The General Electric Aircraft Engines 747-121 test bed, N747GE (c/n 19651, l/n 25), made an overnight stop at HNL yesterday after arriving from HKG, via GUM. The 41-year-old Jumbo Jet is seen above headed back to its VCV base. It's been reported that N747GE is bound for retirement, and will be replaced with a former Japan Airlines 747-446 (JA8910, now N356AS).
19651 was first flown in March 1970, originally delivered to Pan American World Airways in June 1972 as N744PA, and named "Clipper Ocean Spray". When Pan Am switched to the "billboard titles", N744PA was one of the first batch of PAA's 747s to receive the new livery. It would serve PAA until the airline's demise in December 1991. In March 1992, General Electric acquired this 747-121. It was registered it as N747GE, and it was configured as an engine testbed platform. All new jet engine types produced by GE were tested in the "number two" position. In one instance, N747GE was testing a GE90-115B in January 2003, which the new engine suffered a fuel leak and fire, and was stuck at HNL for a few weeks.