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Boeing 747: Owners' Workshop Manual    by Chris Wood order for
Boeing 747
by Chris Wood
Order:  USA  Can
Zenith Press, 2012 (2012)
* * *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Of all the iconic passenger aircraft that have taken to the skies over the past century perhaps none has impacted long-distance travel like the Boeing 747.

The first Boeing 747 landed at Heathrow from New York in early 1970 and with that flight, wide-body jet travel became a reality on long-haul flights. Airlines could now cut costs on those long flights to Asia and other far-flung destinations around the globe.

In Boeing 747: Owners' Workshop Manual, Chris Wood not only fills in the history of this unmatched plane but he also offers insights into its design, maintenance and flight.

Telling the story of the 747 means looking at all the versions of the aircraft, plus how it was modified to carry cargo and perform special assignments. Special uses of the 747 range from Air Force One to modifications so that the plane could carry the Space Shuttle and manage retardant drops on raging forest fires.

With the production of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, a former 747 was transformed into 'the Dream Lifter', a plane capable of carrying more cargo volume than any other aircraft. The Dream Lifter is used today to transport major assemblies of the 787 to the final assembly plant in Everett, Washington.

In this lavishly illustrated book the technical aspect of the 747 story is divided into separate sections on The Anatomy of the Boeing 747, Engines, Systems, and Maintaining the 747. Other chapters look at what it is actually like to fly the plane and how the giant aircraft is being recycled.

Not that you'll be called upon to do so, but you'll find step-by-step, illustrated instructions on how to change a tire on the 747 (it takes more than one person, naturally). Ever wonder what a flight engineer's job is and what he or she is responsible for in flight? You'll find the answer in another special four page section of the book that details this person's function.

Dismantling a retired 747 is an awesome task and the reader is taken to a jet junkyard located in England. Air Salvage International operates a facility at a former RAF base in Gloucestershire. Here a whole range of retired airplanes are disassembled for parts and then the scrap aluminum is recycled.

Any airplane enthusiast will want to add this fascinating book, that covers various aspects of the Boeing 747's construction and history, to his or her library. This is a one-of-a-kind volume that can be enjoyed by not only the casual reader but the individual with a more technical background as well.

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