A Moving Video Tribute: How You Say “Au Revoir” To An Icon

Virg Hemphill

Video: Air France: Credits : Airborne Films for Air France and the French Air Force and the Patrouille de FranceKeep you sound turned up to hear the video’s scoring The Video length is 3:30.

This impressive video was shot on January 27th, two years ago, when a dozen jewels of French aviation met over the Camargue region of France. Eleven Alphajets from the Patrouille de France (the Patrouille is the French equivalent to our Thunderbirds and Blue Angels Military Exhibition Teams – but is the world’s oldest such team) and the last Air France 747 flew in formation as a salute to the Boeing Icon’s last days with the airline.

On 14 January 2016, Air France offered customers a tribute flight over the country’s landmarks. The flight number as AF747. More than 45 years after the first flight from Paris to New York on 3 June 1970 the Company saluted the Jumbo Jet’s last flight in style with a business class lunch along with champagne for all.

Since the early seventies, the Boeing 747 has been a showcase of modern innovations and has revolutionized air transport. Air travel became more widespread and we entered an era of mass tourism. For cargo, the Boeing 747 had pressurized holds, which were ventilated and protected against fire. Four times larger than the previous generation of Boeing, the 707, they could carry 122 tons of cargo! On both of my trips from Montreal to the Paris Airshow I flew on the Air France Combi 747.

Air France was one of the first airlines to operate this aircraft, making it the flagship of its long-haul fleet: New York, Montreal, the French West Indies, Reunion, Asia … most of the Company’s destinations have been served by the Jumbo.

Air France says, “We started innovating from the early seventies. The role of chief purser was created to coordinate the service and attention paid to customers in this aircraft which could carry up to 500 passengers. Inflight cuisine was of great importance, with menus designed by great French chefs: Paul Bocuse, Gaston Lenôtre and Pierre Troisgros. Finally, the cabin interior was designed by Pierre Gautier-Delaye, who paid particular attention to the comfort of the seat cushions and seatbacks.”

 

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