Iran Air Force Boeing 747-200 Damaged After Engine Test Run

A Boeing 747 belonging to the Iranian Air Force has suffered significant damage following an engine test run at Mehrabad International Airport in Tehran. News of this event broke out this week, and it comes after the plane’s recent D check.

Iranian Air Force Boeing 747-200
The Boeing 747-200 was undergoing precise checks for over half a decade before this test run. Photo: Shahram Sharifi via Wikimedia Commons

An industry veteran

According to aviation website Sam Chui, the test caused it to either suffer a brake failure or jump the chocks. The 747-200B is the force’s only unit of the type. It joined Iran’s military after the country took it on from Iraqi Airways as war reparations at the end of the 1980s.

The plane is currently registered as 5-8106, but it used to hold registration number YI-AGN. It was delivered to the national carrier of Iraq in June 1976, making it one of the 747’s veterans.

Boeing 747 of the Iranian Air Force
Boeing 747s have had a role in the Iranian Force’s operations since the 1970s. Photo: Hans Krebs via Wikimedia Commons

Lengthy checks

This incident followed the jumbo’s D check stint. This procedure is also known as a heavy maintenance visit (HMV). It is the most complex and rigorous checks for an aircraft. The procedure can be required every six to 10 years.

Altogether, the whole plane could be taken apart for investigations and services. Moreover, there are instances when even the livery is removed for full analysis of the fuselage metal skin.

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The job is costly and requires tens of thousands of worker hours to complete. Ultimately, the cost of such a task reaches over a million dollars. With this 747 being over four decades old, it is not a surprise that it had to undergo such a robust process.

However, following this incident at Mehrabad International, it looks like the bulk of the efforts have gone in vain. Nonetheless, the plane may be fitted in with the JT9D engines of Iran Air’s last 747SP-86. This unit arrived at the flag carrier of Iran in May 1977, and it is now in storage.

Boeing 747
The Queen of the Skies is coming to the end of her reign after half a century in the skies. Photo: Getty Images

A rare sight

Altogether, it has been a tough year for the 747. The jumbo is an aviation icon across the globe, but it’s becoming increasingly rare to see one at airports.

Airlines were already starting to prefer modern options that are more efficient. However, this year’s global health crisis has catalyzed its retirement around the world. There are only a handful of commercial carriers that still deploy the jet. If one is spotted in the skies these days, it’s most likely on shipping or military duty.

What are your thoughts about this Iran Air Force Boeing 747 incident at Mehrabad International Airport? What do you think will be the next process for the aircraft? Let us know what you think of the situation in the comment section.