Oldest Active 747 Retires To Pima
GE Aviation’s original Boeing 747 Flying Testbed aircraft made its final flight last week, from Victorville, California, to the Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson, Arizona, where it will join more than 350 historical aircraft on display. The aircraft, which had been flying since 1969, was the oldest 747 in active service. Starting in 1970, the aircraft flew for Pan American World Airlines, and in 1992, it was acquired by GE Aviation, and actively flew test flights until January 2017. The 747 flew a total of 90,000 hours.
As a testbed, the 747 provided critical flight data on more than 11 engine models and 39 engine builds. The Pima Museum is home to more than 350 aircraft, from a Wright Flyer to a 787 Dreamliner. The 80-acre site has been open to the public since 1976. Over the past 40 years, the museum has grown to include six indoor exhibit hangars. The museum is also the exclusive operator of bus tours of the 2,600-acre “Aircraft Boneyard,” the U.S. military and government aircraft storage facility.