Browsing Tag: Boeing 747-400

United Airlines Boeing 747-400 buzzes the Golden Gate Bridge

United Airlines Boeing 747-400 buzzes the Golden Gate Bridge. Photo by ~dgies via Flickr.

Until tomorrow, folks in the San Fransisco area are able to enjoy Fleet Week 2010. From their website: “The mission of San Francisco Fleet Week Association (SFFWA) is to honor the dedication to duty and sacrifices of the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces and to conduct and offer disaster preparedness training.”

To help celebrate, United Airlines flew one of their Boeing 747-400’s by the Golden Gate bridge. Pretty frek’n sweet, if you ask me. Over at The News Blog for Bay Area Travellers, they explained they have heard negative feedback about the fly over.  Some say it is too similar to 9/11 and others are asking why a private airline is at a military celebration. Oh please.

First off, this is nothing like 9/11, it is a celebration with a bunch of different aircraft (including military) flying over the bay. If seeing a bunch of FA-18’s can fly by the bridge, why can’t a Boeing 747? Secondly, yes, United is not part of the military, but that doesn’t mean they can’t help to celebrate what the military does for our country.

Let’s just take this for what it is — pure eye candy. Oh what? You want more eye candy? Sure:
* Short video of the 747 flying over the bay
* Photo of the 747 flying over the bridge
* This photo makes the Boeing 747 look so small
* The United 747 flying over Alcatraz

Source: The B.A.T. via NYCAviation Image: ~dgies
It is super sweet to board a Boeing 747-400 from the tarmac. Hold's a long way up.

It is super sweet to board a Boeing 747-400 from the tarmac. Hold's a long way up. Click for larger.

I have never flown on the upper deck of a Boeing 747. I have flown plenty of times on the lower level, but I have never had the opportunity to climb those stairs (photo) to the upper echelons of air travel.

Well, I still haven’t flown on the upper deck of a 747, but now I have been up in one. I have to admit, it is pretty darn awesome. During my recent trip to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to hang out with United Airlines, I was invited to check out the top deck and cockpit of one of their Boeing 747-400’s that was being set up for a 15 hour flight to Sydney, Australia.

Ah. The upper deck of a Boeing 747-400. Great seats, total exclusivity and an amazing view

Ah. The upper deck of a Boeing 747-400. Great seats, total exclusivity and an amazing view. Click for larger.

The upper deck is a world of its own. Even though there were only about 30 people (invited guests, United employees and cleaning crew) it was obviously quieter up top. Speaking with a flight attendant she said she loves working the top deck since it has a more laid back atmosphere than the much longer bottom deck. All the seats on this United 747 upper deck were International Business Class — which weren’t too shabby at all. The First Class Suites were all located in the nose  section on the bottom deck (photo). Yea, the location isn’t as cool as the upper deck, but those first class seats are crazy-big.

Anyhow, back up top, the seats and service might be pretty slick, but the coolest part is up front… the cockpit. The cockpit isn’t just for flying, there is a lot of room to invite guests and take a nice little nap. Heck, I think it might have had more square footage than my first apartment (ok not really). Part of the cockpit houses a set of bunk beds for pilots (photo) to get some rest. There is also plenty of extra seating for the relief pilots. Flights over 8 hours will require one relief pilot and flights over 12 will require two. So there needs to be plenty of room up front for everyone to be comfortable and well rested.

Heck yes. The best seat in the house!

Heck yes. The best seat in the house! Click for larger.

The Boeing 747 is one of my favorite aircraft. Even though the Airbus A380 might be larger and carry more people, it just doesn’t have the same awesome presence that the Boeing 747 does. I am very excited for Boeing to introduce the new Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental (video), which will allow the Boeing 747 to fly well into the future.

A special thanks for United and their employees for flying me down to LAX to enjoy this and other fun adventures.

More Goodies:
* All the photos from my LAX visit with United.
* Time lapse video of new Business/First class seats being installed in a UAL Boeing 747-400
* Video from United 747-400 upper deck of take off from Chicago.
* Photo of United Boeing 747-400 in original Tulip livery in 1989

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)

Thai Airways Boeing 747-4D7 HS-TGO in newer airline livery

Thai Airways is the national carrier (can you guess) of Thailand. It was founded in 1960. It is almost 54% owned by the Thai Government and has achieved profit over the last 40 consecutive years.

As of October 2009, Thai Airways had almost 100 aircraft. The largest being a Boeing 747-400 and smallest an ATR-72. The airline also owns a 39% stake in Nok Air.

Check out a video that shows a Boeing 747-400 landing with old livery, then one with new livery. You can also see two Boeing 777’s next to each other — one with the new and one with the old livery.

connect | web | twitter | facebook |

Image: Thomas Becker