If you’ve ever flown on a 747, you’d know it. The instantly recognizable hump, massive frame and upper deck are just a few of the features that lifted the Queen of the Skies to icon status around the globe. The world’s first wide-body commercial jet took off on its maiden flight 50 years ago on February 9, 1969 from Everett, Wash., paving the way for every twin aisle airplane that followed.
The original 747-100 is nicknamed the City of Everett, for the home that sprung up around her while thousands of employees worked against the odds to pull off an incredible feat. Known as the Incredibles, the workers built the first 747 airplane in 28 months, delivering on a promise to Boeing’s customers. It’s a mission that remains true today for Boeing workers like Vic Anderson, a 747 systems integration team lead. His father Kelvin was one of the Incredibles. “We’re just as proud of this airplane today as they were back then, and just as committed to delivering excellence with every 747 that rolls out of the factory” said Vic. “We know that our customers are going to get the best airplane.”
The 747 has a long and storied history of adventure. “We all ride on the shoulders of the Incredibles of the past which has enabled us to continue to do incredible things everyday” said Bruce Dickinson, vice president and general manager of the 747/767 program. “Fifty years ago the 747 team embodied the Boeing Behaviors, working together as one empowered team to win and that is still true of today’s team.”
In honor of 50 years of the 747, the City of Everett Mayor and the Snohomish County Council and Executive each issued a “747 Day” resolution. It honors Boeing, its employees, and the positive impact stemming from the 747 which, “prompted Boeing to build the largest manufacturing building in the world right here in Everett, a facility that now also produces the 767, 777 and 787”.
Shaniqua Manning Muhammad and Josh Green