The Great Bend Municipal Airport is making preparations for a rather large guest Wednesday afternoon.
A privately-held leased Boeing 737-200 will make a fuel stop at the facility at about 4 p.m., airport Manager Martin Miller said. The plane will be coming from California and more information will be available when the pilot contacts Great Bend before taking off today.
“The local FBO (fixed-base operator Centerline Aviation) gave him a good quote on fuel,” Miller said. That is why he picked Great Bend.
The plane will weigh 70,000 pounds upon landing and will take on 10,000 pounds of fuel. Although the pavement at GMA is not rated for craft this heavy, Miller said they received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration for this landing.
“This is a rare event,” he said. The last airliner to land at Great Bend was a 727 carrying then Senator Bob Dole in the 1980s.
The Boeing 737 is a short- to medium-range, twin-engine narrow-body jet airliner. Originally developed as a shorter, lower-cost twin-engine airliner derived from Boeing’s 707 and 727, the 737 has developed into a family of nine passenger models with a capacity of 85 to 215 passengers.
The 737 series is the best-selling jet airliner in the history of aviation. The 737 has been continuously manufactured by Boeing since 1967 with 7,010 aircraft delivered and 2,365 orders yet to be fulfilled as of December 2011.
The planes are 100-130 feet long with a wingspan of between 93-112 feet, depending on the variation. This is a 737-200 and will fall into the smaller of the size categories.
The maximum speed is about 540 miles per hour.