Large Aircraft Makes Tulsa Stop

Friday, November 7th 2008, 6:33 pm
By: News On 6

By Emory Bryan, News On 6

TULSA, OK -- One of the world's largest aircraft landed in Tulsa Friday morning, but it won't be here long.

When it landed at Tulsa International Airport Friday morning, the Antonov 124 dwarfed everything around it.

It's the second largest aircraft model in the world.

From another view, it towers over a concourse at the terminal and that tail fin going by is a Southwest Airlines jet.

The aircraft is here because of a phone call that Dale Williams answered a month ago.

"Wanted to know if we were capable of manufacturing this job in three weeks," said Dale Williams of ParFab Industries.

Williams is the Manager of ParFab Industries in Inola. The company manufactures oil refinery heaters and is working to finish this rush order for eight sets of coils.

"Goes in the heater, they run the crude oil through it and primarily makes gasoline," said Williams.

The call Williams took was from Saudi Arabia, where part of a refinery burned, and the Saudi's wanted it rebuilt fast and the cost didn't matter.

ParFab Industries
ParFab made the parts and the giant cargo airplane was chartered to deliver them.

Even as big as the plane is, it's not big enough to haul all of the equipment at one time.  It's going to return to Tulsa two more times to pick up the rest of the equipment for the refinery.

"As far as the aircraft getting it over, I don't think money was an object, it's my understanding they've had it on standby for over a week now," said Williams.

The Antonov can haul 254 tons. This load isn't nearly that heavy. It's the size of the load, the speed of the airplane and the deep pockets of the customer that brought this plane to Tulsa.

The jet might leave Friday tonight or early Saturday morning. It's scheduled to return next Wednesday.