Tuesday, August 20, 2013

How to move something very big

A:  Use many, many people and a lot of heavy equipment!

A friend of a friend helped to move the ASIANA Boeing 777 from the end of the runway at San Francisco International airport to the ramp.  He sent along some photos.  Enjoy!

"Wednesday night I was sent to a job at San Francisco Airport which I will probably never have to do again. Our company was tasked with moving one of the largest airplanes in the world across the airport without it breaking apart while crossing the other runways."
I ran the crane on your left the aircraft's Starboard side. A 265ton Liebherr the other crane was a 350ton Grove.  Backing up the truck and trailer. Truck and trailer looks like a 7 axle setup but there are 8 short axles at the back of the trailer. They are only like 4' long allowing for twice the amount of tires. 

My little onboard computer telling me all I need to know 

The tail section was gone and they removed the cabin aft of the wings due to all the damage. Just the wings to nose totaled 185,000 lbs. (84,000 Kilos- 84 tons) 

Under the fuselage at the wings is a beam and dolly set up that is basically four carts tied together with I-beams. Each cart has a hydronic jack to assist with keeping things level and can be adjusted from a central consul. 

All tied down 

Rolling out. This is the widest load I've ever seen with a 185' wingspan. The 777 has a 199'11" wingspan but 15' had to be removed prior to transport. 

Runway 28L

First turn 

Notice it was dark when we started. Took 2:15 min to cross SFO. They shut down the runways so we could move the plane. 

Final stop. Will return next evening to hoist off trailer array 

Well it's sad that this happened but the NTSB said this model plane is a survivable plane. Meaning the landing gear and engines are designed to sheer off and make the plane a "bobsled". The angle of impact is what caused the tail section to fail and rip off. The fact that only 3 of the 300 souls onboard died is amazing. Sad but a blessing in disguise.

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