By Louise Drewery on 21 June 2018
The Ports of Hull and Immingham expertly handled a supersonic jet worth £14 million which is being tested for the F35 Programme.
The exceptionally wide-load, F-35 Lightning II, arrived by barge from nearby BAE Systems in Brough, with just centimetres to spare through Hull’s lock gates.
After being securely stored at the All Weather Terminal, the stealth aircraft was carefully transported by tug to Immingham where it was loaded onto a remotely controlled trailer and finally lifted on the Happy Delta Big Lift vessel.
It then set sail for three weeks to Texas where its manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, is headquartered and where the fighter will continue its final structural tests.
It is one of a few prototype aircraft going through several years of structural testing to ensure it is fit for purpose for the UK military to replace its fleet of Harrier Jump Jets.
ABP Humber Director, Simon Bird who started his career in the Royal Navy, said: “We’re extremely proud that ABP can play a part in the pivotal journey of this exciting new aircraft that will see the Royal Navy equip the newly commissioned Aircraft Carrier, HMS Queen Elisabeth.
“We pride ourselves on being able to handle any project cargo, no matter how unusual and large. ABP has a wealth of experience and a proven track record in confidently providing stevedoring services to a wide range of cargoes and customers.”
CEVA Logistics has organised the aircraft’s long journey from start to finish.
CEVA Logistics Aerospace and Defence Regional Account Director, Steve Hunt, said: “ABP has proven that this special cargo is in safe and professional hands, meaning that it can continue its important test-phase of the journey unscathed and as quickly as possible.”