Watch: Motorists see plane fuselage driven down motorway
Drivers took in an unusual sight as a decommissioned Boeing plane was transported along motorways with a police escort.
The 727 fuselage was driven along the M5, M4 and M32 motorways at 20mph on its way to being converted into a unique office space for an events tech firm.
The 40-metre aircraft sold for £50m when it was transferred from Japan Airlines to private ownership in the 1970s, but its latest owner bought it for less than £100,000.
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It was operational until 2012, when it was taken to Cotswold Airport for salvage, but now lacks an engine and wings.
Johnny Palmer, the founder of Bristol firm Pytch, applied to buy the fuselage in 2018, and after securing permission from Bristol City Council the company will use it as an office dubbed “Pytch Air”.
“Our virtual events studios have been getting busy since COVID and we need more space at Pytch,” Palmer said.
“So rather than do resource- and carbon-intensive construction, we decided to repurpose the icon of unsustainable hyper-consumption – the airliner private jet. And also have a lot of fun along the way.”
The 727, which was built in 1968, was taken from Cotswold Airport at 9am on Saturday and transported with police to Pytch’s Bristol headquarters.
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Pytch also used the event to raise awareness of its fundraiser for the Somerset-based Great Western Air Ambulance Charity (GWAAC), which needs £4m a year to keep running.
“While we are moving a Boeing 727 down a motorway and having interesting and curious conversations about aviation, GWAAC are using flight to save lives – and that is something we really want to get behind and support,” Palmer said.
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