From Boeing's website: "The Boeing Dreamlifter is a modified 747-400 passenger airplane that can haul more cargo by volume than any airplane in the world. It is the primary means of transporting major assemblies of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner from suppliers around the world to the 787 final assembly site in Everett, Wash. This reduces delivery times to as little as one day from as many as 30 days today."
The photo, below, is from Wikipedia.
Just before leaving the house this morning to go swim, I checked my email and found one from Stu.
PS You going there to take a photo and blog about it?
How far is it from Derby?
Sheesh! The Dreamlifter is supposed to use McConnell AFB’s 12,000-foot runways (also used by Boeing and Spirit which are on the western edge of the AFB). I had noticed, yesterday, that the Dreamlifter wasn’t parked at its usual spot at Boeing – about 300 meters from Oliver Street that I use several times per week (I’ll be going by it in about 15 minutes – to swim); but, that isn’t unusual. Obviously, this landing took place several hours later. (It did not make the 10:00pm, local, news.) Hard to imagine anyone’s mistaking Jabara for McConnell AFB. There are two other airfields between the two (see http://www.airnav.com/airport/KIAB and http://flightaware.com/resources/airport/KAAO/sectional) – a small one just north of the fence from McConnell that Cessna maintains, and a larger one farther north and east that Beechcraft maintains. McConnell’s ramps are surrounded by floodlighting! (Beechcraft has a bit of floodlighting; and I’m not sure of the night lighting that is maintained at Jabara.)
The East entry to McConnell AFB and the only [west - may not be "only"] entry to Jabara are both on Rock Road, (which is 1 mile east of Oliver) which is 1/3 mile west of our house (we use Rock Road to go anywhere!) The distance from where our street intersects with Rock Road to the entry to Jabara Airport is just under 15 miles.
I used to use Jabara (previously, Comatara, and something else before that) back in my flying days. It has grown since then – but – not enough for a 747!
Thanks for the tip!
P.S. I’ve a full day, today; but, when I get home this afternoon, I’ll see about blogging the event.
I failed to tell Stu that, "No", I had no interest in fighting the crowd that was undoubtedly already there to see the spectacle and take photos.
When I came home for lunch, I found a further reply from Stu. Some of the links that I sent him, and excerpts [with added bracketed clarifications that were not in my email to Stu] from my answer appear, below.
Here is the link to our local newspaper’s article that says they will take off this afternoon after off-loading fuel & stuff: “The runways at Jabara and McConnell both run north and south. The pilot landed the wayward plane coming in from the north. That’s also the direction the pilot would have taken at McConnell because the winds were from the south.”
A couple of comments from various online postings:
1) “According @LiveATC the DreamLifter was 25mile from field at 9:12pm -- cleared for the ARNAV GPS approach to 19L at IAB”
2) I[t]does look as though the AAO [Jabara] final [approach] is almost directly underneath the IAB [McConnell AFB] final [approach].
At the 09:05 mark on the 0300-0300Z "KICT [Wichita Mid-Continent] Approach (East)" archive, you can hear the flight checking on with approach. They get cleared direct to WITBA [an airspace "fix" used by military - northeast of Wichita], then at around the 12:10 mark they are 25 miles from the airport and cleared for the RNV GPS approach to runway 19L with the restriction to cross WITBA at 4000 feet.
WITBA is directly on the approach course to runway 18 at KAAO around 6.6nm from the threshold. It's interesting to note that the 4000 foot restriction at WITBA puts them well below a standard 3 degree glidepath for runway 19L at KIAB, but would be very close to the correct glidepath to runway 18 at KAAO.
So as they turned final over WITBA at 4000 feet they would have seen a runway directly in front of them with a PAPI showing them very close to a correct vertical profile. Also if WITBA was coded or entered at 4000 in the FMS their vertical deviation indicator on the Primary Flight Display would have shown them on the correct profile at that point.
Once they landed on runway 18 it appears they stayed on the runway and it also looks like one plane landed (Cessna Conquest) and one plane (Beach Baron) took off on the same runway, apparently before they figured out the B747 was even there !? Note the comment to Tower about a light twin aircraft that had just flown over top of us. The airport was then closed shortly after causing a Starcheck flight to divert.
Here is a link to photos (same newspaper): http://www.kansas.com/2013/11/21/3132737/dreamlifter-lands-at-jabara-airport.html
I would hate to be that poor pilot. It was a zoo, back in the day, when I routinely flew out of Cessna’s east field, the runway of which is offset only slightly from McConnell’s east runway.
CNN posted a video of the Dreamlifter taking off from Jabara at Cargo jet takes off from Wichita on short runway. I can vouch for its having arrived safely at McConnell. I drove by its normal parking place at Boeing on my way home. There it was, with its tail swung open. The only thing that looked unusual was that the aircraft was parked with its nose to the south. It usually sits with the nose to the west. Ho hum!
The photo, below, is from Wikipedia and shows the Dreamlifter with the tail swung open. (The photo appears to have been taken at Boeing Field in Seattle?)