Home Classic Airliners Classic Airline Fleets – Pan Am’s 747s

Classic Airline Fleets – Pan Am’s 747s

by Matt Falcus

Diogo Monteiro looks back at Pan Am and its classic Boeing 747 fleet.

Pan Am, the giant North American airline, was so popular that it became one of the greatest cultural icons of the 20th century. In the last century, the meaning of glamor and air travel was synonymous with Pan Am.

Since its foundation in 1927, the airline focused on product differentiation and exclusivity thanks to the vision of its founder, Juan Trippe. A pioneer in aviation in several areas, Pan Am quickly expanded both in terms of routes, fleet and services provided.

After the classic and excellent success of the Boeing 707, which was the plane that took the necessary leap to enter the jet age (shortly after Britain’s de Havilland Comet), Pan Am was once again responsible for the creation of what would become one of the best known and classic planes in commercial aviation, which allowed the beginning of the mass air travel: the Boeing 747.

Pan Am was the first airline to place an order for the 747, and it also became its customer and launch operator for what became known as the Queen of the Skies.

 

History of the Pan Am 747 Fleet

In 1966, Pan Am placed an order to Boeing for 25 aircraft valued at 20 million dollars each, for a total order of 500 million dollars.

On 22 January 1970, Pan Am would start its regular passenger 747 service on the prestigious New York – London route, with the Boeing 747-100 registered N736PA (named “Clipper Young America”). The first commercial Boeing 747 was even named by the then American First Lady, Pat Nixon.

Between 1969 until the airline’s closure in 1991, Pan Am received a total of 65 Boeing 747 aircraft models. Of these, 44 were 747-100’s, ten were 747-200B’s and the remaining 11 were 747SPs.

The time of launch of the 747 was during a very peculiar period: the beginning of the 1970s. Despite the great success that the aircraft had experienced, there were several political and social factors that could have jeopardized the operational viability of the 747. The Vietnam War, the oil crisis, the constant tensions in the Middle East, and the growing threat of terrorism that was beginning to use planes as a hijacking stage.

Pan Am’s Boeing 747s were no exception and unfortunately, some were hijacked and others made news for being involved in some of the most notorious plane crashes in history.

 

 

Surviving Pan Am 747s

N481EV EVERGREEN MUSEUM MCMINVILLE OREGON

With most of Pan Am’s 747 aircraft being over 40 years old, it is to be expected that most have already been scrapped. However, there are still a few that are preserved.

Evergreen International Airlines has its own aviation museum, the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum in Oregon. They have three of the old Pan Am 747s on display, including one painted as Air Force One for a display related to presidential special transport.

Stockhom Arlanda Jumbo Hostel

Another aircraft that was preserved was the old N727PA, a 747-200, which is preserved in Sweden and has been converted into a hostel for travelers. It is located outside Stockholm Arlanda Airport, and known as the JumboStay Hostel.

[Disaster in the Skies – the Tenerife Disaster 1977]

 

Pan Am 747 Fleet List

The following is a list of all old Pan Am Boeing 747s and what their current status is.

TypePan Am RegEntry to ServiceFate
Boeing 747-100N4703UJan-86Scrapped
Boeing 747-100N4704UDec-85Broken Up at OSC in 2013
Boeing 747-100N4710UDec-85Broken Up at PIK in 2002
Boeing 747-100N4711UDec-85Broken Up at ROW in 2011
Boeing 747-100N4712UDec-85Broken Up at PIK in 2017
Boeing 747-100N652PAApr-71Broken Up at TLV in 2006
Boeing 747-100N653PAApr-71Broken Up at MZJ in 2013
Boeing 747-100N654PAApr-71Broken Up at ROW in 2011
Boeing 747-100N655PAMay-71Scrapped
Boeing 747-100N656PAJun-71Scrapped
Boeing 747-100N657PAJun-71Broken Up at MZJ in 1999
Boeing 747-100N659PADec-73Scrapped
Boeing 747-100N725PAMay-84Scrapped
Boeing 747-100N731PAJul-70Scrapped
Boeing 747-100N732PAJul-70Scrapped
Boeing 747-100N733PADec-69Scrapped
Boeing 747-100N734PADec-69Broken Up at GYR in 2002
Boeing 747-100N735PAJan-70Scrapped
Boeing 747-100N736PAJan-70Crashed at Tenerife North in 1977
Boeing 747-100N737PAJan-70Broken Up at SBD in 1997
Boeing 747-100N738PAFeb-70Accident at KHI in 1983
Boeing 747-100N739PAFeb-70Destroyed at Lockerbie in 1988
Boeing 747-100N740PAFeb-70Broken Up at JFK in 2000
Boeing 747-100N741PAFeb-70Scrapped
Boeing 747-100N742PAMar-70Broken Up at ADM in 1995
Boeing 747-100N743PAMar-70Preserved at Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Boeing 747-100N744PAMar-70Preserved at DMA
Boeing 747-100N747PAOct-70Scrapped in 2020
Boeing 747-100N748PAMar-70Scrapped
Boeing 747-100N749PAApr-70Scrapped
Boeing 747-100N750PAApr-70Scrapped
Boeing 747-100N751PAApr-70Broken Up at MZJ in 1999
Boeing 747-100N752PAMay-70Destroyed at Cairo in 1970 after hijacking
Boeing 747-100N753PAApr-70Scrapped
Boeing 747-100N754PAMay-70Broken Up at MHV in 1998
Boeing 747-100N755PAMay-70Broken Up at JFK in 2000
Boeing 747-100N770PAMay-70Broken Up at CHR in 2002
Boeing 747-100N771PAAug-70Preserved at Jungong Road, Shanghai
Boeing 747-100N9670May-84Stored at ROW in 2006
Boeing 747-100N9674Dec-83Stored at ROW in 2001
Boeing 747-100FN658PAJul-76Scrapped
Boeing 747-100FN901PAJun-77Scapped
Boeing 747-100FN902PAMay-78Preserved at McMinnville, OR, USA
Boeing 747-100FN903PAJan-78Broken Up at ROW in 2005
Boeing 747-200N723PAJan-85Scrapped
Boeing 747-200N724PAAug-84Stored
Boeing 747-200N727PAJun-84Preserved as hotel at Stockholm Arlanda, Sweden
Boeing 747-200N728PAMar-83Scrapped in Maryland in 2021
Boeing 747-200N729PAFeb-83Preserved at McMinnville, OR, USA
Boeing 747-200N730PAMar-83Broken Up at MZJ in 2015
Boeing 747-200FN535PAOct-74Broken Up at MZJ in 2020
Boeing 747-200FN726PAJun-84Broken Up at DUS in 2006
Boeing 747-200FN904PAJul-79Broken Up at OSC in 2001
Boeing 747-200FN905PAAug-79Stored at OSC in 2013
Boeing 747SPN529PASep-83Stored at MHV in 2016
Boeing 747SPN530PAApr-76Scrapped
Boeing 747SPN531PAMay-76Scrapped
Boeing 747SPN532PAMar-76Broken Up
Boeing 747SPN533PAMar-76Broken Up at ADM in 1997
Boeing 747SPN534PAMay-76Broken Up at ADM in 2001
Boeing 747SPN536PAMay-77Active for NASA as SOFIA
Boeing 747SPN537PAJun-78Broken Up at MZJ in 2003
Boeing 747SPN538PAJul-78Preserved at ACY (USA)
Boeing 747SPN539PAApr-79Stored at MZJ in 2019
Boeing 747SPN540PAMay-79Broken Up at CWF in 2021

 

Did you fly on a Pan Am 747? What are your memories of it? Leave a comment below!

Our thanks to Diogo for this article.

 

 

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7 comments

JAMES CROWE May 2, 2022 - 10:28 am

I just loved flying on the PANAM 747s, just sheer heaven, great space, great grub and the help your self food unit at the rear of the cabin….eat as much as you could fit in !. Flew on N732PA/741/742/743/753 and SP N536PA currently still active for NASA.
First flt was 7/71 LAX/LHR.

Reply
Bruce Haviland May 5, 2022 - 2:56 am

I never had the opportunity to fly on a Pan Am , but other types yes. But I did attend the very 1st 747 at KDTW in Jan 1970. N735PA. Snowy cold cloudy day. I was totally awestruck standing around and under that new Monster. And it made its own snowstorm as she started up and taxied out. Had a friend in ops for Pan Am and had future opportunities to board them including full freighter N905PA. Always had my camera with me!

Reply
Matt Falcus May 5, 2022 - 9:26 am

Great memories Bruce! Thanks for sharing

Reply
Joe Rees May 5, 2022 - 5:28 am

Pan Am 103, We always listened to this flight as it was one of the last to go over the pond, before he got in touch with Shanwick he lost contact with Manchester /Scottish ,we heard the controllers trying to contact them and other flights to do the same but without success. Then we heard the dreadful news ,it upset me for a long long time.

Reply
Matt Falcus May 5, 2022 - 9:27 am

It was an awful day

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Brad Hungerford August 30, 2022 - 10:36 pm

My mother flew for Pan-Am at the onset of the 747 age, was with a whole crew of young ladies trained for that one aircraft. It was the prime of her life and she often speaks fondly of her travels and the sights she saw. My mom lives near the airport hub in Seattle where she was based out of and now only sees an occasional 747 cargo hauler fly out of Sea-Tac, and it always brings a tear to her eye. Does anyone know of an intact Pan-Am 747 that still carries its original livery? I would love to be able to find one to show her.

Reply
Matt Falcus September 1, 2022 - 3:41 pm

Thanks Brad, great memories! I don’t think any Pan Am 747s are preserved in that livery sadly. There are other 747s to visit around the world.
Maybe get her a scale model?
Matt

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