You may not be aware and you may not care. The world’s airlines are retiring their fleets of the jumbo jet. Newer aircraft make more sense now.

I first went in one age thirteen. Wide, long and TWA. To JFK, so long in a plane. BA 747 back home from SFO. Then at twenty a Pan Am jumbo to JFK again.

Looks great on the ground and in the air. Top deck, in front of the nosewheel, in Eco with our young family, backpacking, business, courier, moving country.

BA Chicago, Singapore, Bangkok, Manila, Paris, Phoenix, Miami. Iraqi Airways to Delhi via Baghdad. Cathay Pacific to HKG. Iberia to JFK and Miami. KLM to Minneapolis St Paul. Qantas to Sydney. Lufthansa to Delhi.

When Jane was nineteen and a half she flew on a Qantas 747 from Sydney to London with stops in Singapore, Delhi and Bahrain. Her life was forever different.

The chief engineer on the project wrote the story of how the jumbo came about. Joe Sutter.

World and life changing.



Author: Andrew Knowlman

I am a 50-year old father of two children, married to Jane. I live in Hertfordshire, UK. I was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in April 2015.

One thought on “Jumbo”

  1. My favourite aeroplane – will be sad to see the last of them. I believe the US President has one of the last orders in place for the 747-8 which should be delivered in 2019/20 … Hopefully the 757 exits In 2020 …

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