How do you fit a jumbo jet the size of the 747-8 into a hangar?
Answer: Very carefully.
A tight squeeze for a 747-8 in a hangar at Boeing Field.
The other day we moved a 747-8 Freighter (our #2 flight test airplane) into the 3-390 hangar at Boeing Field. Incidentally this is the same building where I had my desk when I first started with Boeing.
It’s the massive hangar originally built for the B-52 program. Some of us who’ve been with the company a long while still call it the “B-52 hangar.”
The airplane is in the hangar so we can conduct some critical ground tests out of the wind and other weather elements. This is a big part of the flight test program, by the way. About 2,600 hours of the program consist of ground tests.
When we looked at it initially, it seemed the airplane was not going to fit in the hangar. But in the spirit of “find a way,” the team worked it out.
As you can see, the airplane just fit. In the end we had to remove the wing tips to get the airplane inside. We also removed the vertical fin tip. The vertical fin would have fit, but just to ensure a safe margin we removed it as well.
The result was a move which saves us an engine cycle because we didn’t have to make an unnecessary flight to an alternate location for this testing.