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In the current difficult economic climate, our aim is to strengthen our core business, develop new ideas and diversify into new areas. With this in mind, our director Alex Ovenden attended the Aircraft Fleet Recycling Association’s (AFRA) conference in Washington, USA in July 2011. The conference confirmed our thoughts that we had the ability and technical expertise to branch out into the demolition of end of life aircraft. We subsequently applied for the necessary permission from the Environment Agency and were granted our licence in September 2011.
Our first project involving aircraft took place in January 2012, when we were contracted to move a Dassault Falcon 20; G-FRBA plane from Bournemouth International Airport on behalf of our client. The operation involved creating an exclusion zone around the aircraft and lifting the fuselage onto a low loader lorry, a weight of approximately weight 10,000lbs! We next had to lift and secure the wings, tail and fin of the plane. After securing all of the parts, we safely transported the plane to its destination.
After a relatively straightforward project with the Falcon, the real test came later in the summer with our first contract to dismantle and recycle an end of life aircraft. We all agreed, why start with something small….What could be bigger and better than a Boeing 747 to get our wings?
The aircraft was situated at Kent International Airport in Manston and work began creating a safe zone around the Boeing. We worked using the Aircraft Fleet Recycling Association’s guidelines to dismantle the plane using 360 degree excavators with large grapple and shearing attachments, carefully cutting through sections of tail, wing, cockpit and fuselage before stripping and sorting the materials for recycling.