Meigs Field -- Largest Aircraft

What was the largest type of aircraft that could land at Meigs Field? I believe a large passenger jet was landed there once (with no passengers on board).

Meigs has a runway of almost 4000 feet as I understand it. A small commercial jet could land there, in an unloaded emergency condition. Taking off is another story. For unrestricted operation most airliners require at least 5000 feet for takeoff, some much more than that.

You mean “could land” now? I suppose one of those balsa-wood ones with the rubber band powering it. I don’t think they even allow radio-controlled model planes to fly there now. It was completely shut down by Mayor Daley a few months ago.

“Shut down” is a euphemism for “The mayor snuck heavy equipment in at night and destroyed the runways.”

As for large aircraft, I do have a vague memory of something landing at Meigs years ago that had to be trucked out (or it may have departed via Lake Shore Drive) as there wasn’t enough runway for it to leave normally.

A large aircraft did land at Meigs about 10 years ago. It became an exhibit at the nearby Museum of Science and Industry. (I want to say it was a 707, but don’t have time to lok it up to make sure.)

Random, the plane you’re thinking of was a 727; IIRC, it was then transported to the MSI on a barge. (As entertaining as it would have been to have a 727 trucking down Lakeshore Drive…)

A few pictures on this page; scroll down to where it says “Suspended 727 with working landing gear.”

Yeah, that decision by the mayor wasn’t exactly popular, especially with Microsoft Flight Sim enthusasists like myself (it has always been the default starting field since the 80’s I think).

Something odd on that page. It shows the plane hanging in the museum and another picture that claims to be the same plane during its landing at Meigs. But they have two different paint schemes. (Hard to tell for sure, but it looks like United livery from two different eras.)