We have long been accustomed to goods of all kinds being moved around the world by means of that maid-of-all-work, the humble container. And yet there are loads that make even long-serving members of the Reimler team raise an eyebrow. In late December/early January we imported from the US a small aeroplane loaded into a 40ft container. The plane, of the Boeing Stearman type, is one of the most frequently built double-decker planes in the world. Since 1934 almost 10,000 planes of this type have been built. The US Army uses it – with cloth-covered wings – as a training aircraft. Agricultural spray-planes of this type have aluminium-covered wings, since the chemicals they spray would damage canvas-covered wings.
In empty condition the plane weighs about 900 kilograms, has a wing-span of ca. 10 meters, and is 7.5 meters long. This particular plane, imported second-hand from Dallas/Texas has a maximum speed of 170 km/h. But it had to restrict its speed, on its sea-trip, via the port of Hamburg, to its destination in the Wendland area, to no more than 30 mph, with its wings removed and everything securely fastened, inside a container.