The End of an Era of the Boeing 747
A favorite among pilots, this airplane flies and lands beautifully. In agreement is Captain Lyn Rippelmeyer, the first woman to pilot the 747. She was also the first woman to captain a transatlantic flight 747.
Designed for long-haul flights, the 747 made international travel more accessible and affordable. Consequently, it was sought after by most airline companies when it was first introduced. Its elegance and top-notch performance gave the airlines a view that the 747 is legitimized them.
The ending of the 747 comes at a time when the aviation industry is looking to transform itself. Aligning with more fuel-efficient, environmentally friendly technologies is the new sentiment. Becoming green and sustainable is a path that most companies and industries aim for to build a better future.
Regardless, this doesn’t mean that we have seen the last days of the “queen of the skies.” She will continue to fly for decades-long according to Boeing. “They’re sending the queen out very fittingly” according to Kim Smith, Boeing Vice President, and general manager of the 747 and 767 Programs.
Currently, there are 396 Boeing 747s still in service today. Among them, 311 are freight, 44 of them are passenger planed, and 41 are for VIP or private service. Six airlines still operate the 747s, with Lufthansa being the largest at 25 in its fleet.
In the beginning, many people said that the 747 would not fly– both literally and financially. But Boeing took a huge risk and like Taber, became one of the pioneers that have shaped our world today.
How Taber helped shaped the Aerospace industry
Aluminum has been key to how man developed flight due to its rich properties and capabilities. The Wright brothers used aluminum for their first airplane in 1903. It had a four-cylinder, 12-horse-power engine modified with a 30-pound aluminum block to reduce its weight.
And since then, various aluminum alloys were used in aerospace engineering and have subsequently increased throughout the years.
Taber offers a full range of aluminum alloys including hard, soft, marine, and armor grade. This is a unique capability in the industry. Inside Taber Extrusion’s new state-of-the-art casthouse, aluminum billets are cast and extruded into a wide range of shapes and sizes.
Taber’s capabilities allow the company to serve several industries, including aerospace and firearms. The hard alloys that are created are ideal for these industries due to their high strength and corrosion resistance.
Components of Aerospace Vehicles including the Boeing 747
We have worked with most of the major aerospace manufacturers in the United States. Our extruded shapes are used for important components of aerospace vehicles:
- Structural Flight Critical Components
- Interior aircraft systems
- Supplemental oxygen systems
- Electrical/Communication Systems
- Passenger Comfort Systems
- Coolant radiators
- Oil coolers
- AC condensers
- Passenger service systems
- Other fluid/gas systems
Producing profiles for the Aerospace and Defense industries is a foundational capability at Taber. “From the inception, Taber’s Russellville, AR facility has produced profiles for the commercial aircraft manufacturers.” Says Jason Weber, VP of Sales and Marketing at Taber Extrusions, “While Taber is sad to see the new aircraft builds of the 747 end, we’re excited for the future of the next generations of airframes and the sustainment of the existing fleet.”
Since 1973, Taber Extrusions has been known as the industry leader in providing some of the widest, heaviest, and most complex shapes to a variety of industries. This includes aerospace, military, shipbuilding, automotive, sporting goods, architectural, and distribution markets. Taber supplies intermediate to heavy press structural extrusions for various Boeing Commercial airplanes including 747, 767, 777, & 787 airframes. The company has manufactured aircraft and aerospace extrusions since 1973, servicing the Commercial, Military, and General Aviation markets.