Wheelchair user tows Boeing Dreamliner.
Just when you think all the impossible things that could be achieved by a wheelchair user has been accomplished, another one comes along. Syd Smith from North Norfolk, a wheelchair user for 30 years, was part of a team of 98 wheelchair users who successfully towed a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner for 106 metres on the tarmac at Heathrow on November 23rd 2018.
Before being a wheelchair user, Syd has climbed in the Himalayas, flew planes and dived off the coast of Scotland and he wanted to be part of this team to raise money for the charity Aerobility, (www.aerobility.com). This charity has a stated mission to enable ‘disabled people, without exception, the opportunity to fly and aeroplane.’ And this includes wheelchair users like Syd Smith.
Aerobility joined forces with Heathrow and British Airways to host Wheels4Wings – a Guinness World Records official attempt for the heaviest aircraft to be pulled over 100 metres by a team of wheelchairs users.
SpokeGuards met Syd at a recent disability exhibition and offered to supply him with a pair of bespoke designed spoke guards for the world record attempt at towing a Being 787-9 Dreamliner by 98 wheelchair users. A number of different aircraft were used for various designs with Syd choosing the design below.
The aircraft pulled by the wheelchair users in the successful record-setting attempt was a two-year old Boeing 787-9 with the registration G-ZBKP (Manufacturer Serial Number 38632), which was delivered new to British Airways on December 7, 2016. A video taken from the cockpit and a full description of the Wheels4Wings event can be found at the Heathrow web site.
The official weight of the pulled aircraft was 127.6 tonnes. According to the Guinness World Records website, the former record for “Heaviest aircraft pulled over 100 m by a wheelchair (team)” was set in May 2011 by a team of 84 “connected individuals” wheelchair users who pulled a 67.19 tonne C-130 Hercules more than 120 metres.
This new successful world record will now go into the Guinness Book of World Records and the Wheels4Wings event has raised over £30,000 for the charity.
Are you a wheelchair user – beware, you can do anything!