Northwest Aerospace News — Issue No. 28 August | September 2022 | Page 19

While more people were starting to reach far-flung areas of the world , the 747 would bring the same historic transformation to cargo a few years later .
On March 10 , 1972 , Boeing delivered the first widebody freighter , a 747-200 , to Lufthansa . The delivery marked a new era in cargo shipping . The expanded capability of the 747 , with its nose door that could load huge objects , meant that shippers and freight forwarders could deliver more goods faster than shipping by sea or truck . The 747 ’ s capability delivered a monumental boost to air cargo .
“ The ability to ship more goods by air changed global trade overnight ,” said Darren Hulst , vice president of commercial marketing . “ People around the world could receive goods in days instead of months .
Boeing freighters played a significant role in that , and they continue to define the art of the possible today in e-commerce and global trade thanks to their efficiency , versatility and our continuous product innovation to support tomorrow ’ s market needs .”
Later this year , Boeing will deliver its final 747 , ending its decades-long production run . And while the nostalgia runs deep , the historic 747 freighter will make way for more modern and fuel-efficient models like the 777 freighter .
Today , 90 percent of the world ’ s freighter capacity belongs to Boeing freighters , which fly millions of tons of goods around the globe . And the demand is strong . According to Boeing ’ s 2021 Commercial Market Outlook , the global freighter fleet ( production and conversions ) is forecast to grow more than 70 percent from 2019 , amounting to 2,610 new freighter deliveries in the next two decades .
The global freighter fleet is forecast to reach 3,435 airplanes by 2040 — including the newest member of the freighter family , the 777-8 Freighter , which is set to deliver in 2027 .
While we marvel at all the innovation coming from Boeing freighters today , we know we could not have traveled all these miles , breaking so many barriers , without the first Queen of the Skies forging a smoother flight path for all to follow .