Workers at Ellington Field dismantle Boeing 747 for transport

By Ryan Korsgard - Reporter

HOUSTON - Workers at Ellington Field are busy taking apart a giant Boeing 747. The jumbo jet used to carry space shuttles is headed for Space Center Houston. 

The 747 sits not far off of the runway at Ellington. The workers who put the 747s together now take the plane apart. It will take 44 days to take it apart and 44 days to put it back together. 

"They are cutting hatches into the fuel tanks," said Paul Spana, the exhibits manager at Space Center Houston. "What we want to do is take it apart, put it back together and make it look like it was never taken apart. That's our goal."

The workers will move the 747 about 8 miles from Ellington Field in late April or early May over two nights. The move will happen between 9 p.m. and 4:30 a.m. The plane will be moved in six pieces.

The fuselage, measuring about 180 feet, will be the biggest of the six pieces.  The pieces will move along Highway 3 and then onto NASA Parkway. There will be a rest stop overnight with plenty of room for the public to take pictures.     

Jack Moore, spokesman for Space Center Houston said, "This is huge. Lots of groups involved ranging from local municipalities, governments, authorities, contractors big and small are all coming together to work on this project."

The space shuttle replica is expected to be mounted atop the 747 by the end of the year.  The full exhibit is expected to open in early 2014.

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