Within a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission, first reported by Aviation Week, Boeing let it slip that the 747 is about to come to the end of its viable life—sometime around 2020, which would bring to an end the aircraft’s solid 50 year run. First introduced in 1966 the plane’s twin-aisle wide-body cabin changed flying forever and initiated the age of widely affordable air travel. In the first phase of the Jet Age, beginning in the late 1950s, the passengers frequently looked as sexy and glamorous as the machines, but flying remained well beyond the means of the middle class. With many more seats spread across three classes of service, the 747’s seat/mile cost (the cost of flying one seat one mile) was 6.6 cents per mile, one-third of the 707’s cost. This enabled coach class seats to be sold at prices that brought international travel to many millions more people. Ironically, it is Boeing itself that has rendered the 747 obsolescent by launching a new generation of the 777, the 777X, planned to arrive in 2020. It will be capable of flying as many passengers as the original 747, more than 400, at a lower cost than the 747-8. Already, airlines have ordered more than 300. To read more about the history of this iconic airline at The Daily Beast, click here.