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South African Airways Boeing 747-224B Jumbo Jet


Model ID#:





Jumbo Jet







Boeing Corporation

Model Scale:




historical significance

First Albuquerque Visit:    1971

SKU: Model-0360 Categories: ,

Additional Information:

The Boeing 747 is a large, long-range wide-body airliner designed and manufactured by Boeing Commercial Airplanes in the United States between 1968 and 2023. In 1965, Joe Sutter left the Boeing 737 development program to design the 747. In April 1966, Pan Am became the first customer by ordering 25 Boeing 747-100 aircraft. In late 1966, Pratt & Whitney agreed to develop the JT9D engine, a high-bypass turbofan for the 747. On September 30, 1968, the first 747 was rolled out of the custom-built Everett Plant, the world’s largest building by volume. The first flight took place on February 9, 1969, and the 747 was certified in December of that same year. It entered service with Pan Am on January 22, 1970. The 747 was the first airplane to be called a “Jumbo Jet” as the first wide-body airliner. The Boeing 747 was able to accommodate up to 366 passengers.

South African Airways (SAA) was the flag carrier of South Africa. Founded in 1934, the airline is headquartered in Airways Park at O. R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg and operates a hub-and-spoke network, serving ten destinations around Africa. The carrier joined Star Alliance in April 2006, making it the first African carrier to sign with one of the three major airline alliances. The airline entered voluntary business rescue in December 2019 as a result of many years of financial losses, and suspended all operations the following year.
On 13 March 1968, SAA ordered five Boeing 747-200Bs. The first 747-200B, ZS-SAN, was named “Lebomb” and was delivered on 22 October 1971 after a three-stop flight from Seattle. It began service for SAA in December and proved to be a very popular aircraft. SAA eventually purchased and operated 23 brand-new “Jumbo Jets”, including the −200M, −300, −400, and the long-range Boeing 747SP.

The Boeing 747’s produced after June of 1971 were fitted with Pratt & Whitney engines producing 2,000 pounds more thrust than the original engines. The FAA conducted high altitude airport certification tests at Albuquerque, New Mexico using the larger engines. The original engines were tested at Roswell, New Mexico. The South African Airways 747-200 aircraft, ZS-SAL, was the “Tafelberg” or “Table Mountain”. Tafelberg is a landmark just outside Cape Town, South Africa. One of the Boeing test pilots, Lou Wallick, was a naval aviation cadet and began his training at Albuquerque’s West Mesa Airport in 1943. The tests were conducted on September 27-28, 1971.