Boeing plans to cut 747 production to one plane every two months. Many industry analysts expect the line to shut down by 2020. There just isn’t much demand now for a big, four-engine airplane.
Everett workers have turned out more than 1,500 747s since production began in 1967. The plane designed in the 1960s by Joe Sutter’s engineering team has had two major incarnations since the original — the 747-400 and the 747-8.
An estimated 3.5 billion passengers have flown on 747s.
“When you see a 747 taking off from Seattle to go to London with 350 people on it, or see a freighter carrying relief supplies halfway around the world after a typhoon, you know you’ve done some good for the world,” Sutter said.