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Flight Craft 24: Boeing 747 (Paperback)

The Original Jumbo Jet

Aviation Civil Aviation Modelling Photographic Books Colour Books

By Lance Cole
Imprint: Air World
Series: Flight Craft
Pages: 88
ISBN: 9781526760029
Published: 30th September 2021

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Boeing’s 747 ‘heavy’ has achieved a fifty-year reign of the airways, but now airlines are retiring their fleets as a different type of long-haul airliner emerges. Yet the ultimate development of the 747, the -800 model, will ply the airways for many years to come.

Even as twin-engine airliners increasingly dominate long-haul operations and the story of the four-engine Airbus A380 slows, the world is still a different place thanks to the great gamble that Boeing took with its 747. From early, difficult days designing and proving the world’s biggest-ever airliner, the 747 has grown into a 400-ton leviathan capable of encircling the world. Boeing took a massive billion-dollar gamble and won.

Taking its maiden flight in February 1969, designing and building the 747 was a huge challenge and involved new fields of aerospace technology. Multiple fail-safe systems were designed, and problems developing the engines put the whole programme at risk. Yet the issues were solved and the 747 flew like a dream said pilots – belying its size and sheer scale.

With its distinctive hump and an extended upper-deck allied to airframe, avionics and engine developments, 747 became both a blue-riband airliner and, a mass-economy class travel device. Fitted with ultra-efficient Rolls-Royce engines, 747s became long-haul champions all over the world, notably on Pacific routes. across the Atlantic in January 1970, 747 became the must-have, four-engine, long haul airframe. Japan Airlines, for example, operated over sixty 747s in the world’s biggest 747 fleet.

By the renowned aviation author Lance Cole, this book provides a detailed yet engaging commentary on the design engineering and operating life and times of civil aviation's greatest sub-sonic achievement.

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About Lance Cole

Lance Cole has been a motoring and aviation writer and PR for over 30 years. He is also an internationally published photographer, illustrator and designer. The author of over 20 books, he has a parallel career as a news correspondent and TV camera-journalist. But it is old cars and their design and driving that fascinates him. He has driven Saabs all over the world and contributed to Saab design when he was a young design student. Lance wrote Erik Carlsson’s obituary for the Daily Telegraph.


Lance currently lives in England but yearns for a return to the outback of Australia where old cars rule.

Perfect Partner

Flight Craft 20: Vickers VC10 & Super VC10 (Paperback)

Designed and manufactured by the men who would make Concorde, the Rolls-Royce powered Vickers VC10, and its larger variant, the Super VC10, represented the ultimate in 1960s subsonic airliners. The VC10 was Britain’s answer to the Boeing 707 and the Douglas DC-8. The VC10 was a second-generation jetliner designed in the 1960s and manufactured into the 1970s. It incorporated advanced engineering, new aerodynamics, and design features, to produce a swept, sculpted machine easily identifiable by its high T-tail design and rear-engine configuration. The VC10 could take off in a very short distance,…

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