Chart of the Day: 747s and 777s at MSP

If you haven’t stood transfixed on a street corner gaping in awe at a Boeing 747 as it climbs up, up, and away from its terrestrial prison, you haven’t really lived. Aviation geeks have long enjoyed seeing the 747 fly in and out of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, shuttling passengers between the Twin Cities and Tokyo’s Narita airport.

That is, until two years ago, when Delta opted to operate the route primarily with the 747’s vanilla-frozen-yogurt cousin, the 777. Sure, the engines are huge and the thing’s got an elegance to it, but for many of us, the 747 will always be the belle of the ball – a real class act in a sky full of ho-hum twin-engine mosquitoes.*

Today’s chart shows that transition, highlighting Delta’s practically-criminal disregard for Minnesota airplane spotters. The data come from the Metropolitan Airports Commission, which offers a number of reports and datasets through its Noise Program website. It’s a great resource not just for aviation fetishists, but for anyone interested in the airport’s operations.


Source: Metropolitan Airports Commission

Source: Metropolitan Airports Commission

*Yes, there’s Air France’s Airbus A340 operating to Paris. It doesn’t quite compare, but for that sound

Anders Imboden

About Anders Imboden

Anders Imboden works in sustainable transport and environmental policy. Now living in Vientiane, Laos, he was born and raised in Uptown Minneapolis.