Team of 99 Wheelchair Users Pull Dreamliner, Set New Guinness World Record

Nov 25, 2018

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It’s not often that Guinness World Records are set in aviation. After all, airlines don’t vie for records such as Most Passengers Shoved into a 737Most Unreasonable Airline Check-In Agent or Bleakest Passenger Stranding via Emergency Landing.

But this holiday weekend, a team of 99 wheelchair users set a new Guinness World Record by successfully pulling a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner more than 100 meters (328 feet). Officially, the Guinness World Record that was broken was Heaviest aircraft pulled over 100 m by a wheelchair (team). GWR adjudicator Jack was on hand to certify the event:

There are plenty of photos before and after the pull, but there’s only one video that’s been posted (so far) of the moment that the aircraft was pulled across the finish line to set the world record:

The record try was organized as a fundraiser by British charity Aerobility, whose stated mission is to enable “disabled people, without exception, the opportunity to fly an aeroplane.” The charity raised £91,479 (US$117,294) at its Aviators Ball the next evening. If you’re interested in donating to their cause, make sure to use a credit card with no foreign transaction fees.

The aircraft pulled in the record-setting try was a two-year old Boeing 787-9 with the registration G-ZBKP (Manufacturer Serial Number 38632), which was delivered new to British Airways on December 7, 2016.

While the official weight of the pulled aircraft hasn’t been released, the Operating Empty Weight of a Boeing 787-9 is listed as 284,000 pounds (128,850 kilograms or 128.82 tonnes). According to the Guinness World Records website, the former record for “Heaviest aircraft pulled over 100 m by a wheelchair (team)” was set in May 2011 by a team of 84 “connected individuals” who pulled a 67.19 tonne C-130 Hercules more than 120 meters.

Retrieved from Guinness World Records webpage on November 25, 2018.
Retrieved from Guinness World Records website on November 25, 2018.

While this is quite the impressive feat, it still leaves the opportunity open for other teams of wheelchair users to best this record. There’s a number of commercial aircraft that are heavier than the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

If a team wanted to go for an unbreakable record, the truly one-of-a-kind Antonov An-225 Mriya is currently the heaviest aircraft built, with an empty weight of approximately 628,317 pounds (285,000 kilograms or 284 tonnes) — more than 120% heavier than the aircraft used to set the new record.

Featured image courtesy of Aerobility via Twitter

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