Jumbo jet junkyard: The scrapping of a Boeing 747

the scrapping of a boeing 747 jumbo jet scrapBoeing’s famous 747 jumbo jet, the workhorse of the aviation industry, has been transporting passengers around the world since its first commercial flight in 1970.

The four-engine aircraft is a remarkable feat of technical innovation and design, with around 75,000 engineering drawings used in the production of the very first 747 jet.

In its lifetime, every commercial jet plane undergoes frequent checks to ensure its structural integrity, with maintenance performed where necessary. Every six years or so, 747 aircraft in many countries undergo a complete overhaul both inside and out.

A recent BBC documentary called Engineering Giants took a close look at the process of a 747 refit, and also at what happens when one of these jumbos reaches the end of its working life, which could be after 25 years or so.

If the plane is retired in Europe, there’s a fair chance it’ll end up at Air Salvage International, a company in the south of England specializing in dismantling these gargantuan flying machines.

the scrapping of a boeing 747 scrap

Air Salvage International deals with around 40 planes a year, selling on anything of value to airlines around the world on the hunt for spare parts. There’s serious money involved, with an engine going for around $1 million, landing gear for $300,000 depending on age, and cockpit screens for around $30,000 each. Even a coffee maker from the aircraft can be sold on for as much as $4,600, and toilet bowls too – lovingly restored, of course – can fetch somewhere in the region of $800.

Once everything of value has been taken from the jumbo, all that’s left is a metal shell. This is where it really ends for the plane, with a special digger brought in to break it up (video below). After three days of demolition work, little remains of the jet except a pile of torn up, twisted aluminum.

the scrapping of a boeing 747 scrapped

Even this, however, has scrap value to the tune of $55,000, with some ending up as drinks cans or bicycle frames.

Of course, not all commercial airliners end their days in this way. A few are bought by those looking to build an unusual house or hotel, while others might buy a whole cockpit and turn it into a flight simulator, like this guy did.


Google Maps makes it easier than ever to find a Lime bike or scooter

Google Maps has added a new feature that helps you find a Lime bike or scooter in just a few taps. The feature currently works in 11 U.S. cities served by Lime, with more coming next year.

The best iPhone deals for December 2018

Apple devices can get expensive, but if you just can't live without iOS, don't despair: We've curated an up-to-date list of all of the absolute best iPhone deals available for December 2018.
Smart Home

The best air fryers deliver fried food with a fraction of the calories

What is this magical mechanism? It's an air fryer, and when used correctly, it can mimic the effects of frying while using just a little bit of oil. You still get that crispy, golden exterior and the fluffy center.

Check out the best Xbox One deals and bundles for December 2018

Microsoft's consoles are just as capable of streaming movies as they are of playing the latest games. Check out our top Xbox One deals and bundles, which include new and upcoming triple-A games like Battlefield V and Fallout 76.

From beautiful to downright weird, check out these great dual monitor wallpapers

Multitasking with two monitors doesn't necessarily mean you need to split your screens with two separate wallpapers. From beautiful to downright weird, here are our top sites for finding the best dual monitor wallpapers for you.

Google Translate updated to reduce gender bias in its translations

Google is changing how Google Translate offers translations. Previously when you entered a word like doctor, Translate would offer a masculine interpretation of the word. Now, Translate will offer both masculine and feminine versions.

Encryption-busting law passed in Australia may have global privacy implications

Controversial laws have been passed in Australia which oblige tech companies to allow the police to access encrypted messages, undermining the privacy of encryption with potentially global effects.

Can Microsoft’s Airband Initiative close broadband gap for 25M Americans?

A new report from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) says that 25 million Americans do not have access to broadband internet. Of these, more than 19 million are living in rural communities. Can Microsoft help out?

Microsoft’s Chromium Edge browser may be adding your Chrome extensions

Fans sticking to Google Chrome because due to its vast extension library might be able to switch over to Microsoft's latest iteration of Edge, as a project manager confirms that the company has its eyes on Chrome extensions.

If you've lost a software key, these handy tools can find it for you

Missing product keys getting you down? We've chosen some of the best software license and product key finders in existence, so you can locate and document your precious keys on your Windows or MacOS machine.

Google+ continues to sink with a second massive data breach. Abandon ship now

Google+ was scheduled to shut its doors in August 2019, but the second security breach in only a few months has caused the company to move its plan forward a few months. It might be a good idea to delete your account sooner than later.
Social Media

‘YouTube Rewind 2018’ is about to become its most disliked video ever

YouTube is about to achieve a record it really doesn't want — that of "most-disliked video." Yes, its annual recap of featuring popular YouTubers has gone down really badly this year.

Want to save a webpage as a PDF? Just follow these steps

Need to quickly save and share a webpage? The best way is to learn how to save a webpage as a PDF file, as they're fully featured and can handle images and text with ease. Here's how.

5G: Why everything is about to change

Curious about the many ways 5G will change and enrich your life? Here’s our guide to all things 5G.