Articles

Bangkok Airplane Graveyard_Airplanes Come Here To Die

August 22, 2019


Today we visit the at one time Queen of the
skies. The engines have spooled down for the very
last time and never again will this ole girl take flight and bask in the sun in a sea of
blue. The last passenger has deplaned and the crew
has gone. Come with me as I visit the Airplane Graveyard
on thePlanetraveler. Hey guys. Have you ever wondered what happens to an
airplane after it makes its final flight? Obviously, it’s retired, but best case scenario,
that airplane will end up in a museum like the Concord or Space Shuttle. But, I’m not here to talk about the best case
scenario. I want to talk about the worst. Now the 747 is arguably the most iconic aircraft
in the history of aviation. So you would think that something as majestic
and as beautiful as that would end up in a museum and in some cases it has. But, I’m here to talk about a particular 747
that took a much different path. A path not quite as pretty. So, let’s get into it. Tucked away, in what could only be termed
a sleepy little suburb in the crazy city of Bangkok, is a secret. It’s a grand secret. It’s so grand that unless you are already
looking for it you will give pause when you stumble upon it because it doesn’t belong
there. I’m talking about none other than Bangkok’s
airplane graveyard. This airplane graveyard is home to the partial
fueslage of two aircrafts. One is a McDonald Douglass craft; an MD80
of some sort which is cool, but I guarantee that when you come here you will want to focus
your attention on the other aircraft. The Boeing 747. No doubt the aircraft has seen better days,
but don’t let that stop you from coming. To get to the graveyard, there are a variety
of options, but I think the best option is to go by ferry. Bangkok is a place that is very hot so for
me, the best option is the coolest one, which is the public ferry. Unfortunately, the coolest option is also
the smelliest option. I won’t eleborate, but if you go this route
you will eventually see or should I say smell what I mean. Roughly 30 minutes later, I found myself getting
off at a temple. It was a quiet temple and I suddenly felt
very relaxed as I passed though. After I walked though the temple I found myself
walking on a very quiet street which led me to a busier street. I didn’t have internet so I was pretty much
winging it to get to the graveyard. Ok, so I have no idea where I’m going. Based on what I read on the internet, it seems
pretty simple to find the airplane graveyard. The funny thing is, people don’t seem phased
to see me, a foreigner, walking around here. And I don’t get the feeling that I’m out of
place, so they must know what I’m here for. I think we’ll find it. We’ll figure it out. Litterally a few minutes after I said that
I didn’t know where I was going, the airplane ran up and smacked me in the face! It wasn’t hard to find at all. The 747 sits in a barren field and towers
over just about everything in the area. I suddenly became very excited. The entire time, I kept thinking, why this
place. Why put a beat up Boeing 747 here? Didn’t matter. I was glad they did. As soon as I walked up to the gate, I was
greeted by a young girl. She told me it cost 200 baht to go in. I quickly paid and headed it. I took a few minutes to admire the urban art
displayed on the aircraft before I headed in. You know, I stand correct about what I said. This is not a airplane graveyard. This actually a museum. I paid 200 baht to get in here. It’s ran by a family. They say they’re squatters. I don’t know, but they seem pretty nice and
the way they have it set up, you can totaly explore this airplane. Yeah, I’m going into this beautiful 747 to
see what kind of secrets we can find out. Find something out about it’s history. So, let’s go in. The way into the aircraft is through it’s
cargo hold. They have the cargo door partially open. Alright so, first things first, we are going
in via the cargo bin. The door has been cracked open. This is where the containers are loaded on
the aircraft. The floor is very decrepit, so I’ll have to
exercise caution going in here because, definitely don’t want to get injured. here are some jagged edges over here. Alright, so here’s something I didn’t know. There’s a letter that goes from the cargo
hold up into the cabin, so we’re going to do that now. I’m going to have to take this backpack off. The hole is very small. There is no way I can get in here with my
backpack on so I’m going to have to take that off. Now, if you’re not a small guy, this is not
an easy hole to get through. I couldn’t get through with my backpack. I had to take that off. Just be prepared for a squeeze if you want
to explore the 747. It is very tight for a non skinny person. I managed to squeeze into the small hole that
led into the cabin. The cabin looked desolate and loney. It looked more like a warehouse than it did
as an aircraft that onced transport 400 people. So, we have made it into the cabin; the main
cabin of the aircraft. This is actually where first class would be. Over here, I can’t get over there. There’s a bunch of debris. Well, maybe I can. Let’s see if I can squeeze in there. So, over here used to be my favorite seat
in first class. Right here was a closet. And right here had a little counter top. You could put your stuff over here and over
here was your seat. Awesome seat on a 747. I was so sad to see when my company retired
it because, awesome airplane, but expensive to operate. That’s why they retired it. This is first class. The main cabin… Sorry, I got distracted there. I thought I was looking at snake skin. The main cabin, which is in the back over
here, is gone. I don’t know where the rest of the fuselage
is. it’s just the front half of the airplane. The rest it is cut off. But, anyway… There’s enough of it left still to be awestruck. This is incredible. So, moving on through this 747 we see what’s
left of the galley. This is where delicious food was served. As you can see that was back in the day because
there is nothing. The galley carts would go in here. But, that was long ago. And most people, when they fly on 747s, in
first, they like to fly on the upper deck. These are the stairs that lead to the upper
deck. Now I can tell you, this airplane has seen
better days. A lot of this floor is delapidated and decrepid,
but these stairs… These stairs.. are the most sturdy… The most stable thing on this airplane because
you need to watch where you step, but these stairs are pretty sturdy. Let’s head up to the upper deck. I moved up to the upper deck. There was nobody else on the plane at the
time. I had the whole plane to myself. The upper desk was just as much in despair
and lonely as the lowerdeck, just not quite as big. I walked through the cabin and admired this
marvel wonder amazed how something so grand could be left for waste. It just seemed so sad. Interesting enough, the overhead compartments
are still intact up here. Let’s open one up and see what’s in here. I hope there’s not a snake. Alright, no snakes. Just old water bottles and a bunch of dust. Anyway, that’s where you stow your bags. Also, a cool thing about first class is you
had this little side compartment, right here on a 747. You could put your stuff in there; your shoes. It’s pretty cool. I continued my venture deeper and deeper into
the aircraft. At one point I stopped to examine and admire
the skin of the plane. It was at that point I realized how fragile
airplanes really are. It’s only thin sheet of metal that keeps the
plane pressurized at 40,000 feet. So now we are going to head on to the main
attraction. I’m talking none other than the cockpit. This is a hella old airplane. The way you know that is, this airplane has
a flight engineering station. They got rid of that back in the 80’s so this
airplane is hella old. And you can also see here, the throttle controls. They still work, with the reversers. Pretty cool; but all the avionics and flight
controls… They’re gone now, but still pretty impressive. And there is also an escape hatch for emergency
purposes as you can see, up there. So yeah, this is pretty awesome. Over here… See if I can get you over there. I’m standing in the way, but this is the toilet. This is where you would use the bathroom. Pretty cramped; especially for today’s standards. Well this is interesting; to show you how
dated this aircraft is, take a look at this. This is an overhead projector. An overhead projector. This is back in the day when you didn’t have
your personal inflight entertainment system.They would show movies and everybody watched the
same movies. Who does that now-a-days? I’m sure there is an airline that does. After spending about 3 or 4 hours at the airplane
graveyard. I took one last look at the flight deck. I admired what was left of the flight controls,
which wasn’t much. If I had thought about it at the time, I would
have grabed a souvineer. The flight engineering station laid barren,
as did the lavatory. Before I left, I made my way towards the edge
of the fuselage that had been cut off just to admire the sheer height of the 747. No doubt, I was up high. A lot of people like to sit at the edge and
take picture here. Ok guys, I’m going to take a second and do
something that I always wanted to do. Now unless you are a flight attendant or airline
personel, you may not appreciate this, but if you are I’m sure you will appreciate this. Cabin secure. All call. The airplane graveyard is a nice alternative
to the touristy things normally done in Bangkok. It takes a bit of an effort to get there,
but not much and is well worth it. So the next time you are in Bangkok and you
are looking for something different to do, take a trip out to the airplane graveyard. Actually, I wouldn’t even call it a graveyard. I would call it more like a museum because
that’s the way it’s setup. It’s gated. You have to pay to get in. It’s about 200 baht. 5 or 6 dollars, but it’s well worth it. I literally spent hours just exploring this
graveyard. The 747 is amazing. I mean, I work around airplanes and I have
never gotten a chance to explore an airplane like I explored this one. So it’s well worth the money. So the next time you are here, make sure you
come out and visit the graveyard. Good job!

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