Wednesday night, the pilots of an enormous Boeing cargo plane mistakenly landed at a tiny Kansas airport. Just a moment ago, the plane safely took off, despite using a much shorter runway than usual.
Takeoff time was originally set for 12 p.m. local time. The public was advised to stay out of the area, and an aircraft rescue and firefighting vehicle was been brought in as a precaution.
The Dreamlifter needs a runway nearly 10,000 feet long at its maximum takeoff weight. The runway at Jabara Airport, where it is now, is just 6,100 feet long.
The 747 Dreamlifter is heavily loaded with parts for Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner, Jon Ostrower at the Wall St Journal reports. Now airborne, the Dreamlifter will make an eight-minute flight to McConnell Air Force Base, its original intended destination.
In a statement, Boeing, simply said “the airplane can take off from that runway.”
Here’s a map of the runway at McConnell Air Force Base, where the Dreamlifter usually takes off, compared to the size of the runway at Jabara, where it will take off today:
This Dreamlifter is one of four 747 planes Boeing has retrofitted to carry airplane parts between its suppliers and assembly sites around the world. The jet is 70 feet high, has a wing span of 211.5 feet, and is 235 feet long. It can haul over 800,000 pounds. It hinges open near the tail:
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