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How to Pack a 50-Foot Catamaran Into a Boeing 747 Freighter

News Central Innovation 26 May 2017

How to Pack a 50-Foot Catamaran Into a Boeing 747 Freighter

Emirates Team New Zealand have been using SOLIDWORKS for over 15 years to design their race yachts, and we are proud to have joined them on their design journey.

Last month the team faced a new challenge – in order to get their race yacht to Bermuda for the 2017 America’s Cup, it first needed to be dis-assembled so it could fit in the cargo bay of an Emirates freight plane.  The real challenge was in determining whether the individual parts would even fit within the 747-400 plane – so once again, the team turned to SOLIDWORKS for help.

Using existing 2-dimensional drawings of the plane measurements, the team created a model of the freight plane in SOLIDWORKS, which helped highlight any potential issues. For example, whilst they could load long packages through the nose of the plane, these could not be tall due to the positioning of the cockpit overhead.  Conversely, tall (but not long) items could be loaded via the side door.

Once the team were confident that all components could fit within the cargo hold, their job was not over. They also needed to ensure that the parts could be transported from the Bermuda airport to their destination over 35km away, on narrow, weight-limited roads. Once again, SOLIDWORKS was used to ensure the parts would comply with these local restrictions when being transported via  9 semi-trailer trucks.

Ultimately the Team New Zealand boat was divided into 98 parts that filled 22 aircraft pallets, and amounted to 42 tonnes of weight. The team filmed a portion of the on-loading process, which can be seen below. Some of the parts have a clearance of just 30mm!

Watch the pack-in below:

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