SEATTLE, WASHINGTON — On Tuesday afternoon, Boeing wrapped up an era of aviation when it delivered the final copy of its iconic 747 jumbo jet to Atlas Air. Thousands of Boeing employees attended the sentimental last delivery of the plane that redefined air travel and became a symbol of Americana.

Boeing employees who designed and built the first 747, known as the "Incredibles," were present at the ceremony.

"It's a very emotional experience, I know, for so many of the current team and so many that have lineage in the program over the many decades," said Kim Smith, Boeing's vice president, and general manager for the 747 and 767 programs.

The iconic Boeing 747, famously dubbed the "Queen of the Skies," made aviation history as the world's first twin-aisle jetliner. The aircraft was designed and constructed by Boeing in just 28 months and was introduced to the public by Pan Am in 1970.

Boeing's Everett, Washington facility has been the production site of the iconic 747 jet since its conception in 1967. With its immense size, the facility is considered the world's largest manufacturing plant, according to Boeing. However, customer demand for the 747 has decreased over the years as more fuel-efficient two-engine widebody planes have been developed by Boeing and Airbus. After confirming in July 2020 that it would end 747 production, Boeing had already decreased the rate of production to half an aircraft per month, which continued until the program's end.

Boeing recently capped the 747 program, having produced a total of 1,574 planes since its inception. The last plane, which underwent inspections and flight tests, was flown to Portland to get a paint job. The year 2022 saw the delivery of only five 747s, the lowest number since the peak delivery year of 1990 when Boeing delivered 70 of the bestselling 747-400 model.

Despite its retirement from commercial service, Boeing will continue to be linked to the 747 through its aftermarket business and its role in the Air Force One replacement program, which the company was awarded in 2018.