Emotional final farewell and wing wave of Virgin Atlantic’s ‘flying billboard’ Boeing 747

  • One of Virgin Atlantic’s last Boeing 747s bowed out in style
  • The pilot performed a wing wave maneuver during its final flight
  • This 747 had a nickname called ‘The Falcon’

Published on Jun 23, 2024 at 1:27 PM (UTC+4)
by Siddharth Dudeja

Last updated on Jun 23, 2024 at 1:27 PM (UTC+4)
Edited by Daksh Chaudhary

Footage of an iconic Boeing 747 owned by Virgin Atlantic recently resurfaced, where the pilot performed a breathtaking maneuver by performing a ‘wing wave’ to mark the plane’s final flight and bid farewell to the aircraft dubbed ‘The Falcon.’

This particular 747 had a unique look, with a very bold billboard-like situation going on — it had a huge Star Wars ad as part of its livery.

Guess you could call it the ‘flying billboard’ 747.

READ MORE: Boeing 747s have a secret room passengers will never notice

Virgin Atlantic pilot bids farewell to the Boeing 747

Although the Boeing 747 is an iconic plane, it’s also quite old.

This 747-400, registered as ‘G-VLIP,’ entered service back in 2019, where it served faithfully for almost two decades.

Further, like many other 747s, the airline decided to relieve the aircraft from its duties in June 2020, when it took its final flight.

It’s an emotional moment for pilots and aviation enthusiasts to see a plane as wonderful as the 747 retire.

That is why pilots often perform a wing wave or a wing salute when either a pilot, a plane, or an airline is about to retire.

It’s a way to show respect for their service.

The video, uploaded by a YouTube channel called Planes & Trains, shows the entire take-off sequence.

Moreover, you can clearly see a sizeable crowd gathered to witness The Falcon’s final flight.

That’s certainly an emotional and iconic sight.

Several 747s have been retired

Despite being the world’s largest commercial aircraft to date, the 747’s time seems to be up.

Several airlines worldwide retired the 747s in their fleets, and many of those bowed out in style.

For instance, Air India’s last Boeing 747 went out of service a few months ago, and its pilot, too, performed a wing wave.

Another 747, taking off from Washington, USA, performed a wing wave maneuver for its final flight.

It’s uncertain if we will ever see a plane with a fan following as huge as the 747s.

However, if anything, the aircraft never failed to amaze its passengers and enthusiasts alike.


Siddharth Dudeja

Siddharth is a tech nerd with a secret love of all things cars. He has been writing for a few years now, and on his free time you would find him gaming when he's not procrastinating.