normal runway is 150 to 200 feet wide... especially for this big
Actual shots are from a fairly impressive operation.
One of South Africa Airline's first B-747s retiring to Rand Airport,
Germiston, South Africa (elev.5568 feet with 4898 x 50 feet wide
Approach speed (Vref) was 115kts! An inch is as good as a mile.
24 January, 2004: SAA's LEMBOMBO TAKES ITS FINAL BOW
24 January, 2004, JOHANNESBURG: Saying goodbye to a trusted friend
is never easy. It is especially sad when that friend has served
you well for 32 years.
South African Airways today retires the Lebombo, its oldest Boeing
747-200 and first ever Jumbo, wishing it well on its career change
with the South African Airways Museum Society.
The Lebombo will not fly again. The stately old lady has been donated
to the Museum Society and will be housed at Rand Airport in Germiston.
Here it will play an important role in preserving civil aviation
history in South Africa.
The Lebombo will also be used to teach future generations about
aviation and to raise funds for the Museum Society through small
corporate functions such as board meetings and conferences, product
launches, award ceremonies and even weddings.
Lebombo joined the airline on 6 November 1971 and has done an amazing
107 000 flying hours and 20 291 landings.
At today's splendid send-off for the aircraft at SAA Technical,
the Lebombo took 291 passengers on a short flip over the Hartbeespoortdam
On its arrival back at Johannesburg International Airport the aircraft
was welcomed at SAA Technical by an elaborate spray from fire engines,
a welcoming party and entertainment.
Present in this group were those who welcomed Lebombo in 1971 and
those who were part of the crew on her first flight from London
to Johannesburg on 6 November 1971.
The arrival of Lebombo as the first of the airline's 747s in the
early seventies, meant exciting changes and huge technological advancements
for the airline. For the first time cabin crew had to work with
bars on trolleys. Crew numbers grew.
This was also the beginning of In-flight entertainment: movies on
The retirement of the Boeing 747-200s, of which the airline had
five aircraft, forms part of SAA's fleet renewal plan where the
older 747s are being replaced by the new flagship, the Airbus A340-600s
and the Airbus A340-300Es.