Phil Condit, former Boeing CEO have gone back 60 years ago to remind a forever incredible adventure when starting B747 program, from the lauch to the very first take off. An airplane that have last half a century, thanks to involved people who made this incredible airplane a reality in the early seventies. This airplane made a différence in the world and a difference to us.
A video followed with the crooner sound « come fly with me, let’s fly away », giving this moment a glamourous one.
Customers like Lufthansa, Japan Airlines represented by Yuji Akasaka former CEO of Japan Airlines were invited on stage, and Carolyn Corvi, former Boeing commercial airplanes talked about the voice of the customers, and how important that was. The relationships between Boeing and these customers were about trust, celebrating success together, customers contributing to the success of Boeing. With a country music another video told the story with the american carrier PANAM one of the largest operators of B747, named «Queen of the skies ».
The B747 was also flying for specialized uses as showed on a video (freighter, firefighting, etc) Carl Exum Pratt & Whitney Vice President mentioned a longstanding relationship with Boeing and that B747 played a critical role for Pratt & Whitney over the last 53 years, thanks to customers, suppliers and teams.
When B747 came from 3 to 2 crew in the flight deck, American Airlines, Scandinavian, Swissair was users of the « most advanced wide body in the world” at this time.
John Roundhill, Boeing former Vice President of Product Strategy and Development talked about « a new generation watch » , « the spirit of the team », « we were united ». He talked about the flagship airplane symbol. Current Boeing Senior Vice President Elizabeth Lund, asked for a recognition stand up for the B747 teams ; She talked about Air Force One as an example of B747 use in multiple missions. « An airplane that changes lives, a new hope for businesses, a firefighting machine, an airplane that continues to inspire all of us for a long time».
Freighters thanks to their huge capacity and volume will continue to fly from many years to come (Korean Air Cargo, Lufthansa)
Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr, , said he « falled in love with Boeing B747 ». He added « We do as operators, customers, crews, controllers, all love this airplane, and I love it personally ».
According to him « B747 is appreciated by everyone in Lufthansa. Passengers, spotters, controllers, crews love it. And I am currently looking to fly this plane in the next decade ». B747 is seen as a symbol of a «small worldl». Freight operator UPS, currently largest B747 fleet, came also on stage, with Bill Moor, President of Maintenance and Engineering. He spoke about « the Iconic aircraft » « the Majestic airplane » « the Queen of the skies ».
Movie star John Travolta, actor but also a passionate pilot started his speech with « Yeee HAA » « I love this airplane that has made a difference in my personal story » He spoke about « a safest aircraft ever built », and concluded « for B747, every engineer, every mechanic, you are awesome ».
Freight Operator Atlas Air CEO John Dietrich named the Boeing Chief Engineer who led the B747 design team in the late sixties « Joe Sutter forever incredible ». He pointed that every recent model has a reduced carbon and noise footprint. He said « This aircraft truly carries the world ». « We celebrate the beginning of another chapter, not the ending. »
Boeing CEO David Calhoun praised «the leaders of Boeing who were never afraid with this B747 innovative project in the sixties” and mentioned they inspired him to do special things, every day with an innovation culture for ever ». The last video showed kids drawing airplanes, young and seniors people working on an eVTOL, all jobs from design to production, and an aircraft taking off under children eyes. David Calhoun conclued with: “we turn the page, we do not close the book”.
Nadia Didelot for AeroMorning
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