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Record Breaking Qantas 747-400 Makes Its Last Flight

Earlier today, the 'City of Canberra', Qantas Airlines oldest 747-400, made its last flight into an unusually small airport.

The flight was into Illawarra Regional Airport, where the longest runway is only 5,968 feet long. In order to make the landing possible, engineers lowered the tire pressure of the 747 to 120 PSI (it's usually 208 PSI) to prevent damage to the runway during landing. In addition, the taxiways were covered with special mats to handle the weight of the 747, as they tow it to its final destination: an aviation museum.

The 747 set a record for the longest non-stop, unrefuelled flight by an airliner in 1989, when it flew from London Heathrow to Sydney Airport. And as of today, it has flown over 52 million miles - the equivalent of 110 round trips from the Earth to the moon.

Colin Cutler

Colin is a Boldmethod co-founder, pilot and graphic artist. He's been a flight instructor at the University of North Dakota, an airline pilot on the CRJ-200, and has directed development of numerous commercial and military training systems. You can reach him at

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