Brand new United Airlines Boeing 747-400 (N174UA) at Paine Field in 1989

Brand new United Airlines Boeing 747-400 (N174UA) at Paine Field in 1989

This is a photo of a brand spanking new Boeing 747-400 outside of Boeing’s hangars at Paine Field. The photo was taken in 1989 with probably my favorite United Airlines Livery. She was given the registration number N174UA and had an interesting incident shortly after delivery.

In 1990 the nose gear did not extend all the way and BAM, the aircraft’s nose ended up hitting the tarmac (photo1 & photo2). There was minor damage and she was quickly back out flying. In fact, she is still flying for United Airlines today. She will be flying today from Narita International Airport to Los Angeles. A lot has changed as far as technology and the equipment inside, but she is still the beautiful bird she was back in 1989.

Full sized image or 91 Photos of N174UA on

Photo by EuroNorb (Dave)

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF & FOUNDER - SEATTLE, WA. David has written, consulted, and presented on multiple topics relating to airlines and travel since 2008. He has been quoted and written for a number of news organizations, including BBC, CNN, NBC News, Bloomberg, and others. He is passionate about sharing the complexities, the benefits, and the fun stuff of the airline business. Email me:
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I remember when that livery was announced….the horror! The ridicule! The banterings back and forth. I liked it too. I also remember touring the Boeing Factory in about 1970 or so when the 747 had just come out. I used to actually have the little bound picture book that they gave us on the tour….about this brand new GIANT 747. I wish I still had that promotional book.

Sue Hoppe

Wow – look at all the Inventory…

I’ve always loved that paint scheme, even though a lot of people hate it. To be fair, the one before it wasn’t bad either.

That livery was beautiful. I don’t think a lot of people hate it, it’s one of United’s most well known liveries and has a loyal following. Save the Tulip!

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