Top Letters And Comments, February 3, 2023


Last Boeing 747 Delivered

My first flight in a 747 was in ’73 that started at Frankfurt while coming home from Germany on leave from my Army unit in Germany. The Pan Am bird had so few passengers that they allowed me to sleep laying out across seats in the center of the aircraft and I slept most of the way to JFK. I was absolutely amazed at how large the cabin was.

Richard B.

[I worked] as a PAA electrical mechanic on the first B747-121 delivered to Pan AM. Flew as an FAA Airworthiness Principal on Atlas’s first B747-400 FAA proving runs. Flown on many B747-100, 200, 300, and 400s, inspecting Atlas, Polar, Northwest, United and Kalita. The B747-8F really looks (and is) the Queen of the SKY. At least it will be operating for the next 15-20 years.

Michael B.

I have only flown on a 747 three times. The first time was on Continental to Hawai’i in 1972. My dad was a pilot for CAL and knew the pilots, so we got to visit the cockpit. The last 2 times were this past May on Lufthansa between Orlando and Frankfurt. One with a spiral staircase and two without. Would love to fly one.

Kirk R.

Electric Zenith CH 750 Completes First Flight

At last, an organization with vision tempered by reality. One of the few, if not the first, that admit the problematic battery issues with e-flight yet pursue in hopes of advancements in battery technology. And very good points on mechanicals – the e-power plants are much more simple, meaning that once battery issues are overcome, you have a better chance that your peaceful Sunday afternoon flight will stay that way.

John B.

While we wait for improved batteries, NUNCATS is developing a complete system of electric aircraft PLUS solar charging stations. Even before their first flight, they have created a solar collecting storage and aircraft shelter. The idea is to have a network of such storage/charging stations which reach deep into areas not served by infrastructure. I think this is what is referred to as a gap technology – it serves an immediate need and is a test bed for further developments. A worthy endeavor.

Frank F.

Poll: Were You Vaccinated Against COVID-19?

  • Yes. Three doses and a bi-valent dose. Got a very mild case of Covid also. No long-term effects at all.
  • Absolutely refused and walked away from my flying career after 32 years at the age of 53 and 8 months. Very, very sad ending!
  • No. My wife and I, both over 65, contracted COVID early January 2021. Symptoms very much like a “medium” flu, plus loss of taste and smell. We recovered fine and see no reason to vaccinate on top of naturally acquired immune response. It just doesn’t make any sense in our case.
  • Yes, and moderate reaction.
  • Up to fifth dose — the recommendation is every six months where I live. The manufacturer changed each time, there are more and more on the market.
  • Yes, and I about died 6 months later from blood clots in my saddle artery.
  • Forced to because of travel restrictions.
  • 2 Moderna shots and 1 Moderna booster. Since booster, had myocarditis and PVC. My cardiologist and I agree that we are not pointing fingers. But I am 70 years old and reasonable exercise.
  • I have had all the shots and boosters and have had no residual effects. Kind of like the yearly flu shot – a low fever and sore arm for a day or two, then back to normal.
  • Yes, only after being threatened with termination by my employer.
  • No, I was very concerned about the safety as it was rushed into use and lacked numerous stages of FDA mandatory testing.
  • Pfizer – only the first two shots. No others.
  • Had COVID prior to the vaccine roll out. Was advised by my VA doctor not to get it based on reactions they were seeing with patients getting the vaccine after having COVID that were “not pretty.”
  • Yes, and I have had a sore shoulder since.
  • It was not available before when I got COVID.
  • Forced by employer.
  • No reaction to the first, felt bad for 24 hours after the second then fine, and OK after 3 boosters – all Moderna.
  • It appears I have natural immunity as my daughter and her husband both contracted Covid, shared drinks and meals with me and I didn’t even get a runny nose. I’m 70 years old and I never got the shot!
  • Increased sense of smell and blood pressure spiked up. After BP lowered but never came back to pre-injection levels.
  • No need. I already had COVID.
  • Yes, but only because my work required it or I would be fired!
  • Our son required it if we wanted to see our grandsons – otherwise I wouldn’t have done it. I had site swelling, light site discomfort, and elevated temp after shot #2.
  • Yes…still waiting to see if any appendages fall off.
  • Yes, and I then saw self-assembling nanobots in my blood.

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  1. In 1993 my wife and I flew on a Lufthansa 747 to Germany for our 25th anniversary to visit my old air base and travel the country. While waiting at our gate at FRA for our return flight we were called to the podium by the Lufthansa gate agent who told us that they had over-booked economy class and would have to seat us in business class. Wonderful surprise 747 ending to our anniversary trip.
    Mike Moore

  2. I worked at United at SFO in 1970 and was assigned to the dedicated Main. Crew for our First 747 delivered to SFO on July 3,1070.
    United built a New dedicated SFO Hanger to fit the 747.
    The First Day ship #1 arrived we were Told to Explore the aircraft and then we would Get To Work!
    53 Years ago a 747 was like nothing we had ever seen or worked on before. Just watching a Gear Swing was eye popping.
    Our first one had a chain driven Elevator that went down to a lower Galley and we were amazed to be able to Stand Upright in the Cargo bays.
    That aircraft was put on United’s SFO-Hawaii route and the early one’s had issues with the Engines hot section that required a lot of engine changes. One night we had to change 3 engines and had to borrow one from PanAm and just barely got all 3 changed in time for the morning flight.
    That aircraft was Built with an Extra hard point in the Left Wing to mount a 5TH. Engine (non running) so we could transport spare engines to Hawaii! This was only permitted on Training-non Rev. flights. Strange to see a 5 engine 747!
    When I see videos of people working on 747’s today it strikes me that most of them were not even Born when I worked on that First United 747.