Boeing’s mammoth, aviation-industry-changing 747 flew its last fight for a U.S. airline back in 2018. But while the jumbo jet’s service days might be over, not every 747 is headed for the boneyard. Corendon Hotel & Resorts acquired a 747-400 all its own, not for flying but rather to serve as an attraction at the Corendon Village Hotel in Amsterdam. It’s currently in the midst of its final trip, by land, from Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport.
The process is an arduous one, taking place over the course of three nights, during which the plane—mounted on a motorized platform—will eventually have to cross an actual highway while crawling along at its top speed of 5 km/h (just over 3 miles per hour). Corendon has been livestreaming the snails-pace journey, which will reach its highway-crossing-peak in the wee hours of the morning of February 9 in Amsterdam—6 p.m. February 8 for watchers on the east coast of the United States.
For the time being, Corendon is being a little cagey on what the 747 will actually be used for, with a spokesperson telling CNN that it will be “a huge attraction for everybody who wants to experience the sensation of flying” with “3D, 4D, and 5D” components.
Whatever the case, the plane is sure to be a wonder to behold up close, as it has been since its unveiling back in the 1960s. As Popular Mechanics’ own John F. Pearson described its gargantuan presence back in 1969:
It’s an exciting plane, even awesome and majestic. That’s the impression I came away with after two days of examining test planes and those in various states of completion at Boeing’s huge facility north of Seattle. Stand toward the rear of a 747 and you have to bend your head back to see the top of its tail, which juts as high as a five-story building. You walk under wings that stretch almost 200 feet from tip to tip and look into engine intakes eight feet in diameter, more than big enough to permit Wilt Chamberlain to stand inside wearing a top hat. The craft is so big and solid-looking that you wonder how it can be supported by anything as insubstantial as air.
When the time comes, you can watch the enormous craft make its crawl across the highway below:
Originally posted on Popular Mechanics