In news of the weird, Boeing’s Dreamlifter cargo plane landed at the wrong airport last night. The runway is reportedly too short for them to take off again in a loaded configuration, and depending on who you talk to, it may even be too short for it to take off in an unloaded configuration without major modifications.
The Dreamlifter is presumably fitted with a whole suite of modern navigational equipment and operated by some skilled, professional pilots. Can some pro pilots respond here and speculate on how these guys might have landed at an airport other than the one they thought they were at?
The Dreamlifter is an asset that cost Boeing hundreds of millions of dollars, so I’m sure they are prepared to spend a lot of money to get it off the ground again if there’s a way. If the runway is indeed too short for a takeoff even with no cargo and a very light fuel load (enough to get to the nearest airport), how might they do it? I’m assuming there’s not much equipment inside they can tear out (e.g. rows and rows of passenger seats). What’s left? Spend a few million dollars to extend the runway? JATO units? Auxiliary jet engines? Swallows?
[sub]African or European?[/sub]