A Boeing 747-8, almost never used, has been flown to an aircraft boneyard in Marana, Arizona. Likely to be scrapped

World’s least used jet

The world’s least-flown 747 has been transported to the Marana desert in Arizona, likely to be scrapped. Flight tracking data shows the aircraft departing from Basel, Switzerland, on Friday, 15 April, and touching down in Arizona 11 hours later. Marana is home to Pinal County Airpark, an aircraft “boneyard” where planes are taken to be scrapped and harvested for parts.

Boeing 747-8 Saudi
N458BJ in-flight | © RWB

The aircraft, registration N458BJ, is one of the few privately-owned 747s ever made. It was originally constructed for the Saudi Royals in 2012 to serve as a transport for state visits. However, the plane has spent the last ten years sitting in storage at Basel Airport instead.

Why was the plane never flown?

Over the course of its lifetime, N458BJ has seen only 42 hours in the air. A tiny amount, considering a regular 747, might log over 100,000 flight hours before it is scrapped. So how come it was never used? The jet was first commissioned by the Saudi Arabian Royal Flight group in June 2012 and was to be registered HM-HMS1. However, the crown prince it was bought for died whilst the aircraft’s interior was still being prepared. And so the plane has sat unused for ten years.

boeing 747-8 unfinished interior
The unfinished interior of the royal Boeing 747 | © SRAM MRAM

Three days before it was flown out, the plane was purchased back by Boeing, leading some to speculate that it may get a second life. It seems unlikely given the jet’s destination, but given the plane is almost pristine, it is ripe for conversion.

What are your thoughts on the 747 being scrapped? Let us know in the comments below!



  • i know for a fact this plane has more a probability of becoming a freighter then it being scrapped i know i work in the industry as an mechanic and i happen to work at pinal air park 😁 the plane flew here and left the same day it came here to arizona . i posted the landing on my youtube channel Aviation techops

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