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The 747 by Jeffrey Milstein

By Peggy Roalf   Thursday November 9, 2017

When Jet Set panache gave way to mass tourism and airports began to seem like stockyards, the romance of flight held on through the Boeing 747. The swept-back wings of the 4-engine jumbo jet made it an elegant sight, and gave it a way of lifting off as if by magic.

Between now and mid-December, Delta Airlines, the last U.S. passenger carrier to fly the 747-8, will phase out its remaining aircraft, United having landed its last flight this week. Plane watchers who love the 747 will have to wait for Korean Air landings—or one of the heads of state still using what was the largest passenger plane for 36 years.

Photographer Jeffrey Milstein, who idolized aircraft in his book Aircraft: The Jet as Art  (Harry N. Abrams 2007), noted, "The Boeing 747 is my favorite airliner. Watching one take off takes your breath away. It is unbelievable how such a huge airplane can lift so gracefully from the runway. It is an amazing feat of engineering. Photographing at the end of the runway at LAX it was always exciting to see a 747 way in the distance lining up with the runway for landing. In recent years I have sadly seen less and less of them flying as they have been replaced by the Boeing 777 and the even larger Airbus A380. It will be missed." More images of Milstein's planes in flight can be found here.   


Capturing these [mostly] 747s slowing down to a cool 175 MPH landing, Milstein shows how distinctly different each of these planes are. Look closely and you’ll find the black sheep in the grid. Answers below.

A pilot himself since the age of 17, Millstein, now just into his ‘70s, is still in love with everything having to do with flight. His most recently published body of work continues his dynamic exploration of views from above through his aerial photographs of New York and Los Angeles, on view at Kopeikin Gallery through December 23, in LA. The exhibition coincides with the publication of Milstein’s new monograph from Thames and Hudson, LANY; signed copies will be available throughout the run of the show. Kopeikin Gallery, 2766 S. La Cienega Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA Info 

Top: Air France KLM Boeing 747-400, 2014; L-R, T-B: Singapore Boeing 747-400, 2006; Nippon Cargo Airlines Boeing 747-200, 2006; British Airways Boeing 747-200m 2005; Korean Air Boeing 747-400, 2011; Virgin Atlantic Airbus A340-600, 2007; EVA Air Boeing 747-400, 2006; Virgin Atlantic Airways Boeing 747-400, 2007; Quantas Boeing 747-400, 2006. Photos © Jeffrey Milstein, courtesy of Kopeikin Gallery.

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