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The final BA Boeing 747s depart Heathrow on Thursday – but one will be preserved

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Heathrow will see the final take-off of a British Airways Boeing 747 on Thursday with the departure of the last two planes.

The two aircraft involved are the Negus-painted G-CIVB and G-CIVY, which has BA’s ‘normal’ Chatham Dockyard livery.

Pending any weather changes, the aircraft will get a special send off with a synchronised dual take off from Heathrow’s parallel runways at 8:30am on Thursday morning.

This will be followed by fly past along the southerly runway by one of the aircraft (G-CIVY in current BA livery).

This would normally be impossible, of course, with a take-off or landing every 90 seconds, but at the moment….

British Airways will be live streaming the event from 7:40am on its Facebook page, and is encouraging people to use the hashtag #BA747farewell on social media at 7:47am and 7:47pm. You should also be able to watch the event on BBC and Sky.

We will either update this article with any photos we receive or, depending on when the arrive, do a separate article for Friday. The BBC and Sky crews are the only media to be invited.

Both aircraft are due to head to Cotsworld Airport, formerly RAF Kemble, in Gloucestershire for storage.

British Airways 747 G-CIVB

Service entryFebruary 15, 1994
Retirement dateSeptember 08, 2020
Recent routesLast passenger flight was 6th April 2020 from Miami to Heathrow.
LiveryNegus
Fact and stats  G-CIVB flew 118,445 hours across 13,398 flights spanning 59 million miles.

British Airways 747 G-CIVY

Service entrySeptember 29, 1998
Retirement dateSeptember 08, 2020
Recent routesLast passenger flight was 20th March 2020 from Chicago to Heathrow
LiveryChatham Dockyard
Fact and stats  G-CIVY flew 90,161 hours across 11,034 flights spanning 45 million miles

Catch up on our Boeing 747 articles

It was back in July that we found out that the Boeing 747 fleet was heading for early retirement as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. You can read our original article on the news here.

We followed up with a two-part story detailing the events that lead to the design and development of the 747 at Boeing in the 1960s as well as an article on the history of the Boeing 747 at British Airways.

British Airways to preserve one Boeing 747?

Rumours have been swirling of one 747 being preserved for posterity.

Simple Flying suggests that G-CIVB, the Negus liveried aircraft, will not be sent for scrap. Whether it stays in Kemble at Cotswold Airport long term remains to be seen, although it will only remain airworthy for a limited period without preventative maintenance.

The remaining British Airways Concorde is parked at Heathrow and is inaccessible to the public. Perhaps retaining the Boeing 747 will encourage it to finally arrange public access to both aircraft.

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