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Boeing 747 Dreamlifter

United States (2007)
Picture of Boeing 747 Dreamlifter Special Mission Oversized Heavy Cargo Transport Aircraft

Four modified Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet airliners serve as the fleet of Dreamlifter oversized cargo, heavy-lift transport aircraft.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Boeing 747 Dreamlifter Special Mission Oversized Heavy Cargo Transport Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 5/15/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

As Airbus calls on its A300-600ST "Beluga" heavy lifter for transporting oversized loads for the company's various large aircraft projects, so too does Boeing through the services and capabilities of its "Dreamlifter". This massive aircraft is a heavily-modified Model 747-400 passenger-hauler, featuring an extra-deep fuselage, and was exclusively designed, developed and built for servicing the Model 787 "Dreamliner" product line. Four Dreamlifter aircraft were converted in all with the first one flown on September 9th, 2006. It was introduced in 2007 and continues to fly today (2017).

The Dreamlifter model was conceived of by Boeing in an effort to reduce the transport times of its oversized critical assemblies from overseas locations such as Japan. The company then commissioned for three modified (second-hand) Model 747 "Jumbo Jets" to serve as the primary ferry aircraft for these assemblies, resulting in something of a whole new product emerging. Engineering help was had from outside parties based in far-off places like Russia and Spain and the first conversion took place in 2006. While the fleet was originally to number three aircraft, a fourth example was added in 2010 to further facilitate transportation of these large assemblies. Appearing in August of 2006 at Taipei Taoyuan International Airport, the beast was flown for the first time the following month.

At first glance, the Dreamlifter is something out of a Jumbo Jet nightmare. It retains all of the function of the earlier 747, as well as its wing mainplanes, tail unit, undercarriage and nose section but seats an oversized section of fuselage running just aft of the flightdeck to just before the base of the vertical tail fin. The aft section of the aircraft is hinged to open to portside to allow for unfettered access to the entire cargo hold from the rear. The front of the aircraft has conventional access for the crew and some smaller cargo through traditional side-mounted doors.

As designed, the aircraft has an overall length of 70.7 feet, a wingspan of 211.4 feet and a height of 70.7 feet. Its Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) reaches 803,000lb and the aircraft can cruise at speeds of 475 knots out to ranges of 4,200 nautical miles. Power is from 4 x Pratt & Whitney PW062 turbofan engines, each rated at 63,300lb of thrust output. The base operating crew is two to three personnel though more can be added as needed per mission.

The investment has proven its worth for the company as the Dreamlifter has done what it has set out to do. It's cargo area can store up to 250,000lb through its 65,000 cubic foot hold. it has the same wingspan as the Model 747-400 and has the needed range for the travels required of bringing assemblies to the Boeing facilities in the Northwestern United States.

In a highly publicized error, one of the Dreamlifter aircraft accidentally landed at a small general aviation aircraft (Colonel James Jabara Airport) in Wichita, Kansas. It managed to take-off from the confines of the location the following day en route to its original destination - McConnell Air Force Base.

Any available statistics for the Boeing 747 Dreamlifter Special Mission Oversized Heavy Cargo Transport Aircraft are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering country-of-origin, operational status, manufacture(s) and total quantitative production. Other qualities showcased are related to structural values (namely dimensions), installed power and standard day performance figures, installed or proposed armament and mission equipment (if any), global users (from A-to-Z) and series model variants (if any).






Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 750mph
Lo: 375mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (569mph).

    Graph average of 562.5 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
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  NYC
Graph showcases the Boeing 747 Dreamlifter's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
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Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
4
4


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
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National Flag Graphic
Origin: United States
Year: 2007
Type: Special Mission Oversized Heavy Cargo Transport Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Boeing - USA
Production: 4
Status: Active, In-Service
Global Operators:
United States
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Boeing 747 Dreamlifter model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
2


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
235.24 ft


Meters
71.7 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
211.29 ft


Meters
64.4 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
70.54 ft


Meters
21.5 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
398,001 lb


Kilograms
180,530 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
803,001 lb


Kilograms
364,235 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
4 x Pratt & Whitney PW4062 turbofan engines developing 63,300 lb of thrust each.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
569 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
915 kph


Knots
494 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
4,847 mi


Kilometers
7,800 km


Nautical Miles
4,212 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
43,094 ft


Meters
13,135 m


Miles
8.16 mi


Performance
CLIMB RATE


Feet-per-Minute
2,500 ft/min


Meters-per-Minute
762 m/min

Armament - Hardpoints (0):

None.
Variants: Series Model Variants
• 747 "Dreamlifter" - Base Series Designation