The Boeing 747 Turns 50

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In the 50 years since its first passenger flight, the Boeing 747 became the most dominant and recognizable craft for commercial air travel. The Onion looks back on the most significant moments in the Boeing 747’s history on its 50-year anniversary.

September 30, 1968:

Boeing designs 747 after engineers envision an airplane, only big.

February 9, 1969:

First successful test flight with monkeys flying plane.

January 21, 1970:

Ahead of first commercial flight, Boeing executives place bets on potential casualties.


January 22, 1970:

To ease passengers’ nerves on the first commercial 747 flight, takeoff is delayed for seven hours.


August 3, 1971:

Boeing revolutionizes commercial air travel again by adding seats to all 747s.

July 18, 1985:

10,000th bird sucked into Boeing 747 engine.

February 2, 1990:

A 747 becomes Air Force One, comfortably seating over 400 presidents.

January 18, 2005:

Airbus A380 passes the 747 as world’s largest civilian airplane by adding a spire on top.


January 28, 2015:

U.S. Air Force announces next presidential aircraft will be a very, very, unbelievably fucking expensive Boeing 747.


October 29, 2018:

Oh wait, that was a different kind of Boeing plane that crashed. The 747 is still good.