- Boeing has delivered more than 1,500 of the jets since 1970 and it is credited by historians with also making global air travel more affordable for most people. The huge number of seats, sometimes nearly 600 on some airlines, spread the costs across the large group of paying passengers.
The 747 has weathered industry downturns over the decades, including when Boeing nearly went out of business in the 1970s. The 747 has been a constant for the plane maker and was a hallmark of the U.S.'s Cold War industrial prowess.
But Boeing currently plans to make just six of the planes a year starting in September, including two expected to serve the U.S. president, known as Air Force One from 2023 after years of modifications. A pair of older 747s in their distinctive white, blue and polished aluminum have been flying the U.S. presidents since 1990. Boeing's production of the aircraft last peaked at 70 in 1990 after fluctuating from a high of 92 in 1970.