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The Most Innovative 747 Conversion Yet – Rolling Art Gallery


The Jumbo Jet re-imagined as a rolling art gallery.

We’ve written several times about 747s are being re-purposed for uses other than carrying passengers. Most recently, we reported on a story of a company who has converted a Jumbo Jet into the world’s largest firefighting aircraft.

But now we’ve come upon perhaps the most unique use for a 747 – even if it has nothing to do with flight.

The Big Imagination Foundation of Venice, Calif., is converting a 747-300 – or part of one – into “the biggest art car in the history of Burning Man.” That event which takes place in a temporary community built in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert is a perfect place for a Jumbo Jet converted into a rolling art exhibit.

Here are the three phases of the conversion (Phase One has been completed):

Phase One: Clean out, and cut off the tail and wings.

Phase Two: Reconstruct the upper deck and refinish the cockpit, cut the upper section of the fuselage, and prep the upper fuselage for transport.

Phase Three: Reconstruct the lower deck interior, install the decks over the wings and upper deck canopies, unbolt the wings/landing gear and prep for lower fuselage transport.

When completed, the fuselage will be 132-feet long, 24-feet wide, and 20-feet tall. The moving team will consist of a semi with 12-axle trailer, five highway patrol officers, two bucket trucks, two pilot vehicles, a transportation captain, and a documentary film crew.

The trip to Nevada for Burning Man, which runs from Aug. 28 through Sept. 5, should be a spectacle for the drivers sharing the road with half a 747 on wheels.

The Big Imagination Foundation is accepting donations to help fund the project. You can visit the website to donate and to learn more about it.

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Written by Wendell Barnhouse

Wendell Barnhouse is a veteran journalist with over 40 years of experience as a writer and an editor. For the last 30 years, he wrote about college sports but he has had an interest and curiosity about aviation since he was in grade school.

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