A Rare Sight – Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet with 5 Engines

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We all know the Jumbo Jet, Boeing’s plane with model number 747. This plane has been around for decades and Boeing continuously improved the airliner. We are all pretty familiar with how this plane looks. It has a very distinctive look with its upper deck and 4 engines. But what happened, why are there now 5 engines on this plane. On January 6, 2016, you were able to watch Qantas flight QFA63 from Sydney to Johannesburg with an extra 10 ton Rolls Royce engine mounted under the wing.

I didn’t even know until today, that this plane has the ability to carry a fifth engine under the left-wing between the body and the inner-most engine. This engine was not used in-flight, it was just transported to the Qantas Service Center in Johannesburg to get mounted on another 747.

QFA63-Boeing 747
Jumbo Jet with a spare engine

Qantas performed this rare task to save time and money for shipping this engine by boat or hiring another freight plane. The wing is fitted with anchor points, which allows a supporting strut to be fitted under the wing to mount the additional engine.

Due to the additional weight and drag, the plane had to stop in Perth for refueling before it could get on the way to its final destination Johannesburg. Once landed it’s just a matter of time to remove the spare engine from the 747 and fit it on the other plane, which will operate Qantas Flight 64 back to Sydney.

Photos by Qantas

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