Dinosaur Express: British Airways’ Boeing 787-9s Fly A Titanosaur To London
The 37-meter dinosaur traveled from its home in Argentina.
IAG Cargo has successfully flown one of the largest dinosaurs ever to walk the earth onboard two separate British Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliners. IAG’s cargo division packed the cast of the dinosaur up into several dozen crates, alongside four crates of real fossils – let’s take a closer look below.
Dinosaur flies with British Airways
The 37-meter titanosaur, Patagotitan mayorum, flew in the belly of two British Airways flights from Buenos Aires (EZE) to London Heathrow Airport (LHR) – IAG celebrated its special cargo as “the most complete giant dinosaur ever discovered” which will be on display at London’s Natural History Museum from next month.
John Cheetham, Chief Commercial Officer at IAG Cargo, commented,
“It is a privilege to partner with the Natural History Museum as the custodian of some of the world’s most important scientific artifacts. I want to thank our teams in Argentina and the UK who made this colossal task of transporting a 37-meter dinosaur a reality.”
Photo: IAG Cargo
The dinosaur’s journey began in Trelow, Argentina, where it was dismantled and placed into around 40 crates before being transported to Buenos Aires. The crates – which contained both cast and real fossils – were then loaded in the belly of two British Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners and flown to London. After touching down in London, the dinosaur was transported to a special facility where it will be painstakingly re-assembled before its eventual display.
Same length as an A320
According to IAG Cargo, the 37-meter Patagotitan mayorum is around the same length as a British Airways Airbus A320 aircraft or four double-decker buses – the cargo division added that it possesses “many years of experience in transporting high-value, unique and precious consignments via its dedicated ‘Secure’ product.”
Photo: Vincenzo Pace I Simple Flying
Piloting one of the aircraft, British Airways Captain Simon Boswell said,
“I and the entire team felt honoured and privileged to fly this unique artifact from Argentina to the UK, and it was really very special to have been able to carry this precious cargo on a British Airways’ aircraft. Working with our sister company IAG Cargo, we’re delighted to have been able to play our part in its safe onward journey.”
Cargo missions involving special items, such as oversized cargo, can require a surprising level of ingenuity to complete – Simple Flying recently reported on Air Canada breaking its longest Boeing 767 item record after transporting a huge IMAX screen from Toronto to Quito, a mission that reportedly required “several hours of methodical movements” to load the screen.
Partnership pays off
IAG Cargo and the Natural History Museum first announced their partnership in November 2022. With the arrival of Patagotitan mayorum in London, this year will be the first time the giant dinosaur will be on public display in Europe.
Photo: IAG Cargo
Alex Burch, Director of Public Programmes at the Natural History Museum commented,
“We’re pleased to have IAG Cargo as our exhibition logistics partner on this exhibition. As one of the largest dinosaurs to ever roam the Earth, it is so important that we are able to showcase this cast to the public, connecting our visitors with nature and inspiring them to care for the large animals we share the planet with today.”
The titanosaur is the centerpiece of the Natural History Museum’s ‘Titanosaur: Life as the Biggest Dinosaur’ exhibition, which will see the giant dinosaur re-assembled in time for its public display in March – the exhibition is set to launch on 31st March 2023, and run through to 7th January 2024.
What is the most unusual item you have heard of being flown on an aircraft? Let us know your stories in the comments.
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