More than half a century ago the Boeing 747 took to the air for the first time; it is considered the first large-capacity civilian airliner. Lovingly nicknamed the "Jumbo Jet," the aircraft quickly became the flagship of any airline that operated it. While sales were initially modest, the unmistakable four-engine jet became a bestseller after much-improved and more-advanced versions became available in the 1980s. Though recent technological developments have caused the age of the big four-engine passenger jet to slowly come to an end, the elegant 747 is undoubtedly an aviation legend that still turns heads at airports. Sadly, after a 50-year-plus service career, the last 747s are due to come off the factory line in 2022. The history of the 747's design, development, and operational use is presented in detail in this book, as is its use by many of the world's most famous airlines, including TWA, Pan Am, Lufthansa, Qantas, British Airways, El Al, Air France, and nearly 100 others throughout its long career. Governments and militaries worldwide have also flown the 747, for missions including ferrying NASA's former space shuttle fleet, and the current US Air Force One presidential aircraft. Technical specifications for the 747 and its variants, as well as period photographs, bring to life the fascinating history of one of Boeing's most iconic aircraft.