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Four things you probably didn’t know about Virgin’s Boeing 747

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Virgin Atlantic recently retired its Boeing 747-400 jets, but made history with the Jumbo, which has many curiosities. You’ll find four here.

The departure of UMA Jumbo was marked by the coronavirus pandemic, which reduced demand and led companies to reduce their costs, starting with the biggest “fuel consumers”, in this case the Boeing 747 and its four engines. They were replaced at Virgin Atlantic by the Airbus A350-1000 and the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, the latter even going to São Paulo from London, but the company abandoned the route due to the crisis.

Either way, Jumbo has made history for the company founded by billionaire Richard Branson, and Virgin has now listed four interesting facts about this iconic jet, popularly referred to as ‘Queen of the Heavens’ for its importance to the world. ‘aviation.

Support for a fifth engine

The 747 is known for its four engines, which add classic grandeur to the Jumbo. But, from the factory, there was a mount for an additional engine, which could be installed quickly and which was used by Virgin to transport an engine from London to San Francisco, replacing that of another plane that had struck. a pelican.

This same support contributed to the exploitation of another Virgin project, the launch of the LauncheOne rocket, by the subsidiary Virgin Orbit.

Space launches

And it was in 2015 that Jumbo took this position for the first time, launching rockets with small satellites for the first time. Today, the company reached an agreement with the US government to send 40 additional satellites into space.

Another “spatial” modification of the 747 was the transformation of the space where the Premium Economy class was located, located on the second floor, in the mission and launch control center of Virgin Orbit.

The launch procedure works as follows: The Boeing climbs to an altitude of 35,000 feet (12 km). After stabilizing at this altitude, it “lifts its nose” by 30 °, launches the rocket and turns right. Five seconds after leaving the “mother ship” the rocket is fired.

This is a two-stage rocket, the first of which is used to exit the atmosphere and enter Earth’s orbit, and the second stage adjusts the satellite to its correct orbit.

Record holder for his pilots

The growth of Jumbo and Virgin also broke records: the company had the youngest commander of the 747, in addition to the world’s most experienced Jumbo commander (who is even married to a Brazilian and owns a steakhouse in London, as shown here. )

Yvonne and her fellow pilots of the 747 – Virgin Atlantic

The crew’s other historic accomplishments are those of the world’s first Boeing 747 commander, Yvonne Kershaw, who in 1993 assumed the command post of the aircraft, making history.

“It has been a privilege to hoist the flag of female commanders for the past 24 years. After overcoming all of these gender stereotypes, I had the humility to act as an inspiring role model for young pilots, ”said Yvonne in a recent interview for Virgin Atlantic magazine.

Each Virgin Jumbo has its own name

Christian names are not new to aviation, but Virgin Atlantic was one of the pioneers. All of his 30 Jumbos had their own female first name (or nickname).

It all started with Richard Branson himself, when the company received its first jet plane, the Boeing 747-200 registered G-VIRG. The idea, at the time, was to simplify, by placing the last two letters of the registration number of the aircraft in the phonetic alphabet, in this case, it would be Romeo Golf.

But Branson didn’t like this simplification and called the jet Maiden Voyager, which in Portuguese means Traveler Maiden. Other iconic names are Boston Belle, California Girl, and Pretty Woman.

The complete list of the names of the 747, or rather the 747, and of the company’s other planes, is available on the company’s website.

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