Boeing 747 Large Cargo Freighter

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747 Dreamlifter
Boeing 747-400LCF Dreamlifter.jpg
Boeing 747 LCF Dreamlifter
Role Outsize cargo freight aircraft
Manufacturer Boeing Commercial Airplanes
Evergreen Aviation Technologies Corporation
First flight September 9, 2006
Introduction 2007
Status Never commercially produced, in private service
Primary user Boeing Commercial Airplanes
Number built 4 (all conversions)
Developed from Boeing 747-400

The Boeing 747 Dreamlifter (formerly Large Cargo Freighter or LCF) is a wide-body cargo aircraft. Cargo is placed in the aircraft by the world's longest cargo loader.[1][2][3] It is an extensively modified Boeing 747-400 and is used exclusively for transporting 787 aircraft parts to Boeing's assembly plants from suppliers around the world.

Development[edit]

Boeing Commercial Airplanes announced on October 13, 2003 that, due to the length of time required by land and marine shipping, air transport will be the primary method of transporting parts for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner (then known as the 7E7).[4] Initially, three used passenger 747-400 aircraft were to be converted into an outsize configuration in order to ferry sub-assemblies from Japan and Italy to North Charleston, South Carolina and then to Washington for final assembly, but a fourth was subsequently added to the program.[5] The Large Cargo Freighter has a bulging fuselage similar in concept to the Super Guppy and Airbus A300-600ST Beluga outsize cargo aircraft, which are also used for transporting wings and fuselage sections. At 65,000 cubic feet (1,840 cubic meters) the cargo hold is the largest in the world,[6] and it can hold three times the volume of a 747-400F freighter.[7]

Design phase[edit]

The first conversion remained in this unpainted configuration for a time.

The LCF conversion was partially designed by Boeing's Moscow bureau and Boeing Rocketdyne with the swing tail designed in partnership with Gamesa Aeronáutica of Spain.[8] Modifications were carried out in Taiwan by Evergreen Aviation Technologies Corporation,[7] a joint venture of Evergreen Group's EVA Air and General Electric,[9] Boeing has acquired the four second-hand 747-400s; one former Air China aircraft,[10] two former China Airlines aircraft,[11][12] and one former Malaysia Airlines aircraft.[13]

The first 747 Large Cargo Freighter (LCF) was rolled out of the hangar at Taipei Taoyuan International Airport on August 17, 2006.[9] It successfully completed its first test flight on September 9, 2006 from this airport.[14]

The 747 LCF's unusual appearance has drawn comparisons to the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile and the Hughes H-4 Hercules ("Spruce Goose").[5] Due to its ungainly form, exacerbated by the fact that the need for immediate testing resulted in the first model remaining unpainted for some time, Boeing Commercial Airplanes president Scott Carson jokingly apologized to 747 designer Joe Sutter that he was "sorry for what we did to your plane."[5]

Operational history[edit]

Flight testing[edit]

A Boeing 747 LCF Dreamlifter with its swing-tail cargo bay access open

On September 16, 2006, N747BC arrived at Boeing Field, Seattle to complete the flight test program.[7] Swing-tail testing was done at the Boeing factory in Everett.[15] The second airplane, N780BA, made its inaugural test flight on February 16, 2007. The third began modification in 2007.[16] The first two LCFs entered service in 2007 to support the final assembly of the first 787 Dreamliners.[16]

Delivery times for the 787's wings, built in Japan, will be reduced from around 30 days to just over eight hours with the 747 LCF.[17] Evergreen International Airlines (unrelated to EVA Air or EGAT), a U.S. air freight operator based in McMinnville, Oregon, operated the LCF fleet[5][18] until August 2010. Then Atlas Air, which was awarded a nine-year contract for the operation of the aircraft in March 2010, took over LCF operation.[19] Evergreen had achieved a 93% on flight schedule performance with the LCF,[20] and sued Boeing for $175 million,[21][22] which the court mostly dismissed.[23][24]

Into service[edit]

The Boeing 747 Large Cargo Freighter lifts off on a flight departing from Nagoya, Japan.

In June 2006, the first DBL-100 cargo loader used for loading 787 parts into the 747 LCF was completed.[25] In December 2006, Boeing announced the 747 LCF would be named Dreamlifter, a reference to the 787's name, Dreamliner. It unveiled a standard livery for the aircraft that included a logo reminiscent of the 787's Dreamliner logo.[26]

Certification was initially planned for early 2007, but was pushed back to June 2007. The aircraft's winglets were removed to resolve excess vibration and other handling characteristics prior to final certification. In the meantime, as part of the flight test program, LCF delivered major sections of the 787 from partner sites around the world to the Boeing factory in Everett, Washington for final assembly.[27] The 747 LCF was granted FAA type certification on June 2, 2007. From its first flight in 2006 until certification in 2007, the Dreamlifter completed 437 hours of flight testing along with 639 hours of ground testing.[28]

Of the four 747 Dreamlifters Boeing acquired,[29] three were complete and operational by June 2008,[30] and the fourth became operational in February 2010.[31][32]


Notable Incidents[edit]

On November 21, 2013, A Dreamlifter operated by Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, accidentally landed at Col. James Jabara airfield in Kansas, the pilot mistaking that airfield for the McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita, 9 miles south. No one was injured in the incident and the plane departed Jabara airfield the following day, making a successful landing at McConnell.[33]

Specifications[edit]

A wide angle photo of a 747 Dreamlifter

The 747 LCF main cargo compartment has a volume of 65,000 cubic feet (1,840 cubic meters).[34]

Model 747 Dreamlifter 747-400
Cockpit crew Two
Length 235 ft 2 in (71.68 m) 231 ft 10 in (70.6 m)
Wingspan 211 ft 5 in (64.4 m)
Height 70 ft 8 in (21.54 m) 63 ft 8 in (19.4 m)
Fuselage width 27 ft 6 in (8.38 m) 21 ft 4 in (6.50 m)
Spec Operating Empty Weight 180,530 kg (398,000 lb) 179,015 kg (394,661 lb)
Maximum take-off weight 364,235 kg (803,001 lb) 396,890 kg (874,990 lb)
Cruising speed Mach 0.82 (474 kt, 878 km/h) Mach 0.85 (491 kt, 910 km/h)
Takeoff run at MTOW 9,199 ft (2,804 m) 9,902 ft (3,018 m)
Range fully loaded 4,200 nmi (4,800 mi; 7,800 km) 7,260 nmi (8,350 mi; 13,450 km)
Max. fuel capacity 52,609 U.S. gal (199,150 l) 57,285 U.S. gal (216,850 l)
Engine models (x 4) PW 4062 PW 4062
GE CF6-80C2B5F
RR RB211-524G/H
Engine thrust (per engine) 63,300 lbf (282 kN) PW 63,300 lbf (282 kN)
GE 62,100 lbf (276 kN)
RR 59,500 lbf (265 kN)

Sources: Boeing 747-400 specifications,[35] Boeing 747 Airport Report,[36] 747 LCF fact sheet[17]

See also[edit]

External media
Images
Dreamlifter with A380
Video
Areo-TV video
Loading video
Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ "Explore Records: Longest cargo loader". Guinness World Records. 2011. Retrieved September 24, 2011. 
  2. ^ Glenday, Craig (2009). Guinness World Records 2009. Bantam. p. 268. ISBN 0-553-59256-4. 
  3. ^ Reinhardt, Karen (July 2007). "Darn big loader". OEM Off-Highway /. Retrieved September 24, 2011. 
  4. ^ Leach, Yvonne. "Boeing 7E7 Will Use Air Transport for Component Delivery." Boeing Commercial Airplanes, October 13, 2003. Retrieved: March 17, 2008.
  5. ^ a b c d Lunsford, J. Lynn. "Ugly in the Air: Boeing's New Plane Gets Gawks, Stares." The Wall Street Journal, January 8, 2007.
  6. ^ "Boeing Dreamlifter leads unique aircraft at AirVenture" Experimental Aircraft Association. Retrieved: September 30, 2012.
  7. ^ a b c Hanson, Mary et al. "Boeing Selects EGAT for 747 Large Cargo Freighter Modifications." Boeing Commercial Airplanes, February 18, 2005. Retrieved: March 17, 2008.
  8. ^ Hanson, Mary. "Boeing's 747 Large Cargo Freighter Development on Plan." Boeing, February 22, 2005.
  9. ^ a b Hanson, Mary. "Boeing 747 Large Cargo Freighter Rolls Out; Prepares for First Flight." Boeing Commercial Airplanes, June 17, 2006. Retrieved: March 17, 2008.
  10. ^ "Boeing N747BC (Ex B-2464) - Airfleets." Airfleets. Retrieved: March 17, 2008.
  11. ^ "Boeing N780BA (Ex B-162 B-18272)." Airfleets.Retrieved: March 17, 2008.
  12. ^ "Boeing N249BA (Ex B-161 B-18271)." Airfleets. Retrieved: March 17, 2008.
  13. ^ Boeing N718BA (Ex 9M-MPA)." Airfleets. Retrieved: March 17, 2008.
  14. ^ Hanson, Mary. "Boeing 747 Large Cargo Freighter Completes First Flight." Boeing Commercial Airplanes, September 9, 2006. Retrieved: March 17, 2008.
  15. ^ "Boeing 747 Large Cargo Freighter Successfully Tests Swing Tail." Boeing Commercial Airplanes, October 23, 2006. Retrieved: March 17, 2008.
  16. ^ a b Hanson, Mary. "Large Cargo Freighter Taking Shape." Boeing Commercial Airplanes, April 17, 2006. Retrieved: March 17, 2008.
  17. ^ a b "Boeing 747 Dreamlifter Fact Sheet". Archive Boeing Commercial Airplanes, April 23, 2007. Retrieved: March 17, 2008.
  18. ^ Hanson, Mary et al. "Evergreen International Airlines, Inc. to Operate Boeing 747 Large Cargo Freighters." Boeing Commercial Airplanes, December 15, 2007. Retrieved: March 17, 2008.
  19. ^ Ostrower, Jon. "Atlas to assume Dreamlifter control in September." Flightglobal.com, March 1, 2010. Retrieved: March 5, 2010.
  20. ^ Ostrower, Jon. "Sources: Dreamlifter deal part of 747-8 compensation to Atlas."Flightglobal.com, March 5, 2010. Retrieved: September 14, 2011.
  21. ^ Cohen, Aubrey. "Details from Boeing Dreamlifter lawsuit" Seattle Post-Intelligencer, April 2, 2010. Retrieved: September 30, 2012.
  22. ^ Harris, Andrew M. "Boeing Sued by `Dreamlifter' Airline for $175 Million Over Transport Deal" Bloomberg, April 8, 2010. Retrieved: September 30, 2012.
  23. ^ "Judge: Evergreen trade secret claims against Boeing stand" Daily Herald (Arlington Heights), June 14, 2010. Retrieved: September 30, 2012.
  24. ^ Coughenour, John C. "Case 2:10-cv-00568-JCC Document 22" page 22. United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, June 9, 2010. Retrieved: September 30, 2012.
  25. ^ Hanson, Mary. "First Cargo Loader Completed for Boeing 747 Large Cargo Freighter." Boeing Commercial Airplanes, June 12, 2006. Retrieved: March 17, 2008.
  26. ^ "Boeing Reveals Livery, Name for 747 Large Cargo Freighters." Boeing Commercial Airplanes, December 6, 2006. Retrieved: March 17, 2008.
  27. ^ Wallace, James. "Boeing Can't Soothe Jitters." Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Retrieved: March 17, 2008.
  28. ^ Hanson, Mary. "Boeing 747 Dreamlifter Achieves FAA Certification." Boeing Commercial Airplanes, June 4, 2007. Retrieved: March 17, 2008.
  29. ^ "Boeing 747 Dreamlifter Fact Sheet." Boeing. Retrieved: September 14, 2011.
  30. ^ Tinseth, Randy. "Three of four." Boeing Blog Randy's Journal, June 12, 2008.
  31. ^ Mecham, Michael. "Boeing Puts Last Dreamlifter In Service." Aviation Week, February 16, 2010.
  32. ^ "Final Boeing 747 Dreamlifter Enters Service." Boeing, February 16, 2010.
  33. ^ Massive Boeing 747 'Dreamlifter' Mistakenly Lands At Small Kansas Airport. Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved on 2014-03-13.
  34. ^ "Flight Test Program is under way for 747 Large Cargo Freighter." Boeing, November 2006. Retrieved: September 14, 2011.
  35. ^ 747-400 "Technical Information." Boeing. Retrieved: September 14, 2011.
  36. ^ "Boeing 747 Airplane Characteristics for Airport Planning." Boeing. Retrieved: September 14, 2011.
Bibliography
  • Norris, Guy and Mark Wagner. Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Zenith Press, 2009. ISBN 978-0-7603-2815-6. 

External links[edit]