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Plane Spotting #3: Boeing 747

Featured Aircraft #3:  The Boeing 747

The Boeing 747 is a wide-body commercial jet airliner and cargo aircraft that was once plentiful at SFO but is now quickly being retired.  Affectionately known as the “Queen of the Skies”, the Boeing 747 was the first of the wide-body aircraft and has been the most popular four engine, long haul, wide-bodied aircraft produced by Boeing since its introduction into service in 1970.

Also referred to as a “Jumbo Jet”, the Boeing 747 is recognizable for its distinctive “hump” upper deck at the forward part of the aircraft. 

The latest passenger version, the 747-8, can accommodate 410 three-class passengers and has a range of 7,260 nautical miles.

United 747

Fun Fact:  Air Force One currently consists of two highly-customized B747 aircrafts.

Air Force One

Key Identifying Features:

747 hump

The most recognizable identifying feature of the Boeing 747 is the extended “hump”, or top deck, along the forward part of the aircraft.


B747-8 statistics:

Length: 250 ft 2 in
Wingspan: 224 ft 5 in
Height: 63 ft 6 in
Passengers: 410 three-class passengers
Range: 7,620 Nautical Miles
# of Engines: 4
Maximum Speed:

Mach 0.92 (614 miles per hour)


Current Cities being served by the B747 at SFO:

Amsterdam (AMS)

London (LHR)

Anchorage (ANC)

Los Angeles (LAX)

Beijing (PEK) Seoul (ICN)
Chicago (ORD) Shanghai (PVG)
Dallas (DFW)       Taipei (TPE)
Frankfurt (FRA) Tokyo (NRT)
Hong Kong (HKG)  


Current airlines operating the B747 at SFO:

Air China* Korean Airlines*
Asiana Airlines Nippon Cargo Airlines
China Airlines Qantas Airlines
Eva Airlines United Airlines
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines  

*Operates the 747-8 at SFO

View the PDF icon B747 presentation

For more information, visit the Boeing website:  http://www.boeing.com/commercial/747/