Thursday, November 21, 2013

Massive Cargo Plane Lands to Deliver Freight - At the Wrong Airport

747 Dreamlifter is Officially Too Big to Take Off
Shipping News Feature

US – They say the Atlas Air Boeing 747 Dreamlifter is a modified 747-400 passenger airplane that can haul more cargo by volume than any airplane in the world, a useful tool in an industry where freight carrying capacity is money. Unfortunately the 9,200 foot runway which the giant plane needs to safely take off means its use is restricted to major air hubs, so when one touched down today at the Col. James Jabara Airport in the north east of Wichita, with its 6,101 foot landing strip, it posed some problems which might take some solving.

The plane was due to land twelve miles away at the military airfield at McConnell Air Force Base, having loaded and left New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport. Fortunately by calculating that the fuel used on the trip had reduced the aircraft’s overall weight sufficiently to allow take off from the shorter strip, the Boeing owned but Atlas Air operated ‘should’ be able to clear the airfield safely according to engineers who puzzled on the problem.

One may wonder what Jim Jabara, the first American jet ace after whom the field is named, would think of the debacle but the full story can be seen on a CNN video report here. If however you live at the end of the Jabara runway, and hear the sound of engines approaching this afternoon, you might want to go out for the afternoon.