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Photos: How to get a Boeing 737-400 in a hangar that is too small | Airline Reporter | Blogging on the airline business

March 15, 2012

Click to see larger. Photo by Ken Fielding.

AirlineReporter.com reader and airline enthusiast Ken Fielding , who has already brought us great photos of a Boeing 767 with its door open and a Lockheed Constellation that tipped over, now shares a story and a series of photos of a Novair brand spanking new Boeing 737-400 that had some issues trying to get into a hangar in Manchester. Here are his photos and story in his own words:

When Novair took delivery of their two -400′s in spring 1989, they contracted out the line and base maintenance to Dan-Air Engineering in Manchester (MAN). Unfortunately the Dan-Air hangar at Manchester wasn’t quite high enough to accommodate the taller tail on the B737-400… so what did they do? The next few photo’s show how they did it…

Click to see larger. Photo by Ken Fielding.

They designed a hydraulic tow bar which could lift the nose of the aircraft and therefore lower the tail enough to be able to get it through the hangar doors.

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Click to see larger. Photo by Ken Fielding.

It required a delicate balancing act to ensure that the tail didn’t hit the ground, then push it gently backwards. It was the first time this had been tried on a ‘live’ aircraft so everyone held their breath as it continued to move slowly backwards.

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Click to see larger. Photo by Ken Fielding.

Almost in position. They had even remembered to cut a hole in the hangar ceiling to accommodate the top of the tail when they let the nose down again.

Click to see larger. Photo by Ken Fielding.

Click to see larger. Photo by Ken Fielding.

And there we are, in position at last! It all happened in reverse to get it out again.

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