Known as the 'Queen Of The Skies', few aeroplanes are as recognisable as the Boeing 747, and in half a century it has transported 3.5billion passengers and billions of tons of cargo around the planet.
But 50 years of aviation history came to an end today as the last British Airways jumbo jets left London Heathrow Airport, with two 747-400 aircraft taking off on a foggy morning before heading to scrapyards.
The G-CIVB and G-CIVY 747 models had been due to perform a synchronised dual take-off on parallel runways, but instead departed from the same runway separately due to the poor weather conditions.
BA said the G-CIVB model entered service in February 1994 and had flown 59million miles, while G-CIVY had clocked-up 45million air miles having first flown in September 1998.
The sad end for the iconic planes was witnessed by BA staff and engineers who lined up to see them off at 8.35am, with more than 18,000 people watching a live-stream of the event on BA's Facebook page.
The Civil Aviation Authority granted special permission for one of the jets to fly over Heathrow at 600ft in a poignant farewell to the airport before they head onto St Athan in South Wales and Cotswold Airport.
Aircraft G-CIVB, one of the last two British Airways Boeing 747-400 aircraft, takes off at London Heathrow Airport today
Spectators take images of a British Airways Boeing 747 as it does a flypast over London Heathrow Airport this morning
A British Airways Boeing 747 leaves London Heathrow Airport on its final flight this morning
Aviation enthusiasts take photographs of a British Airways Boeing 747 as it does a flypast over London Heathrow today
Aircraft G-CIVY, one of the last two British Airways Boeing 747-400 aircraft, takes off at Heathrow this morning
British Airways Boeing 747-400 aircraft, designated G-CIVY, performs a flypast over Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport today
A British Airways Boeing 747 leaves London Heathrow Airport this morning. The retirement of the fleet was brought forward as a result of the impact the Covid-19 pandemic had on the airline and the aviation sector
A British Airways Boeing 747 does a flypast over London Heathrow Airport on its final flight this morning
Aircraft G-CIVY takes off at Heathrow Airport today in what marked the end of an era in aviation history
A British Airways Boeing 747 flies over London Heathrow Airport this morning during its final flight
Aircraft G-CIVY carries out a take off as one of the last two British Airways Boeing 747-400 aircraft at Heathrow today
Aircraft G-CIVY, one of the last two British Airways Boeing 747-400 aircraft, takes off at London Heathrow this morning
Spectators react after watching the British Airways Boeing 747 do a flypast over London Heathrow Airport this morning
Versions of the 345-seat four-engine aircraft have been in service with BA since 1971. The Mail revealed in July that the airline is to scrap its fleet of 31 747s following a collapse in passenger numbers during the pandemic.
BA bosses are thought to have discussed the possibility of a low-altitude flyover of a British landmark to mark the final flight.
This would have echoed the departure of Concorde, which delighted crowds as it soared over Clifton Suspension Bridge in November 2003.
However, such a stunt was deemed too expensive at a time when BA is facing immense cost pressures. There were also concerns of overcrowding among spectators.
Although the aircraft are loved by frequent fliers and the wider public, they are notoriously inefficient compared with newer jets such as the 787 Dreamliner and Airbus A350.
Captain Al Bridger and his crew at the point when they were ready for pushback on board one of the Boeing 747s this morning
The last two British Airways Boeing 747-400 aircraft, designated G-CIVY (front) and G-CIVB (rear) at London Heathrow today
Emergency services 'waving' the planes off as they taxied to the runways by flashing their lights at Heathrow this morning
A Union Jack is waved from the cockpit window of one of the last two British Airways Boeing 747-400 aircraft this morning
G-CIVY and G-CIVB prepare for the final flight from Heathrow Airport today after the retirement of the airline's 747 fleet
One of the British Airways Boeing jumbo jets being towed out at London Heathrow Airport this morning
One of the last two British Airways Boeing 747-400s, designated G-CIVY, prepares for the final flight from Heathrow today
Captain Al Bridger outside G-CIVY this morning before the British Airways jumbo jet leaves Heathrow Airport
One of the British Airways 747s is pictured in the early hours of this morning. Security sweeps for the aircraft began at 3am
Captain Al Bridger and his crew preparing for the flight on board the British Airways 747 aircraft this morning
An empty first-class cabin on board G-CIVY this morning before the British Airways jumbo jet takes off at Heathrow
The flight plan for G-CIVY today, which highlights a precautionary diversion to Birmingham, on the way to St Athan in Wales
The flight plan for G-CIVB which is heading for the scrapyard at Cotswold Airport near Kemble in Gloucestershire today
Few aeroplanes are as recognisable as the 747, but now it has become a symbolic victim of the crisis facing the aviation industry as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
A top speed of just over 650mph makes the jumbo the fastest commercial plane on the planet but it is notoriously inefficient compared with newer aircraft.
Landing a 747 at Heathrow costs more than £13,000, of which nearly £4,000 is in environmental tariffs.
BA's first 747-400 - the variant most commonly in use today - was delivered in June 1989. It flew until 2018, when it sent to a scrapyard in California.
Entered service: February 15, 1994
Retirement date: September 8, 2020
Last passenger flight: April 6, 2020 from Miami Airport to London Heathrow Airport
Capacity: 300 passengers and 18 crew
Engines: Four Rolls-Royce RB211-524G2-T-19 turbofans
Current livery: Negus
Previous livery: Landor and named 'City of Litchfield'
Flights operated: 13,398
Hours flown: 118,445
Miles flown: 59million
The jumbo jet's last flight in April was a Miami-Heathrow repatriation service for cruise ship passengers during the coronavirus pandemic. In 2009 at Phoenix Airport, it had to be evacuated via slides shortly after push back, when fumes and smoke began to fill the cabin. Sixteen people were injured with one taken to hospital. The aircraft will now be located at Cotswold Airport in Kemble, Gloucestershire, where it is expected to be scrapped.
Entered service: September 29, 1998
Retirement date: September 08, 2020
Last passenger flight: March 20, 2020 from Chicago Airport to London Heathrow Airport
Last freight flight: April 5, 2020 from Dallas Airport to London Heathrow Airportsonos sonos One (Gen 2) - Voice Controlled Smart Speaker with Amazon Alexa Built-in - Black read more
Engines: Four Rolls-Royce RB211-524G2-19 turbofans
Livery: Chatham Dockyard
Flights operated: 11,034
Hours flown: 90,161
Miles flown: 45million
G-CIVY takes off at London Heathrow Airport today
A Boeing 747 in British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) livery on March 19, 1971. The airline, now known as BA, flew its first 747 flight on April 14, 1971