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article imageVideo: Watch 'how you scrap an old Boeing 747 aeroplane'

By JohnThomas Didymus     Jul 19, 2012 in Technology
The video shows how a Boeing 747 jumbo jet that has reached the end of its life is turned to metal scrap in just a few days at the biggest graveyard for aeroplanes in the UK.
The BBC recently visited the UK's largest plane salvage centre in the Cotswolds, to investigate what happens to a Boeing 747 when it reaches the end of its working life. The Boeing in the video, according to the BBC, has flown over 36 million miles in its 14-year life with the British Airways.
The salvage team transforms a 230-tonne airliner into scrap metal in just under three days. It begins with removing 130 tonnes of equipment including landing gear, navigation and communication avionics all of which have six-figure market values, the Daily Mail reports
Then the earth excavator moves in on the carcass.
The video shows the powerful jaws of the digger chewing into the body of the airliner beginning from the tail, through the wings to the fuselage. The multimillion dollar aircraft is soon reduced to a heap of twisted metal.
The carcass of a jumbo, according to the Daily Mail, has a scrap value of about 35,000 pounds. The metal is no longer pure enough to be used in new planes but it may be used as recycled aluminium.
The flightdecks are sometimes separated for use as shell in construction of flight simulators.
The fuselage is smelted down and recycled for making drink cans, biscuit tins, bicycle frames or alloy wheels on cars, the Daily Mail reports. Flight components and engines are tested to see if they can still be used in other aircraft.
The BBC reports this is the first time the entire process has ever been filmed.
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