(Video) A Boeing 747-400 Qantas aircraft flew with 5 engines
The title may sound weird, but that's how it happened. On 6 January 2016, Qantas announced that an aircraft Boeing 747-400, which operated QF63 flight on the route Sydney - Johannesburg, had an extra "passenger". This is a Rolls Royce engine of 6 tons.
We all think we can quickly recognize a Boeing 747 from the perspective of the 4 engines and the "cockpit", but few believe I knew that B747 can carry a spare engine. The engine was mounted on the left wing, between the aircraft body and the interior engine. The 5 engine was not powered for flight. It was just grabbed by a special support and properly anchored for the trip. Through this process, Qantas said it reduces the time it takes to transport an engine by other means (by water or by using a cargo aircraft). Pilots are trained to operate the aircraft in complete solitude.
- John Walton (@thatjohn) January 7, 2016
Considering that the Boeing 747-400 had to carry additional 6 tons, which resulted in increased fuel consumption, a technical stop was needed at Perth Airport. Once in Johannesburg, the engine was immediately lowered from the wing and ready to be mounted on another Boeing 747-400 aircraft.
- John Walton (@thatjohn) January 6, 2016
The "sick" engine, the one replaced in Johannesburg, will not enjoy a trip to the heights. He will be sent to Sydney aboard a cargo ship. He is doing more, but it is not needed anymore.
Qantas is not the first such action. He pioneered the early jet era. A Boeing 707 Qantas operated the first flight with 5 engines. It's a cumbersome process and done rarely, but efficiently.