EP-IAA. Boeing 747SP-86. c/n 20998-275.


Iran Air was the second airline to place an order for the 747SP. The initial order for two firm airframes and two options was signed with Boeing on October 10, 1973. The aircraft were scheduled for delivery in March and May 1976. At this point Iran Air was the first foreign customer to order this variant of the Boeing 747.


This aircraft was the fifth Boeing 747SP to fly. Rolled out at the Boeing plant at Everett in November 1975 it was powered by Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7F engines. Registered as EP-IAA on the Iranian Aircraft Register she flew for the first time on February 20, 1976. Boeing undertook two extensive flight training courses for 16 Iran Air pilots and 8 flight engineers utilising this aircraft.


Accepted by Iran Air at Paine Field on March 12, 1976 the aircraft was originally named 'Fars' but this was later changed to 'Kurdistan'. It was quickly placed into service on the Iran - United States route. Westbound services from Tehran to New York made a refuelling stop at London's Heathrow Airport, while the eastbound New York - Tehran service, a distance of 6,296 miles was flown nonstop.


By June 1985 this aircraft had acquired new stylised titles with the Iranian flag on the fuselage. The livery had been updated again by December 1998.


By August 01, 2004 it was reported that the aircraft was to retired from service at Tehran and stored. By September it was reported that the aircraft would be used as a source for parts to keep the other SPs flying. It was observed parked in the Iran Air maintenance area at Tehran on May 05, 2005 with its engines covered. However by July 24 the aircraft was on display at the Tehran Aerospace Exhibition intact.


In February 2007 it was reported that the aircraft would be returned to service. On January 26, 2008 it was moved from its storage area to the hangars in preparation for a 'D-check' to be carried out. On May 07, 2008 it was observed at Tehran in its new livery with the 'homa' bird in blue on the engines and named 'Persian Gulf'. By May 27, 2008 it had been returned to operational service.


A slight change was noted to its livery at London's Heathrow Airport on June 01, 2009. The 'homa' bird was now in dark blue on the engine cowls.


It remains one of the few B-747SPs still in regular passenger service and is reported to have accumulated more that 15,776 hours with 4,684 cycles by 2010. It continues to earn its keep as it was observed in service with Iran Air at Beijing, China on March 25, 2012.



EP-IAA. Iran Air - in the original livery at Paris Airport, September 1980.

EP-IAA. Iran Air - in the original livery with revised titles at Frankfurt Airport, January 1989.

EP-IAA. Iran Air - in the final livery at Hamburg Airport, August 1999.

EP-IAA. Iran Air - in the final livery at an unknown airport, April 2010.