Kellstrom Industries Boeing 747-200

AELS was contracted to execute a Total End-of-Life Solution on a Boeing 747-200 Freighter by Kellstrom Industries. The Ex Cargo-B aircraft was disassembled in Belgium at Brussels Airport, Zaventem.

First step was the disassembly process that started in November 2010. This process involved the removal of more than 650 components from the aircraft amongst others being the cockpit instruments, E&E bay, cargo systems, actuators, wheels and brakes, flap drives and even the engine mounts.
The components were removed by a team of qualified mechanics in partnership with Qualitair. The required part 145 was provided by LAS Aerospace Ltd. During the start of the project, extreme winter weather conditions moved over Belgium which resulted in the fact that the aircraft and its surrounding were covered in thick layers of snow and ice.
Despite these extreme weather conditions the crew managed to remove the requested components from the aircraft after which all parts were individually tagged and packed, some in special crates and boxes for shipment. Despite the weather conditions the disassembly was still executed according to plan within only four weeks. In the end, all components were loaded into containers and shipped to the USA by sea and airfreight.
After the requested components were disassembled from the aircraft, preparations could start for the aircraft to be dismantled. This process involved the removal of the insulation, panels and electronic wires as much as possible from the inside of the aircraft hereby leaving just the metal airframe for recycling.
The process also involved the drainage of the hydraulics and 36 tons of kerosene still presents in the fuel tanks. A depleted uranium check was conducted to make sure that the airframe was free of all hazardous and radioactive materials before recycling. After all was removed and checks were done, the cockpit was cut from the airframe.
Two weeks into the New Year it was time to bring in the heavy industrial equipment to scrap the reaming airframe. The scrapping was done in cooperation with VLK who provided experienced manpower to scrap the 747 into transport manageable pieces in a matter of three days.
Cables and wires were carefully sorted with the crane along with the separation of valuable metals such as titanium and further separation of metals from non-metals out of the scrap heap. During the dismantling process AELS provided the airport fire department the opportunity to train their specialized piercing and cutting techniques on the airframe during the hours in which no dismantling activities took place.
After the dismantling of the airframe was finished, the materials were recycled in cooperation with Recylux in Belgium. In the end after seven weeks all that was left was an empty apron and memories about this former giant.
AELS would like to thank all parties involved for making this into a successful project.