The FINANCIAL -- The British Airways aircraft recovery team is scheduled to start the move Sunday, January 20 the Boeing 777 aircraft which operated the BA038 service from Beijing to Heathrow.
"Specialist equipment arrived from Staffordshire early this morning. The delicate process of positioning the 200 tonne aircraft onto electronically controlled platforms under the belly of the aircraft will now begin and is likely to take several hours to complete." British Airways reports.
The aircraft will then start the 500-metre journey from the end of the southern runway to the airline’s engineering base at Hatton Cross, which is expected to take a further two hours.
To prepare for the move, the airline’s expert recovery team has been working round the clock since Thursday to stabilise and steady the aircraft and prepare it for the move.
Bruce Hunter, general manager operational maintenance, said: “BA’s specialist recovery team of 20 engineers flies round the world helping airlines move stranded aircraft. The team has already painstakingly lifted G-YMMM to prepare it for the move. The next stage of this delicate operation will take several hours to complete as the team works meticulously to make sure the aircraft is moved slowly and safely to its new location.”
Hydraulic jacks and air bags were used to position eight canvas strops under the belly of the hull. These are attached to two specialist cranes each capable of lifting 150 tonnes.
Once in position the aircraft will be jacked up inch by inch until it is at the right height for the three platforms to be positioned. Each wheeled platform is capable of holding 80 tonnes.
The supplier of the specialist equipment called – self-propelled modular transporters - is ALE based in Staffordshire.
The same equipment was used to transport a retired British Airways Concorde from Heathrow on the final leg of its journey to the National Museum of Scotland in 2004.