Technology

30 September 2020
Age of Jumbo Jets

According to international aviation authorities, over 4 billion people prefer planes for travelling each year. This number is expected to be around 8 billion by 2030. The most important shareholders in this success of aviation are possibly the Jumbo Jets. These planes enable people to fly farther for much cheaper. Produced by the end of 1960’s, these planes changed the way we travel forever. Let us take a quick journey into the past; the days of the first wide-airframe plane and the first Jumbo Jet. 

As the World War II technological innovations were integrated in the civilian life, civil aviation started to grow speedily. By 1956, people were already choosing planes over ships to travel across the Atlantic Ocean. With the increasing demand, companies started working on projects to expand cabin areas and lower costs. 

The use of jet engine planes produced towards the end of WWII in civil aviation would only be possible with the development of better engines and safer planes. Boeing 707 and McDonnell Douglas’ DC-8 models were highly appreciated. These planes could carry about 200 passengers and more load. The age of Jumbo jets had almost started.

As the increasing demand necessitated bigger planes, longer wings enabled more fuel intake, which increased the flying range. Direct flights on trans-Pacific routes that connected America, Africa, and Europe continents together also started back then. Almost 106 million people used planes to travel by the 1960’s. In those years, airlines focused on efficiency, size, and reliability and manufacturers entered a cutthroat competition to manufacture Jumbo jets. This competition’s first fruit was the first Jumbo jet, the giant planes, Boeing 747, introduced to public in 1969. 

They were called “Jumbo” for their gigantic size. These jet planes would revolutionize the history of global civil aviation. Doubling the passenger capacity when compared to its predecessor, the first Jumbo jet had a magnificent power with 333 tons of maximum take-off capacity. Enabling the first real long-range flight with its range of 8,560 kilometers, these planes also decreased the plane ticket prices. The age of Jumbo jets had officially begun for more people to fly. 

Today, we are slowly leaving the age of Jumbo jets behind. Airlines are working on more effective and innovative models. The two giants of the industry, Boeing and Airbus, are introducing new wide-airframe plane models while also shaping the future of aviation through futuristic designs. In these days, during which we speak about clean energy or autonomous planes, it is not an easy task to design the future. The fact, however, is that the contribution of Jumbo jets to the aviation industry will never be forgotten.