If you think that an old, dysfunctional airplane after a crash belongs only to the scrap then you are mistaken. A lot of redundant airplanes begin an alternate phase of life on the ground. And Turkish Airlines’ Airbus A330 is no different.
In March 2015, a Turkish Airlines’ airplane had crash-landed at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu after it had attempted to land amidst dense fog. With 224 passengers on board, Airbus A330 had nosedived on the runway and came to an abrupt stop.
While there were no casualties reported, the unfortunate mishap completely shut Nepal’s only international airport for over four days as the technicians struggled to move the plane from the tarmac.
As international air traffic suffered, the airplane was finally moved to a dysfunctional corner of the airport where the craft was left to rust for almost two years until pilot Bed Upreti came up with an idea.
A new Aviation Museum will soon be functional in Sinamangal in Nepal, housed inside the abandoned Turkish Airlines’ Airbus A330.
According to a report by AFP, pilot Bed Upreti has invested $600,000 to convert the rusting metal carcass into an aviation museum, the first of its kind in Nepal.
The first step in the line of action was to move the 63-metre airplane from the airport to the land plot that has been deputed for the establishment of the Aviation Museum.
A special team of engineers and technicians from Turkey worked on the airplane for over six weeks to dismantle the entire craft into pieces. It was then loaded onto trucks for the 500-meter journey to the other side of the road.
If that was not enough, the team utilized another two months to put the pieces back together to compose one whole.
All these tasks were strictly undertaken during the night when the airport was closed, in order to sustain air traffic during the day.
The Inside of the Plane
The inside of the plane has been completely stripped off of seats to make space for visitors to move freely.
According to AFP report, the business class section of the airplane will have a model of the Wright Brothers’ first aircraft on display, which was the first machine to touch the sky. The report also entails that the tail of the airplane at the rear will have a café for the visitors.
The Aviation Museum in Sinamangal will have more than 150 miniature models of airplanes tracing the history of aviation on display. For the amused visitors, the museum will also tell the story of Nepal’s aviation industry.
Additionally, Captain Upreti had shared in a previous report to a leading portal that the museum will comprise simulators for pilots and also present a documentary highlighting the construction, and evolution of aircraft, along with an aerial photo gallery for aviation enthusiasts and visitors alike.
The Man Behind the Project: Captain Bed Upreti
Captain Bed Upreti is a commercial pilot who has experience of flying over India, Nepal, Indonesia, Malaysia and several other countries for more than 30 years.
Captain Upreti has also authored over a dozen books which include one of Nepal’s best sellers ‘Everest from the air’.
Bed Upreti had previously bought a forsaken Fokker 100, which is half the size of an Airbus A330 and had transformed it into an Aircraft museum in Dhanagadi, Nepal. However, that was much smaller in size than the new Aviation Museum that will soon be ready for the public.
Nepal, being a small nation, has an impoverished economy with a large mass of people who may never be able to afford the airfare. The Aviation Museum will serve as an easy access for them to experience what it is like to step inside a plane.
AFP quoted Shyan Rauniyar, an engineering student part of the team working on the replica of the Wright Brothers’ plane as saying, “It (the museum) will give a chance to some Nepalis who might never fly to step into a plane.”
The new aviation museum will represent the dreams of Nepal and its people. Through his small attempt, Captain Upreti hopes to inspire young minds to join the aviation industry and believes the Aviation Museum will not only serve as a recreational spot, but also as an educational center for students and aviation enthusiasts.