British Airways is to save one of its Boeing 747 aircraft from the scrapheap. The aircraft, registered as G-CIVW, will be flown to Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey, where it will be turned into a film set alongside another former BA 747.
As a result of the current pandemic, British Airways has decided to scrap its entire Boeing 747 fleet some four years earlier than initially planned. As passenger levels remain at a record low, the airline released that it wouldn’t have an operational need for the aircraft before they would’ve been retired anyway. However, while most aircraft are being sent to be scrapped, one will live on.
Anybody who’s watched Top Gear will recognize the Boeing 747 lurking in the background as a celebrity in an affordable car takes on the test track. Soon that Boeing 747 won’t be lonely anymore. This afternoon British Airways will fly G-CIVW to Dunsfold Aerodrome, where it will become a film set, appearing in music videos or car insurance adverts.
The aircraft is expected to depart from Cardiff Airport, where it has been stored at the airline’s heavy maintenance base at 13:30. At around 14:15, the aircraft will arrive at Dunsfold Aerodrome. The aerodrome has issued a stark warning to aviation enthusiasts not to come down to see the arrival due to COVID-19. Twitter’s @Magsmeister23 hinted that he would pilot the flight alongside fellow pilot Mark McEvoy.
So as promised: @rdbkmarkmac and I have been tasked with a very interesting 747 delivery mission this Thurs…. it is an airfield that not many -400 pilots will have in their logbook….. pic.twitter.com/5WEF7GaGpC
— Magsmeister (@Magsmeister23) October 20, 2020
Not just a film set
The Boeing 747 won’t just be used as a film set. While Dunsfold’s existing 747-200 wears a white livery, G-CIVW will remain in the airline’s signature Chatham Dockyard livery as a reminder of the Queen of the Skies’ reign.
The airline has commented that the aircraft will also become an exhibition for visitors, alongside being a film set. Most of British Airways’ former Concorde aircraft are now also museum pieces. G-CIVW has operated 11,424 flights and flown 90,617 hours, equating to over 45 million miles.
Jim McAllister, Chief Executive, Dunsfold Aerodrome, commented,
“The 747 is a unique and important piece of aviation history and we are excited to be taking delivery of this retired aircraft at Dunsfold Aerodrome. Whilst G-CIVW will no longer fly, the aircraft will be preserved and given a new lease of life in the world of TV and film, training and special events.”
As we’ve mentioned, the Boeing 747 will be joining G-BDXJ, a former British Airways Boeing 747-200. Later today will be a reunion for the aircraft that flew together from Heathrow for four years before G-BDXJ was transferred to European Aircharter in March 2002.
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According to Planespotters.net, the aircraft was juggled around operators before it was transferred to Aces High Limited in September 2005. It currently wears a fictional registration, N88892, that the FAA provided to film the James Bond film Casino Royale. The aircraft has also appeared in the Westlife music video for the song home and a Compare The Market advert for home insurance comparison.
Are you pleased to see that British Airways is preserving the Queen of the Skies? Let us know what you think and why in the comments.