REVEALED: BA 747 saved from the scrapheap

As British Airways completes the retirement process for its Boeing 747 fleet, the flag carrier has today unveiled the future job of one of its jumbos 

A British Airways 747 will today depart Cardiff Airport for Dunsfold Aerodrome where it will begin its new life as a TV and film set. 

The aircraft, G-CIVW (c/n 25822) will depart from Welsh facility at 1.30pm as flight number BA1978E, landing in to Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey at 2.15pm. 

On landing it will be handed over to the airport which will preserve the widebody for use as a commercial film set and training facility.  

BA 747
(Photo: Aviation Image Network/Simon Gregory)

The jet, which will keep its Chatham Dockyard livery, will be stored in public view on the airfield. In time, BA says the aircraft will be opened up as an exhibition for visitors to experience up close the size and scale of the Queen of the Skies. 

Jim McAllister, chief executive, Dunsfold Aerodrome, commented: “The 747 is a unique and important piece of aviation history and we are excited to be taking delivery of this retired aircraft at Dunsfold Aerodrome. Whilst G-CIVW will no longer fly, the aircraft will be preserved and given a new lease of life in the world of TV and film, training and special events.” 

Key.Aero spoke to a retired British Airways 747 captain back in July to find out what flying the jumbo was really like:

Just 13 miles west of London/Gatwick, the site provides a convenient location for a variety of aircraft operations including flight testing, maintenance, repair, storage, hangarage and apron parking. 

The flag carrier announced in July, that it would retire its 31 remaining Boeing 747s with immediate effect owing to the downturn in travel caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The decision by the Heathrow-based operator came before Boeing confirmed it would end production of the type by 2022.

After entering the BA fleet on May 15, 1998, the G-CIVW operated 11,424 flights and flew 90,617 hours over 45 million miles. Its last passenger service was from Boston to Heathrow on March 28, 2020. After its final commercial flight, the aircraft was stored at Bournemouth Airport before moving to storage at Cardiff Airport in June.