The Boeing that travels at 20mph: Old 727 crawls along motorway after entrepreneur snaps up jet without wings or engine for £100,000 to use it as his new offices
- The decommissioned jet crawled across the M5, M4 and M32 at a steady 20mph, accompanied by a police escort
- It began its journey from Cotswold Airport at 9am before arriving at the headquarters of event technology company Pytch in Bristol
- The 40m plane was in operation until 2012 before it was transported to Cotswold Airport to be salvaged but was bought by Pytch’s founder
Motorists were stunned to see an old Boeing 727 being driven along a motorway on Saturday.
The decommissioned jet crawled across the M5, M4 and M32 at a steady 20mph, accompanied by a police escort.
It began its journey from Cotswold Airport at 9am before arriving at the headquarters of event technology company Pytch in Bristol.
The 40m plane was in operation until 2012 before it was transported to Cotswold Airport to be salvaged.
Motorists were stunned to see an old Boeing 727 being driven along the a motorway on Saturday
The decommissioned jet crawled across the M5, M4 and M32 at a steady 20mph, accompanied by a police escort
Originally sold for £50million when swapping from Japan Airlines to private ownership in the 1970s, Palmer was able to buy the aircraft for under £100,000 due to its lack of engine and wings.
Get to know the Boeing 727
The Boeing 727 was a jet airliner made by Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
Designed to fly short distances, the plane could also take off from short runways at smaller airports.
The planes could carry between 149 and 189 passengers and could fly for 2,400 to 2,700 nautical miles (4,400 to 5,000km).
It was the only Boeing plane to have three engines, made by Pratt & Whitney JT8D. One was located in the back and the other two on the sides.
The plane was capable of maximum speeds around Mach .9 or higher.
The 727 was launched in December, 1960, with 40 orders each from United Airlines and Eastern Air Lines.
A 727 first flew on February 9, 1963 and entered service with Eastern the following year.
A very noisy aircraft, some had to be fitted with ‘hush kits’ to make them quieter.
The final plane was made in 1984 and last passenger flight by a Boeing 727 was in January 2019.
Built in 1968 the jet – dubbed ‘Pytch Air’ – is set to be used as unique office space for the event technology company.
Pytch has used the transportation of the aircraft to help raise funds for Somerset-based charity Great Western Air Ambulance, which receives no day-to-day funding from the Government or National Lottery.
The air ambulance charity needs £4million annually in order to stay operational.
Palmer said: ‘Our virtual events studios have been getting busy since Covid and we need more space at Pytch.
‘So rather than do resource and carbon intensive construction, we decided to re-purpose the icon of unsustainable hyper-consumption – the airliner private jet. And also have a lot of fun along the way.
‘Pytch have chosen to support GWAAC because of the critical service they provide to the community.
‘While we are moving a Boeing 727 down a motorway and having interesting and curious conversations about aviation, GWAAC are using flight to save lives – and that is something we really want to get behind and support.’
The sale comes as Boeing’s reputation has been blighted by a series of incidents involving its aircraft.
But in 2018, Pytch founder Johnny Palmer applied to acquire the disused aircraft before securing consent from Bristol City Council last October.
On Monday, the UK banned all Boeing 777s with the same engine as a plane which caught fire in the US from entering UK airspace.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps acted after Boeing recommended that airlines ground all 777s with the type of engine that blew apart after take-off from Denver International Airport last Saturday, scattering engine debris over the city.
In January, a Boeing 737-500 crashed into the Java Sea of Indonesia, killing all 62 people onboard.
The Indonesian crash came as Boeing was already struggling to repair the damage to its brand caused by two crashes involving its 737 MAX model.
The first, a Lion Air flight in October 2018, killed 189, and another, just five months later, killed 157 on board an Ethiopian Airlines flight.
The 40m plane was in operation until 2012 before it was transported to Cotswold Airport to be salvaged