744 Experience trio rebuilt Boeing 747

Three friends have been flying with their latest preservation project – rebuilding an entire Boeing 747 airplane!

Now the plane, which has taken three years to complete, is on display at the Cheshire Ice Cream Farm near Tarporley.

Dan Chang, Tom McDonough and Simon Kelsey,  all aviation enthusiasts, have brought back to life two large sections of the British Airways plane.

The original cockpit is now fully operational as a fixed base Boeing 747 flight simulator – with every switch working.

It simulates flight exactly as the original aircraft, and the choice of destinations includes every major global airport.

Behind the cockpit there is a complete upper deck business class seated cabin.

With the British Airways 747 fleet grounded and retired in July 2020, the 744 Experience team were inspired to preserve some of the history of the iconic aircraft.

Boeing 747 rebuilt
Boeing 747 rebuilt

Dan has managed the overall project and build.

He said: “We are all aviation enthusiasts and are a small but effective team.

“Utilising large original sections of the retired British Airways B747 fleet, this is a passion project with an unparalleled level of detail and finish.

“An experience as close to flying on the real aircraft as is possible!

“Due to the level of functionality and operation, it is a unique facility in the UK.

The 744 Experience team’s focus throughout has been to preserve both the authenticity of the aircraft and the legacy of the British Airways 747-400 fleet.”

Boeing 747 project Cheshire by 744Experience - pic 4

Dan and Tom, who is chief engineer,  met soon after he had retired from more than 40 years as a professional simulator engineer.

“It’s thanks to Tom we have every cockpit switch and panel operational, just as they were in the original aircraft. Tom deserves the most praise of all,” added Dan.

Simon runs the flight training programme for one of the UK private simulator groups (Simfest).

He joined the 744 team in the final months of the build and is heading up the  instructor team.

His friend Gary has also helped by supplying 744 with IT and software systems, and Drew is a second instructor on the team.

Dan also had support from a number of Cheshire businesses who have helped with the project.

Boeing 747 project Cheshire by 744Experience - pic 1

These include CLawson Groundworks of Little Barrow, Chester; Stamford Agricultural Services (SAS) of Tattenhall; CTL Joinery in Kelsall; Baz Dermody Electrical of Grinshill, Shropshire; and T M Jackson Decorators from Whitchurch.

The team now offers 90-minute and 150-minute flight simulator sessions to the public, aviation enthusiasts and professionals.

And a new promotion being run on June 8 and July 20, is the “Business Class ‘In-Flight’ Afternoon Tea” sessions.

These are served onboard the fully immersive B747-400 Upper Deck in simulated flight and include a glass of Champagne and an ‘in-flight safety briefing by cabin crew.

At the top of the virtual climb, Afternoon Tea will be served, and then guests will be invited to visit the flight-deck, to take photos and to ask any questions of the flight crew.

Dan added: “It’s an ideal gift for Fathers Day or indeed any other occasion and a unique way to experience Afternoon Tea in Cheshire!”

For more details on this and other events visit the team’s website https://www.744experience.co.uk/special-events

(featured pic: l to r – Dan,  Tom and Simon)

Boeing 747 project Cheshire by 744Experience - pic 5

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