Earlier this month, Dutch airline KLM was tasked to transport an extremely valuable cargo, one comprised solely of Rolls-Royce cars. The airplane used was a Boeing 747-400ERF and, theoretically, it could accommodate up to 13 Rolls-Royces at a time. However, in this case, only eight had to make the trip from Amsterdam to Johannesburg and their combined value was a whooping 4.5 million euros ($5.1 million). The precious cargo was first brought in to Amsterdam by truck from the UK.
Prior to loading them onto the plane, they were securely positioned on aircraft pallets so the KLM crew could easily put them in the cargo holding area. But the process is still a tedious one as the cars have to be closely inspected before boarding.
A team of highly trained individuals check them for concealed substances or items that may endanger flight safety. For example, the fuel tanks are not allowed to be more than a quarter full while the batteries have to be disconnected and removed from the engine bay, to avoid any sparks and, consequently, a possible fire. A fire extinguisher is required for every car, located in its vicinity.
All in all, the eight bespoke models made their 14.000 km (8.700 miles) trip safely and arrived in South Africa just in time for a press launch that took place at the Delaire Graff Estate in Stellenbosch.