Trivia answer: United Airlines sets new Boeing 747-400 cargo weight record

United Airlines recently set an all-time record for cargo carried by one of the airline's Boeing 747-400s. 

I mentioned this last week and asked readers to guess how many pounds of cargo this Boeing 747 carried. The record-breaker was Flight 900 from London to San Francisco on August 21. 

I received seven guesses. A lot of you guessed big numbers. And had the 747 not had a full load of passengers, bags and fuel for the long journey to San Francisco, you may have been right. 

The actual cargo weight carried on this 747 was 55,916 lbs., according to a recent United employee newsletter. That was nearly five thousand more pounds than the previous 747 record, a flight to Tokyo Narita, United said. 

What was on this London-San Francisco plane?

"Terracotta tiles made up more than 54,049 pounds of the LHR shipment," United told employees. The plane also carried some mail and a 143-pound dog named Barney."

As you might guess, it's not easy to plan a flight with that much cargo. "The operations team, ramp service employees and our ground handlers, Swissport, were critical to making sure everything was loaded correctly," United said. 

As of about a month ago, flights departing London now held the cargo record for all of United's widebody aircraft. Here is the full list of record-setters:

  • Boeing 777 -- 79,740 lbs. (LHR-IAD on Nov. 27, 2013)
  • Boeing 787 -- 61,034 lbs. (LHR-IAH on March 13, 2015)
  • Boeing 767 -- 62,150 lbs. (LHR-EWR on March 17, 2015)
  • Boeing 747 -- 55,916 lbs. (LHR-SFO on Aug. 21, 2015)

Our trivia contest winner is James. I'll be mailing him a United Airlines amenity kit. [We did get a more accurate guess from Andy, but unfortunately, he missed the 8 p.m. Monday deadline.]

Everyone else, stayed tuned for the next contest. And if you have an idea for what the next question should be, how about sending me a note?

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