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What is the largest passenger plane to have landed at or taken off from ILM?

Jim Ware
Airbus A340-600

The Virgin Atlantic Airbus A340-600 on the tarmac at Wilmington International Airport on Nov. 13, 2008. (StarNews file photo)

The largest aircraft to have landed, stopped and departed from Wilmington International Airport was an Airbus A340-600 operated by Virgin Atlantic, said Gary W. Broughton, director of operations at Wilmington International Airport.

The A340-600 carrying 350 passengers made an emergency landing at the airport at 10:17 p.m. Nov. 13, 2008.

The large passenger jet, on its way to London’s Heathrow airport from Miami, diverted over the Atlantic to Wilmington after crew members noticed heat coming from a floor in a restroom. An investigation once the plane landed determined an overheated pump in a toilet was causing the heat

While delayed overnight in Wilmington, the passengers stayed at six hotels around the city.

A Virgin Atlantic mechanic flew in from New York City to inspect the aircraft the next day and it was on its way to London by 6 p.m.

About the Airbus A340-600

Length: A little more than 247 feet. (Boeing 747-8: 250 feet.)

Capacity: 360 passengers in a three-class layout; 419 in a two-class configuration. (Boeing 747-8: 467 in a three-class configuration.)

Range: 7,900 nautical miles. (Boeing 747-8: 8,000 nautical miles.)

Power: Four Rolls-Royce Trent 500 engines that use 56,000 pounds of their certified 60,000 pounds of thrust. (Boeing 747-8: Four GEnx-2B67 engines with maximum thrust of 66,500 pounds.)

Sources: Airbus and Boeing websites

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2 Responses to “ What is the largest passenger plane to have landed at or taken off from ILM?”

  1. On November 9, 2011 at 3:08 am Bry Hardee wrote:

    Hello, regarding the question about the largest aircraft to land and takeoff out of ILM, the correct answer is a Lockheed C-5A Galaxy of the USAF which visited ILM in the spring of 1984. Prior to the Virgin Atlantic A340-600, there was also a Chartered Boeing 747 which brought home members of the NC Army National Guard in the early 80’s(can’t recall the exact year) and also Air Force One (VC-25/747) has operated out of ILM on multiple occasions. For comparison:

    Length=247 ft 1 in
    Wingspan=208 ft 2 in
    Maximum Takoeoff Weight=810,000 lb
    Empty Weight=392,000 lb
    Interior Fuselage Width=17 ft 4 in

    Length=231 ft 10 in
    Wingspan=195 ft 8 in
    Maximum Takoeoff Weight=833,000 lb
    Empty Weight=392,800 lb
    Interior Fuselage Width=20ft

    Length=247 ft 1 in
    Wingspan=222 ft 9 in
    Maximum Takoeoff Weight=840,000 lb
    Empty Weight=380,000 lb
    Interior Fuselage Width=20ft

  2. On April 10, 2012 at 9:10 am Robert wrote:

    The 747 landed at ILM in 1986 or 1988. Late Sep or Oct. Point of origin was Venice Italy. I was on it.

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