The Boeing 747 Dreamlifter (formerly Large Cargo Freighter or LCF) is a wide-body cargo aircraft arrived and yesterday it arrived at Manchester Airport.
Cargo is placed in the aircraft by the world’s longest cargo loader. Constructed by drastic modifications to an existing Boeing 747-400, it is used exclusively for transporting 787 aircraft parts to Boeing’s assembly plants from suppliers around the world. Boeing Commercial Airplanes announced on October 13, 2003 that, due to the length of time required by land and marine shipping, air transport will be the primary method of transporting parts for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner (then known as the 7E7). Initially, three used passenger 747-400 aircraft were to be converted into an outsize configuration in order to ferry sub-assemblies from Japan and Italy to North Charleston, South Carolina and then to Washington for final assembly, but a fourth was subsequently added to the program.
The Large Cargo Freighter has a bulging fuselage similar in concept to the Super Guppy and Airbus A300-600ST Beluga outsize cargo aircraft, which are also used for transporting wings and fuselage sections. It can hold three times the volume of a 747-400F freighter. The 747 LCF main cargo compartment has a volume of 65,000 cubic feet (1,840 cubic meters). Of the four 747 Dreamlifters Boeing planned to acquire, three were complete and operational by June 2008, and the fourth became operational in February 2010.