Movie Monday – February 14 – Building the 747-100

EVERETT — This week’s Movie Monday is hands-down one of my favorites. It’s an hour-long look into the birth of the very first Boeing 747-100 packed full of historical footage from the late 1960s when RA001 was first being designed and built.
At the time this video was made in 1989, fewer years had passed since the 747′s introduction to service, than have since passed, making this somewhat of a historical mid-point for where the 747-8 stands today. When I first saw this video back in 2005, former 747 program manager, Mal Stamper’s quote about Juan Trippe’s 1989 comments about the Soviet Union made it into my senior thesis. I always thought Trippe’s words on what commercial aviation meant for the the cooperation of nations captured the importance of using aviation as an ambassador.
When Juan Trippe came to Seattle to sign the contract it happened to coincide with the 50th Anniversary of the Boeing Company, and he was the guest speaker at a large banquet downtown. And so he gave this speech on the 747… He said, “I think the 747 is a great weapon for peace, and its really competing with the international intercontinental missiles for man’s destiny”, which sort of surprised us all and he thought it was going to win. 
He explained that when you have millions of tourists flying back and forth between countries and they were exchanging their goods and produce and products and so forth, that you would learn to like each other and learn to do business with each other before you blow them up… Turns out he was pretty close to right, because twenty years later we’re bringing out a new airplane, the 747-400 version, and that year Reagan and Gorbachev have decided to scrap missiles and we’re doing a trillion passenger miles in 1989. Juan Trippe was really a prophet.

2 Responses to Movie Monday – February 14 – Building the 747-100

  1. Andrew February 18, 2011 at 1:33 am #

    Just watched this…great find.

  2. Paulo M February 23, 2011 at 5:37 pm #

    It’s incredible what that plane represents. It almost seems like the idea is more powerful than the engineering behind it, and its market capabilities, which are themselves quite vanguard.. The engineering folk would almost struggle to match its unique profile, character with worthy 21st century operating spec. Quite unlike any other