlive many of us given her genetics.

No. I mean the Boeing 747, a plane that has changed the world and brought us closer together and the indisputable Queen of the Skies. Pretty much every commercial passenger airline has retired their long range Boeing 747 and Airbus A380 flights and sent those aircraft to long term storage in dry, arid climates from which they may never fly again.

I can’t say I love the 747 as a passenger, yet I mourn its loss. First time I noticed one was driving to LHR (London Heathrow) to pick my father up from his Muscat-London flights. One flew over the motorway interchange so low it gives me chills to this day to remember it. Of course with flaps and landing slats deployed, it looked larger than it was, but oh what a magnificent beast it was.

I’ve flown it on a 22 hour flight (Atlanta – Johannesburg) and was not impressed by the comfort factor but also flew Virgin Atlantic on the top deck and BA in the nose a couple of times – wonderful experiences.

Yet now, the chances you’d fly on the Queen of the Skies are next to zero which leaves me to experience the beauty of these giants as freighters that carry precious cargo around the world. Not so glamourous, but essential.

Sleep well, my Queen.

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