Huge Dreamlifter plane takes off safely from wrong Kansas airport

Updated Nov. 21, 2013 at 3:41 PM
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WICHITA, Kan., Nov. 21 (UPI) -- A crowd gathered Thursday to watch a Boeing Dreamlifter take off, one day after its crew mistakenly landed it at a Kansas airport too small to accommodate it.

The Atlas Air 747 took off from Jabara Airport in Wichita at about 1:15 p.m. CST, using a runway shorter than the Dreamlifter is designed to use.

About 30 people gathered in cold, windy weather conditions to watch as the plane took off, The Wichita Eagle reported.

The plane was supposed to land at McConnell Air Force Base late Wednesday but missed the base by about 12 miles, CNN reported. Neither the airport, which has no control tower, nor aircraft sustained damage, Wichita city officials said.

The city runs the airport.

Boeing's Dreamlifter is a modified 747-400 passenger airplane that can haul more cargo by volume than any other airplane in the world, CNN said. It's capable of hauling major assembly parts for other big planes from suppliers around the world to Boeing's assembly plants.

When fully loaded, the Dreamlifter needs a runway 9,199 feet long to take off, KWCH-TV, Wichita, reported. The runway at Jabara is 6,101 feet.

Crews lightened the plane's load to the extent possible, and a crew was able to get the plane in the air despite the lack of runway space.

Boeing sent a vehicle to the Jabara airport to move the jet.

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