Delay In Turning Former Japan Airlines Boeing 727 Into Office Space

The decommissioned Boeing 727 set to become an office and event space in Bristol is having its “moving day” delayed due to poor weather conditions. Rains have softened the ground in the area creating unsuitable conditions for the aircraft. The 53-year-old trijet and centerpiece of PytchAir was supposed to be moved to its new home on January 31st.

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A shot of the aircraft parked at Cotswold Airport. Hanging out of the cockpit is the project’s visionary, Pytch’s own Johnny Palmer. Photo: Johnny Palmer

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Positioning the 727 delayed

It was back in November of last year that we first mentioned Johnny Palmer and his ambitious plan to turn an old Boeing 727 into a work and event space. Plans have been moving along nicely, with Palmer publishing periodic video-updates on his YouTube account.

However, according to Gloucestershire Live, the plan to move the jet from Cotswold Airport to its new home in Brislington will be delayed. This is because of recent wet weather, which has saturated the ground, making it soft. The soft, wet ground would result in the aircraft sinking during its move.

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The 727’s current position at Cotswold. Photo: Johnny Palmer

Speaking to Gloucestershire Live, Palmer said that if he “rolled it now, the plane would sink significantly,” adding, “The plane is stuck. Found out a week ago we were not able to move it on to the tarmac.”

Speaking with Simple Flying, Palmer explained further that the aircraft is currently on chocking. Therefore, as soon as it rolls off, it is likely to sink. In addition, the tug will struggle to get sufficient traction on the grass and may also sink.

“I am so keen for PytchAir to get to us I was considering hiring some heavyweight track matting, but it is only a few weeks until it is done.” – Johnny Palmer, Pytch

Delay In Turning Former Japan Airlines Boeing 727 Into Office Space
The vision for the 727 once it’s in position. Photo: Pytch

Transporting the aircraft will involve two cranes and a low loader. This big move, 35 miles down the road, will also require a police escort. “We have got to wait now till February for the ground to dry up before we can move it,” Palmer notes.

The cost to move the aircraft is estimated to be £5,000 (just over $6,800).

Palmer’s plan

Once the aircraft makes its 35-mile journey to the outskirts of Bristol, it will be moved on to a platform of containers. These have been moved into position and are awaiting the 727, which was decommissioned eight years ago.

These containers will be covered with paintings of clouds to “make it look like it’s flying.”

Palmer had secured planning permission for the project from Bristol City Council in October 2020 – but the businessman has been developing the idea since 2018. As Simple Flying had reported previously, Palmer discussed his vision with Bristol Live:

“The idea came to me two years ago when a friend of mine said he’d done a film shoot on an aircraft at Kemble…I went over to the airfield to take a look at all these old aircrafts and realized it could be possible to buy one.”

Known as PytchAir, the aircraft will be made available as an event space. This includes private dining events, which will see local chefs take over the kitchen. This will only take place after COVID restrictions are lifted.

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A panoramic image taken of the aircraft’s interior before the purchase. Photo: Johnny Palmer

The aircraft’s history

The Boeing 727 was first delivered to JAL (Japan Airlines) in December of 1967. According to JetPhotos.com, the aircraft was originally registered as JA8325. The 727-100 is 133 ft (40.5 m) long. It would typically fly 106 passengers in two classes.

Are you excited to see this project become a reality? Would you like to see more projects like this? Let us know in the comments.

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