My first ever international flight was on a BA747-200 in October 2017 - sad to hear the news today that all remaining BA747s are to be retired immediately.Enjoyed many a 747 sector over the years but two stick out ...
My first - in October 1986 A BA747-200 "City of Birmingham" LHR - BDA - MCO. Sitting back in row 51 I was amazed by how long the aisle was and the take-off from Heathrow was incredibly bumpy and the seat belt sign stayed-on for an age. The massive wings (relative to the 737s and props I'd experienced to that time) seemed to flex not only along their length but also width as you could see the engine pods rising and falling. Best to come was when on approach into Bermuda and the flaps extended to what seemed like twice their width with daylight between the different stages!! - the flying experience was much, much larger-scale than anything else.
Years later, my one-and-only experience on the QF747SP flying CNS-DRW (the first sector of the CNS-DRW-SIN). The -SP not only looked "abridged" from the outside - though dwarfing everything else at CNS - it seemed "stunted" inside compared to the SQ 744s (Megatops) I was more familiar with at that time.
My understanding is that the nose wheel of the 747 doesn't have brakes, so it is spinning as it is retracted and gives the characteristic spinning sound for a second or two after take-off. There are pads inside the housing that stop the spinning. The main wheels have something to stop them spinning before entering the housing, for safety reasons.Just after take-off there was a characteristic "shudder" from underneath, more pronounced when sitting above the undercarriage.
I thought it may have been the brakes stopping the wheels from spinning as they retracted.
Does anyone know what it actually was ?