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Is Former Iraqi VIP 747SP Still Flyable?  
User currently offlineDTWPurserBoy From United States of America, joined Feb 2010, 1780 posts, RR: 7
Posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 12881 times:

Back in 1991 when Desert Storm started, the Iraqi government flew their VIP 747SP to Tunisia, painted it all white and there it still sits, 21 years later. You can see it still parked on GoogleEarth. Just curious--is this airframe flyable or just a write off after all these years? The airframe only has a few thousand hours on it.


Qualified on Concorde/B707/B720/B727/B737/B747/B757/B767/B777/DC-8/DC-9/DC-10/A319/A320/A330/MD-88-90
34 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineBA174 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2009, 768 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 12712 times:

err I presume an AC that has been in raw un maintained storage for 21 years without any sort of activity in the meantime tells me that it might just not be flyable.......  

User currently offlineUnited_fan From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 7540 posts, RR: 7
Reply 2, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 12607 times:

I'm sure with enough time and $ as long as it is not corroded,it could be made flyable.


'Empathy was yesterday...Today, you're wasting my Mother-F'ing time' - Heat.
User currently offlineJOE777 From Saudi Arabia, joined Mar 2011, 46 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 12383 times:

It could be flyable, however I don't think it is cost-effective to do so.

User currently onlineflyingclrs727 From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 738 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 12149 times:

Wouldn't it just be better to scrap it and salvage the parts. There aren't very many SP specific parts available, so perhaps an operator of SP's might be interested.

User currently offlineA380900 From France, joined Dec 2003, 1118 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 12121 times:

Well, I have "inspected" the plane up close in Tozeur in 2002 or so and it is definitely not flyable (no engines, I'm not sure about rust but the airframe did look very old and exhausted and in no shape at all, lots of parts were missing, I kind of remember flat tires...). As to whether it could be made to fly again, since all the work would have to be done in Tozeur where there are no facilities at all, my answer is definitely no.

By the way, there are two Iraqi 747 there. Pretty ridiculous to have left them there. It's gonna be a huge pain in the neck for the Tunisians to get rid of them if they ever do...

[Edited 2011-03-16 10:14:58]

User currently offlinen729pa From UK - England, joined Jan 2011, 442 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 11892 times:

Quoting A380900 (Reply 5):
By the way, there are two Iraqi 747 there. Pretty ridiculous to have left them there.

Perhaps that's where they hid the WMD.....has anyone checked them?   


User currently offlineJOE777 From Saudi Arabia, joined Mar 2011, 46 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 11615 times:

How long did IA operate their 747 SPs for?

User currently offlinepnwtraveler From Canada, joined Jun 2007, 2296 posts, RR: 12
Reply 8, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 11584 times:

Trump should have picked those up instead of the 757. I would love to see the faces in Palm Beach as he buzzed the mansions coming in for a landing  .

User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12181 posts, RR: 51
Reply 9, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 11476 times:

Here they are on google earth, and panoramio.com. One is a B-747-200C (YI-AGP), s/c 22366, and the other is the B-747-SP (YI-ALM), s/c 22858.

But both have all four engines installed.

http://www.panoramio.com/photo/11047898

Tozeur, Tunisia

33° 56' 13.38" N 8° 6' 45.09" E


User currently offlineUnited_fan From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 7540 posts, RR: 7
Reply 10, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 11347 times:

I wonder what the inside looks like ? Probably stinks from being closed up,too.


'Empathy was yesterday...Today, you're wasting my Mother-F'ing time' - Heat.
User currently offlineNavigator From Sweden, joined Jul 2001, 1227 posts, RR: 14
Reply 11, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 11315 times:

Quoting flyingclrs727 (Reply 4):
There aren't very many SP specific parts available, so perhaps an operator of SP's might be interested.

I think most components are similar to Boeing 747-200B so there are probably parts available.



747-400/747-200/L1011/DC-10/DC-9/DC-8/MD-80/MD90/A340/A330/A300/A310/A321/A320/A319/767/757/737/727/HS-121/CV990/CV440/S
User currently offlineDTWPurserBoy From United States of America, joined Feb 2010, 1780 posts, RR: 7
Reply 12, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 9782 times:

What a waste of two beautiful airframes. There are pictures of the interior of the SP in the Air Classics book on the 747SP. Since there are only a few SP's still in service, mostly as VIP aircraft and I think one or two flies Vegas junkets, they are probably of minimal value since they were not properly maintained. The engines were not even covered. Despite the circumstances of their arrival one would think that someone would have taken the initiative to protect them. The ultimate irony is that the Iraqi forces destroyed a large number of Kuwait Airways aircraft and facilities while "protecting" their own.


Qualified on Concorde/B707/B720/B727/B737/B747/B757/B767/B777/DC-8/DC-9/DC-10/A319/A320/A330/MD-88-90
User currently offlineBennett123 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 7809 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 9712 times:

I doubt that Saddam encouraged people using initiative.

User currently offlinegkirk From UK - Scotland, joined Jun 2000, 24964 posts, RR: 56
Reply 14, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 9489 times:

Quoting n729pa (Reply 6):
Perhaps that's where they hid the WMD.....has anyone checked them?

    

Turn them into coke cans !   



When you hear the noise of the Tartan Army Boys, we'll be coming down the road!
User currently offlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 4780 posts, RR: 19
Reply 15, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 9463 times:

Quoting A380900 (Reply 5):


Well, I have "inspected" the plane up close in Tozeur in 2002 or so and it is definitely not flyable (no engines, I'm not sure about rust but the airframe did look very old and exhausted and in no shape at all,

Aluminium does not rust.



The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
User currently offlineA380900 From France, joined Dec 2003, 1118 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 9115 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 9):
But both have all four engines installed.

My mistake, it's been a long time. It does give a sense of how healthy these airframes looked to me though.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 15):

Aluminium does not rust.

Point taken. I think I took it from United_fan:

Quoting United_fan (Reply 2):
I'm sure with enough time and $ as long as it is not corroded,it could be made flyable.

Corrosion is rust, no? Besides I remember hearing about the Concorde that because the airframe got warmer than water's boiling point, they had a much better resistance to corrosion than other aircraft. How does that all square?


User currently offlinea300 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 476 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 8252 times:
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I saw the two Iraqi 747s at TOE back in 2003. Both were in all white paint. Could they be brought up to flyable standards? Quite probably, IF there was any repair infrastructure available in TOE, which there is not.

Two of IA's B747s were stored at Mehrabad (THR) since the Kuwait War. One was overhauled, and taken over by the Iranian Air Force, after some 15 or 16 years of open storage. Further, the weather conditions at THR are far less kind to an airframe than those at TOE. I think the repairs were done by the MRO outfit Fajr Ashyan. The latter also overhauled an IRIAF B747-130F after over 20 years of open storage at THR.



Boland Aseman Jayegah Man Ast.
User currently offlineF9Animal From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 5122 posts, RR: 28
Reply 18, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 7602 times:

I wish someone could get inside this airplane, and get some photos!!!!!!!!


I Am A Different Animal!!
User currently offlinecpd From Australia, joined Jun 2008, 4881 posts, RR: 37
Reply 19, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 7461 times:

Quoting A380900 (Reply 16):
they had a much better resistance to corrosion than other aircraft. How does that all square?

But the B747SP in question has a top speed of zero. That's the big difference. And even if it did fly, it won't go fast enough to experience the heating cycles Concorde did.

I don't suspect these two classic B747s will go anywhere. More likely they'll remain as they are.


User currently offlinealoges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8765 posts, RR: 42
Reply 20, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 6978 times:

Quoting A380900 (Reply 16):
Corrosion is rust, no?

"Rust" is the specific term for iron corrosion in the presence of oxygen.



Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlinemy1le From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 181 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 6731 times:

According to a photographer on the site the aircraft was being serviced EVERY 6 months by the military

http://www.airliners.net/photo/Untit...d=a720c62201d9c5a62ebeb1a07c0863b7


User currently offlinea380900 From France, joined Dec 2003, 1118 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 5704 times:

Quoting my1le (Reply 21):
According to a photographer on the site the aircraft was being serviced EVERY 6 months by the military

Seems odd that they would do that and not cover the engines. Or preserve them in other ways for that matter.


User currently offlineUnited_fan From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 7540 posts, RR: 7
Reply 23, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 5124 times:

Then there is the issue of who owns the plane??


'Empathy was yesterday...Today, you're wasting my Mother-F'ing time' - Heat.
User currently offlinetype-rated From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 4778 times:

The work needed to get these birds in the air again would be slightly more than considerable:

They'd have to drain all the hydralic fluid and replenish it and pressure test the systems $$$
They'd have to replace the tires and most rubber hoses on the aircraft due to dry rot $$$$
They'd have to tear down the engines and check for dirt, debris and tolerances. Hell, just put new engines on them. $$$$$$
They'd have to tear down the interior and scrub it for mildew (after being closed up for so long, it's there!)

And that is just for starters. I would say it would be safe to say that the cost of getting one of these in the air would exceed the total value of the aircraft.


25 United_fan : Not to mention all the glass is probably sand-blasted. Kinda sad to see an -SP left to rot.
26 DTWPurserBoy : It would seem that they would either be owned by the Iraqi government or else they have been confiscated because parking, maintenance and tie-down fe
27 na : It is very, very odd the owners left these planes just like that, the SP was practically a new plane when evacuated to Tunesia. I wonder why they were
28 BA174 : God knows what the cabins look like.[Edited 2011-03-19 04:50:02]
29 KC135TopBoom : They are stored in a desert, so corrosion would be miminal. If someone wanted these two B-747s, they could get them flyable again. A one time flight c
30 type-rated : Actually, they were not properly prepared for desert storage. They were just driven to their resting spots and shut down. When you prepare an aircraf
31 Post contains links and images SXDFC : For those interested, if you scroll all the way to 7:51-8:15, "Gulf Papa" was the 747 used to bring back the passengers from that BA flight that got s
32 Post contains links IRISH251 : It's a 747-270C (convertible), so it does have nose loading capability. Here are two photos from 2008 of the 747s at Tozeur: http://www.flickr.com/ph
33 VC10er : Thank goodness I was on one before I died. I believe it was Air China about 12+ years ago. I walked all over it looking around, it was great. The only
34 Viscount724 : Only 13 747-200C convertible models were built, including 3 for Iraqi Airways.
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