Would have liked to seen it brought back here to the US.
100% agreed. A true piece of history lost.
The pic below was taken May 12, 1992, at KJFK shortly after Pan Am folded...water cannon salute on taxi followed by a fly-by.
For those who may not know the story on Boeing 747-121 N747PA (cn 19639/2), she was the second production Boeing 747 in the world, and the first "Jumbo Jet" to carry paying passengers. Construction was finished on January 29, 1970 and she was delivered to Pan Am on October 3, 1970.
She was the first Boeing 747 to fly to Australia, she did so on October 25, 1970. http://www.flickr.com/photos/25653307@N03/4751405595/
She served Pan Am from new until the collapse in 1992.
She didn't have it easy. In fact, she was almost lost. On July 30, 1971, she was operating "Clipper 845" from San Francisco to Tokyo. She struck the approach lighting at the opposite end of the runway while taking off runway 01R. Significant fuselage and landing gear damage occurred. Sections of the lighting assemblies penetrated the cabin, injuring passengers. Puking hydraulic fluid, center gear pushed up into the fuselage, but she continued to fly long enough for the crew to dump fuel and make an emergency landing back at KSFO. All on-board survived the accident. The cause of the accident wa determined by the NTSB to be "...the pilot’s use of incorrect takeoff reference speeds. This resulted from a series of irregularities involving: (1) the collection and dissemination of airport information; (2) aircraft dispatching; and (3) crew management and discipline; which collectively rendered ineffective the air carrier’s operational control system." In plain terms...pilot error. But she was repaired, and returned to flight status. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan_Am_Flight_845
She was leased briefly to Air Zaier in 1974 as N747QC, then returned to Pan Am until the bitter end. She was then leased to Aeropasta for a short time, but maintained the same reg number. After Aeropasta closed it's doors, she was left to rot at KSBD...damaged...unflyable....a sad end. The second pic below is her in 1999 in Aeropasta colors, with fuselage and nose gear damage at KSBD. She was purchased for $1 million U.S. dollars, dismantled, and shipped to South Korea at the cost of $100,000.00 U.S., and converted to a restaurant. After the restaurant closed up, the fuselage was abandoned, left to decay...and the rest is history...
Final Departure from KJFK: