Contact:    Stephen R. Moran
(212)  632-7759


Two baseplates each weighing 68,500 pounds, believed to be the heaviest items
ever shipped by commercial air, were flown from New York to Kuwait by Seaboard World
Airlines on May 20. The charter flight also carried two turbine engines weighing
28,000 pounds apiece and assorted other machinery, all components of an oil-pumping
station. The baseplates will serve as the foundation of the oil-pumping station.

Because regular air cargo loading devices do not accommodate pieces of this
weight and size -- each baseplate is 50 feet long, 11-1/2 feet wide, and 2-1/2 feet
high with projections up to 5-1/2 feet high -- special loading procedures were required.
A platform 70 feet long and 15 feet wide was constructed of steel I beams to serve as
a loading bed. Through the use of house jacks mounted under each leg, the height of
the platform bed could be varied from 15 feet 3 inches to 16 feet, thereby enabling
the platform to compensate for changes in the pitch of the aircraft as each piece
was loaded. A crane lifted the pieces from the ground onto the bed of the platform
and the pieces were moved into the aircraft by the crane and four power winches
mounted inside the aircraft. A similar platform was constructed in Kuwait to handle
the offloading. The platform will be available for similar future loadings at Sea-
board's facilities at John F. Kennedy Airport, headquarters for the New York-based
all-cargo airline.

The total charter load of 194.000 pounds was flown aboard Seaboard's 747 Con-
tainership. Even at this weight, only about half of the giant aircraft's cargo
volume was filled.

SW 5/20/75

Reproduction of any material on this Web site is prohibited without prior written consent