The Boeing 747 is nicknamed the Queen of the Skies by aviation people and with very good reason. The aircraft is elegant, large and is very well known around the world. Boeing’s Jumbo Jet opened up air travel to the masses and continues to provide service to many airlines today.
Frequent flyers have great affection for the Boeing 747 due to some unique features found on no other aircraft. These influence seating choices when planning a trip as everyone wants to sit in their favourite spot.
Turning Left Into The Nose
Certification rules for aircraft have changed since the 1960s when the Boeing 747 was designed. It is now a requirement that there are emergency exits at the front and rear of each cabin section for emergency evacuation reasons. As the 747 was designed before this, you can sit right in the nose with nothing in front of you.
This provides for an amazingly private experience and many airlines situate their first class passengers here. Those seated in the front row can almost see completely forward due to the curvature of the fuselage, just like the pilots! Very cool.
Passengers Arrive Before The Pilots
Flying in the nose means you arrive at your destination before the pilots. When Boeing designed the aircraft, they thought supersonic aircraft would render the Boeing 747 obsolete. To ensure it would still be useful, the flight deck is located above and behind the nose so the nose could swing open to facilitate bulk cargo.
As the pilots generally always need to see what’s going on outside and ahead of the aircraft, this is the only one where you can arrive first as a paying passenger.
The Intimate Boeing 747 Upper Deck
Behind the pilots, there is an upper deck passenger seating area. Airlines often locate business class passengers here as it provides an intimate and almost private jet like experience. When airlines have business class both upstairs and downstairs, frequent flyers will usually always select to sit upstairs for the more exclusive atmosphere.
At the rear of the upper deck is a galley serving food just for upstairs passengers. I’ve spent some time in here chatting to cabin crew on duty in the middle of the night on long flights.
It Just Looks Right!
One thing that people like about the Boeing 747 is that it looks right. It has graceful lines and good proportions which make it very pleasing to the eye.
There is something stately and reassuring about the design which I am sure helps to cement its popularity with frequent flyers. Even those who couldn’t tell one aircraft from another can usually always identify the affectionately dubbed Jumbo Jet.
Boeing’s big risk in developing the Boeing 747 paid off handsomely over the years. Well over 1,000 examples have been produced and the new 747-8 version is currently in production. Frequent flyers enjoy sitting in the nose or on the upper deck while all passengers love the lines of the jet and the comfortable ride that it provides. I’m definitely a fan and enjoy my flights on the 747.
Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
Featured image by Konstantin von Wedelstaedt via Wikimedia Commons.
Images by Ken Iwelumo via Airliners.net while all other images via Wikimedia Commons.