Sarens performs first Boeing 737-300 lift
in South Africa
Sarens South Africa has performed a lift of a Boeing 737-300 across the R21 highway in Kempton Park. The operation was carried out for the South African aviation company Comair, who is building a training center in which the Boeing 737-300 will be used as a real-life evacuation trainer.
Being an expert in moving and lifting extraordinary loads, Sarens was asked to lift the Boeing 737-300 from its location at the OR Tambo International Airport to the Comair training center, being built on the other side of the highway. During this overnight operation, several roads including the main access route to the airport, were temporarily closed.
The Boeing with the engines removed and portions of the wings and tail clipped, weighed an initial dead weight of 25 tonnes. The length of the Boeing was 33.35m, the width 18m and a height of 5m. The equipment used in this lift was Sarens hydraulic cranes being an LTM1400, AC500 and AC200.
“The stakes were high. Our specialized engineering and rigging teams defined the most time- and cost- effective solution, making sure the road closures were kept to a minimum and all safety and quality standards were met. Successfully lifting the Boeing, safely relocating it to its new home, was the result of months of planning and collaboration with many stakeholders involved”, comments Marius Cilliers, Country Manager Sarens South Africa.
On completion of the lift, the aircraft will be enclosed with a building that is to be constructed around it. The ultimate objective of it is to become a realistic cabin crew and flight deck crew mock-up evacuation trainer, fully representative of a real aircraft.
Glen Warden, Commercial Operations Manager Comair comments: “This operation is the first ever of its sort in South Africa, probably even in Africa. The project co-ordination between the various parties has been paramount. Especially the professionalism and operational excellence shown by the Sarens team is something to be behold. Whenever you see a large Sarens crane at any site around the world, people should know, how much of a specialist job this is.