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September 2016 – The last passage of a legendary national treasure

A Tu-154 Tupolev aircraft had to be conveyed from Prague-Kbley to Kunovice by Universal Transport. The former national airplane, used by legendary figures like Václav Havel, will shortly be on show in the well know aviation museum in Kunovice.

Preparations for the actual transport took a whole year and it was a huge challenge for all parties involved. At the military airport of Prague the plane was lifted onto a 40 metre long flat bed trailer and had then to be specially secured. Loading had to take the flight plans for the various military operations into account. The journey of 400km was done in three stages via Milovice to Kunovice. The transport of this legendary plane and the whole convoy set up led to enormous public attention on its three day expedition over one day and two nights.

The wings, turbines and empennage had to be detached and were transported separately to their destination by Universal Transport. The remaining aircraft body was still 40m long with a cross section diameter of 4m and a weight of 25 tons. With cargo of this exorbitant size a number of road signs had to be dismounted and overhead contact lines for trams had to be switched off.

The Tupolev had been in service since 1980. Its most famous passengers were amongst others the former presidents Václav Havel and Václac Klaus as well as many different national ministers. After winning the gold medal at the 1998 Olympic Games in Japan the national Czech ice hockey team was flown back home in this much loved icon of Czech aviation history.