Boeing recently flew the first major assemblies for its 787 Dreamliner from Nagoya, Japan, to Charleston courtesy of a modified and none-too-pretty 747-400 known as the Dreamlifter.
The Dreamlifters (converted 747s) will deliver Dreamliner (787) assemblies on a global basis. The cargo included a forward fuselage section, center wheel well, and center wing tank for the 787.
Evergreen Aviation Technologies Corp. will modify the third and final 747 in Taiwan. Unlike the Dreamliner, Boeing has no plans to market the Dreamlifter commercially.
Evergreen removes the 747's passenger cabin and signature hump, replacing them with a gargantuan cargo hold. The tail section swings open on hinges that protrude from the side of the fuselage. The Dreamlifter measures 235-ft long and stands almost 71 ft at the tail. The vaulted cargo hold has a capacity of 65,000 cf, about three times that of a typical 747 freighter.