This is what was written on the Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet’s control yoke

  • The fleet of British Airways Boeing 747-400 was retired due to the pandemic
  • And we know the concentration and focus required to fly an aircraft of this size
  • However, the W-shaped yoke will make you take a second look

Published on Jul 04, 2024 at 6:05 PM (UTC+4)
by Amelia Jean Hershman-Jones

Last updated on Jul 04, 2024 at 11:49 PM (UTC+4)
Edited by Tom Wood

After we bid a fond farewell to the entire fleet of British Airways Boeing 747-400 due to the pandemic’s crushing effect on global aviation – the iconic aircraft’s control yoke is well worth taking a look back at.

In simplest terms, the control yoke allows the pilot to move the airplane up, down, over left, and over right.

But it’s what is written on the W-shaped yoke of the British Airways Boeing 747 that will really make you take a second look.

READ MORE! Etihad Boeing 787-10 cockpit footage captures every detail of Abu Dhabi night landing

The cockpit of the Boeing 747

One of the most iconic aircraft ever made, it made its debut test flight in February 1969, with the last Boeing 747 rolling off the production line in December 2022.

We’ve previously seen footage from inside the cockpit of Boeing 747, revealing exactly what it’s like for a pilot to take off.

Like the inside of a vintage IBM super-computer, its buttons, levers, and knobs reach from the cluttered dashboard right up to the roof.

This video of a Dutch pilot in the cockpit of a Boeing 737 shows the concentration and focus required to land in crosswinds.

The control yoke

And with so much to remember it makes sense that, for the safety of themselves, the jumbo jet, and every person on board, a memory jog would be a good idea.

That’s why the W-shaped control yoke features instructions for each leg of the flight- from before take-off to landing.

While each model will vary slightly – the jist of those instructions remains the same.

First up ‘before takeoff’ it reminds the crew that the flaps should be X-checked, the flight controls should be checked, take-off briefing should be reviewed and the cabin should be secure.

Next onto ‘cleared for lineup/takeoff’ with a reminder to review packs and transponders are to give information on traffic advisories (TA) and resolution advisories (RA) when appropriate.

Followed up by checks towards the back end of the flight on ‘descent/approach’.

These include checking recall, auto brakes, alongside landing data VREF minimums, presetting and checking the altimeters, and completing the approach briefing.

Lastly for ‘landing’, the cabin should be secured, the speed brake armed, the landing gear down and the flaps deployed.

And specialist aircraft furniture manufacturer, Jayyviation, recently had one for sale for just over $1,900.

However, while the Boeing 747 cockpit seems complicated it has nothing on the cramped and complicated cockpit of the SR-71 Blackbird.


Amelia Jean Hershman-Jones

London-based Amelia cut her journalistic teeth covering all things lifestyle, wellness and luxury in the UK capital. Fast-forward a decade and the experienced content creator and editor has put pen to paper for glossy magazines, busy newsrooms and coveted brands. When her OOO is on you can find her spending quality time with her young family, in the gym or exploring the city she loves.