This Week in Universal News: Introducing the Boeing 747, 1966

This week in 1966, Boeing introduced the world to the 747, the first jumbo jet. Today, production of the 747 is winding down, but when it first debuted with commercial airlines in 1970, the double-decker represented both scale of economy and the lap of luxury for those fortunate enough to travel in first class. Even if you have never have flown on a 747, you probably frequently see one on the news: Air Force One, the plane used to transport the President of the United States, is a twenty-five year old 747. You can see the first 747 at The Museum of Flight in Seattle. This week, the museum announced their plan to restore the historic plane.

From the release sheet:

NEW 490-SEAT JETS: The largest jet airliner in the history of commercial aviation will be in the air sometime in 1969. It will accommodate 490 passengers, over twice as many as are now carried by any commercial craft. The ship is the jetliner 747, and an order for 25 at a cost of $525 million has been placed with Boeing by Pan American.

You may view the complete newsreel, including stories about a Budapest fashion show, opening day for the Braves for their inaugural season in Atlanta, and Jack Niklaus winning his third Masters tournament, among others, here.

This Universal News story features a mock-up of the 747 interior.

About the Universal Newsreel Collection at NARA:

The Universal Newsreel Collection is one of the most used motion picture collections at the National Archives and Records Administration. Universal Newsreels were shown in movie theaters twice a week, from 1929 until 1967, and covered a wide range of American life and history during that time period. Each release usually contained five to seven stories averaging two minutes in length.

In 1974, Universal deeded its edited newsreel and outtake collection to the United States through the National Archives (NARA), and did not place any copyright restrictions on its use (some stories may contain other underlying intellectual property or proprietary use rights).

While Universal disposed of many of the soundtracks, leaving the newsreels incomplete, supplementary material like scripts, shot lists, and event programs can be found in the production files, available for research at Archives II in College Park, Maryland.

Learn more about the Universal Newsreel Collection in this post and in this Prologue article. Watch other Universal Newsreels in our research room, in OPA, and on this playlist.