The Boeing 747 was the largest passenger aircraft in the world for 36 years.
The Boeing 747 is one of the longest-lived passenger aircraft. Its development began when Pan-Am boss Juan Trippe approached Boeing boss William Allen in the 1960s and asked for a new passenger aircraft that was twice the size of the Boeing 707. The conversation between the two entrepreneurs is legendary, in which Trippe said to Allen: “If you build it, I buy it”, to which Allen is said to have replied: “If you buy it, I build it ”(if you buy it, I’ll build it).
In the end, the Boeing 747 was even two and a half times the size of the 707, which was widespread at the time, and was initially even supposed to have an upper deck over the entire length of the aircraft. However, the idea was discarded after the aircraft could not be evacuated in under the required 90 seconds.
The first 747 took off on its maiden flight on February 9, 1969, just under five months before the Apollo 11 mission landed on the moon. The 747 remained the largest passenger aircraft in the world until the Airbus A380 in 2005.