A funeral director who plans to move a disused passenger jet from Shannon to his Co Sligo camping site has revealed that a special cradle has been developed to lift the aircraft onto a barge.
David McGowan wants to adapt the plane — an engineless 159ft long, 70 tonne Boeing 767 with a 140-metre wingspan — into accommodation for his “Quirky Glamping Village” business in Enniscrone, West Sligo.
Having ruled out bringing the plane from Clare to Sligo via road, or airlifting the vessel, Mr McGowan aims to sail the aeroplane up the west coast on a barge.
However, lifting the huge plane onto the barge is now proving to be a problem.
“She’s a steel tube. If you put a strap on her and lift her you could collapse the two sides and cause it to cave in. So a cradle has to be made so that the crane will lift the cradle but not put any strain on the sides of the jumbo,” Mr McGowan told the Anton Savage Show on Today FM.
However, the design and construction of this cradle will set Mr McGowan back €55,000 — on top of the costs of the crane, barge, and the €20,000 he paid Shannon Airport for the plane it had inherited from a liquidated Russian airline.
Mr McGowan said his engineer tried to soften the blow of the cost of the cradle by pointing out that as it is unique, it could be rented out to others who may need it. The entrepreneurial undertaker was sceptical, however: “I’m thinking I’ll starve if I have to depend on renting that. Who else will be moving a Boeing 767?”
And the main man himself taking the first drive in his taxi lol?????? David McGowanPosted by Christopher Ginty on Monday, 4 April 2016
He hopes to move the plane to the barge in May.
He wants to complete the campsite’s airport theme with converted planes, taxis, and a train from Britain, but admits getting the train to Sligo will be tricky.
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