747 Aircraft – Adaptive Reuse

The Problem

In 2020, Heavy Industries developed a plan to take a retired 747 aircraft from runway to restaurant. But prior to it becoming a functional structure fit for a restaurant, several critical steps had to happen. For one, the aircraft needed to be stripped down to the structural framing, disassembled, and transported from Southern California to Washington State. At first glance, the disassembly and transport may seem pretty straightforward, but these parts couldn’t simply be packaged up in an ordinary shipping crate –– it required a custom-built, prefabricated shipping frame.


The Solution

In the case of the aircraft, BIM is also what enabled Heavy Industries to prefabricate the custom shipping frame and they turned to the team at ZELUS to help. Using more than 1 million faces, ZELUS created a 3D mesh of the exterior of the plane and a 3D model of the interior. This data not only informed the fabrication of the shipping frame, it also gave the design team the necessary, accurate, and detailed information needed to create an adaptive reuse design.


The accuracy and detailed data provided by 3D modeling have been critical to design engineers on this project, particularly when addressing the ribs of the fuselage frame and other predetermined areas.

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A 3D mesh of the exterior of the 747
Modeling Services
3D model of the interior


Modeling Survey
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