Iran Air is a well known B747-SP operator as they purchased 4 B747-SP brand new from Boeing factory in late 1970s. After 38 years, one such B747-SP is still in airworthy condition: EP-IAC, is the last B747-SP commercial passenger plane in the world. On 23 November 2014, Iran Air together with Airevents (www.airevents.de) organized a farewell sightseeing flight on the last commercial passenger B747-SP in the world from Tehran to Tehran in an hour to show the beauty of Iran. The sold out event have over 300 enthusiasts participated from all over the world participated
Few weeks prior to 23 Nov, EP-IAC went inside the Iran Air maintenance for a needed C Check. The Iran Air mechanic team successfully completed the maintenance ahead of the farewell sightseeing flight. Since she had only just went through a C check and her life will be extended by 6-12 months, the planned farewell sightseeing flight WON’T be its last flight into retirement. It would be great to see the B747-SP flies on into the future as long as possible.
On the day EP-IAC successfully flew a check flight for 20 minutes and everything is ready for the sightseeing flight scheduled at 11am. Boarding via buses to outer parking bay was slightly delayed but the spirit of aviation enthusiasts run high. Many Iranian aviation enthusiasts, former airline pilots, staff and media joined the event.
Tehran Mehrabad to Tehran Mehrabad
Captain: A Moghadam
F/O: A Sany
Flight Level FL260
Speed: 300Knots (Mach 0.80)
A Govt B707 on the ramp. There were no objections to any photography around.
There were some light rain early in the morning but the sky was clearing up minute by minute. Under the command of Iran Air B747 fleet manager Captain Moghadam, EP-IAC soar into the Iranian sky once more with a quick rotation off Mehrabad’s Runway 29L.
Go Pro Video of takeoff:
The flight plan was for a 1 hour flying in a clockwise loop from Tehran to Tehran over Alborz mountain and Caspian sea showing off the beauty of Iran.
There was also a small chase plane chartered by 6 Austrian Photographers to conduct air-to-air photos with the B747-SP in mid air. Both plane took off in almost formation provided some spectacular sights. However, this didn’t turn out as the B747 was on the wrong side of the sun and the small plane have to return to base after 30 minutes.
Iran Air’s mechanic team did a great job maintaining and looking after the plane. No one would believe it was 38 years old. LCD TV being installed and many panels were changed and kept in good order.
After the seat belts signed being turned off, the crowd started moving around the cabin. Cockpit is open for visit during the flight. The nose area and stair to upper deck were particularly popular and crowded. Many Iranian enthusiasts interacted with visitors in a very nice atmosphere. Everyone is taking photos onboard. I have never seen such an enthusiastic crowd that prevented the crew to serve food and drinks as the spirit ran high. The Iran Air crews were extremely relaxed and accommodating, joining the crowd to take photos together.
Picture of Homa Class from the nose.
Picture of center economy class.
After about one hour flight, I was the last one to go upstairs into the cockpit. Words can’t describe how lucky and honour that I felt to be able to sit behind the pilots to observe the landing back to Tehran Mehrabad Airport. I was also able to film the whole landing on my Go Pro camera mounted on the side window. Approaching Mehrabad is a thrill, you have the massive city of Tehran on the right side, which house over 16 million people. The airport is now in the middle of the town.
The pilots were so confident, commanding great pride on the B747-SP. With a very gentle touch down around 13:30, we completed the farewell sightseeing flight.
Go Pro Video of landing:
Refreshments were served after landing as there weren’t any opportunity to serve during flight. Gift pack include flight certificate, a nice box of saffron, an Iranian table cloth were handed out to every single passenger.
The sightseeing flight not only allows enthusiasts to fly the B747-SP, but allow a rare opportunity to discover Iran, the land of Persia. One cannot overemphasize the extent of how hospitable Iranians are. The flight provides International friendly encounter with all Iranians. Most visitors and enthusiasts walked away in complete awe and could not believe how friendly and warm Iranians are. I believe the B747-SP Farewell Sightseeing flight is not the end, it is just the start for many who will return to Iran for more aviation or tourism encounters.
My group with our flight certificate in hand.
I would like to thank you Iran Air, Air Events (Manuel) and Sharham for their great vision, planning and organization of the 100% successful event.
Some of the items from the gift pack and our certificate