April 1, 2016
Iran Air Flight IR810
This was the last Boeing 747-SP in service in commercial airlines in the world.
This was my last time flying the Iran Air B747-SP.
This was my best B747-SP flight out of 10 flights I've flown!
She has been discontinued from service since mid June this year which is extremely disappointing as the Iranian Civil Aviation Orgranisation did not grant any extension sought by Iran Air. As a result of her discontinuation, Iran Air has temporarily suspended flight to the Far East (Kuala Lumpur, Beijing and Mumbai) until they have received replacement airplanes.
I arrived Tehran IKA airport at 3am from Abu Dhabi on an Etihad A320 flight. My plan is to transit Tehran and flying onward to Mumbai in India.
Without an Iranian visa, I was in this small transit area for 2 hours before the agent can issue me a new boarding pass.
You do NOT need a transit visa or anything to transit in Tehran IKA.
The flight IR810 depart Tehran to Mumbai at 7:35am, boarding was called 30 minutes prior to departure time.
Passengers at boarding gate.
Here she is, always a lovely sight. Minutes before I board my last Boeing 747-SP flight!
We have a light load about 160 passengers so I have the whole rear section to me. A very friendly Iran Air flight attendant Nasr joined me for this souvenir photo!
Minutes later, Nasr came back and took me to the cockpit and showed me my new seat of the flight!!!
Today's flight is flown by Senior Captain Mehrabi and Captain Karimien, assisted by F/E Mr Sajidi.
We pushed back a few minutes early and flight time to Mumbai is just over 3 hours with some favorable tailwind.
Lining up on Runway 29L for departure after a short taxi.
Video of takeoff
As we are quite light, our B747-SP climbed directly to FL370 in one go!
I was rather privileged to have my breakfast in the cockpit behind the pilots.
My breakfast consisted of very good scramble eggs (very runny) bread and fruit.
Captain Karimien remembered me from a previous flight together in 2012, showing me the photo I took of him on his cell phone!
As many of you would know, the B747-SP fly faster and cruise higher than most conventional airliner.
We're cruising around Mach 0.86-0.87 during this flight.
After about half way into the flight, I went downstairs to the main cabin and observed her beautiful wing.
This photo is taken from the long galley between Door 1R and 2R.
We're flying over the Balochistan in Pakistani airspace at FL410.
With the lovely Iran Air crew, Nia.
With Nia and Nasr in the long galley of Boeing 747-SP.
Then I went to the main cabin to have a look. Most passengers were sleeping.
You must have noticed how wide the cabin is on the B747-SP!
The rear wing view.
The rear galley of Boeing 747-SP.
After a tour of the plane, I moved to the nose area which is Homa Class (Iran Air's Business Class).
Flight attendant Nia and Nasr saw me sitting down for a while and brought this full tray of food to me!
As a guest to Iran Air, they made sure you're well fed onboard!
Myself in the so called "Throne" middle seat.
After the hearty breakfast, we've started our descend for Mumbai. I went back upstairs and joined the pilots once again.
We were landing on the main runway of Mumbai at Runway 27. It was a smooth landing but little did I know that would be my last B747-SP landing.....I thought I would have more....
After landing, a final farewell picture together with the cockpit crew.
I went downstairs and before deplane, had a photo together with all the crew. It was such a great moment!
I can't express how much I have enjoyed flying on their B747 classics again and again!
It was such an exciting 3 hours flight. I was everywhere, from the back to the front, from the cockpit to the galley....Deep inside myself, I knew I was such an Aviation Geek. I love classics and get very excited flying classics, meeting different people and going exotic places!
Iranians are among the warmest people we have met and the kindest and most resourceful ones too. They don't have much but they gave me their best. Once they understood my passion, they were able to offer me the warmest welcome from their heart. Iran Air does exactly that to win my heart!
I am definitely saddened that this was probably my last B747-SP commercial flight....
SP Never Die?
There is a group of Iranian aviation enthusiasts trying to charter the last B747-SP, EP-IAC on 15 November 2016 for a true last farewell flight from Tehran to Tehran in the similar fashion of the 2014 sightseeing flight. This event (Not confirmed yet) is schedule to take place on 15 November 2016 during my upcoming Iran Aviation Tour. I will keep you updated on the progress of this.
Let's hope there will be a one last farewell flight on 15 November 2016!
As usual, I really appreciate any comments and feedback. Please share with me your B747-SP flight experiences by reply to the post below!