Introduced in the 1970s with Pan Am, nothing has ever screamed "American prosperity" quite like a double-decker plane, the Boeing 747. Large enough to destroy even the most claustrophobic passenger’s fears, these airborne islands—with penthouse apartments for business class—blew minds every time their wheels eased off and on the tarmac.
The elephantine planes could have been reduced to a few years of hubristic service, but these jumbo jets beat the odds and rising fuel costs to enjoy an enormous reign as the “Queen of the Skies.” They still hold a few routes today, thanks to Lufthansa, KLM, British Airways, and United.
They were cool when we were in kindergarten, and they’re still cool now. Here’re some awesome 747 facts you probably don’t know.