Unloading the Wings

The wings for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner are not built in the US.  They come from Japan and they make the journey in the 747-400LCF Dreamlifter.  The process for unloading them is very well practiced.  The aircraft lands and is parked up.  The tail is then swung open to expose the cavernous hold.  A transporter pulls up behind the lane and elevates its deck to level with the aircraft.  The wings are in a cradle that then slides out of the plane and on to the transporter.  It then backs away and lowers down before driving the wings into a storage building.

While this was going on, other fuselage parts could be seen inside.  With production running at a high rate, this process is repeated every few days.  I have never yet seen the Belugas at work for Airbus doing the same sort of thing but I would like to some day.  Their new aircraft are currently being assembled so they will soon have more capacity.  I don’t know whether Boeing will need more of the Dreamlifters at some point but the current fleet seems to be kept busy.

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