This image comes from a site about aircraft tractors:

enter image description here

What could be the reasons for this old aircraft to have pipes at the flight deck windows and to be moved near a forest?

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    $\begingroup$ They might be exhaust for portable air conditioning systems. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Commented Mar 17, 2017 at 14:43
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    $\begingroup$ I doubt it, it does look like a non-functioning aircraft (a 707 I think), and judging by the attire of the people, in a warm climate. The pilots windows are the most easily removed since they are designed to be opened anyway. In fact, I believe that this is the aircraft in the picture above. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Commented Mar 17, 2017 at 15:16
  • $\begingroup$ @RonBeyer: Ah this is a really strange story with all the spices for a novel. Thanks for sharing. Would you want to write an answer? I'll change the question into a more general one... $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Commented Mar 17, 2017 at 15:43
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    $\begingroup$ @mins Sure, I will write something in general $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Commented Mar 17, 2017 at 15:49
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    $\begingroup$ This picture poses several questions to this Aerospace fan who has never set foot beyond places passengers are allowed. Farhan below mention that it looked like the aircraft was fitted to an ARTS - but between the center fuselage and the ARTS, what are the blue and white objects? On the port wing there, underneath the ARTS support where is what looks like a hose of a similar color - what is that? The three men in blue shirts look like firefighters to me, could the tubes be exhausts for some kind of "plane on fire" smoke drill? $\endgroup$
    – PhasedOut
    Commented Mar 17, 2017 at 19:22

2 Answers 2


In most commercial aircraft, the cockpit windows are the most easily opened/removed.

Open Cockpit Window
(Image Source)

Why the windows typically open is a topic for another question, but mostly it is for the crew to be able to communicate with the ground personnel and for rapid evacuation.

Some older aircraft like the 707 in the original post are used primarily as training devices. The aircraft in the original post is a Boeing 707 in Germany used for evacuation training. The most likely explanation is that they put in portable air conditioning units to be able to cool the cabin while they filled it with people. The vents are angled down so that water does not enter the air conditioning system.

Specifically regarding the aircraft in the post, this is a Boeing 707 located at the Tegel Airport in Berlin, Germany. It has a lot of history being an aircraft that was hijacked and then later smuggled back into Germany in the night by an American crew as a gift from Boeing to celebrate the city's 750th birthday.

You can read more about the Tegel 707 on this website and some more information about the hijacking of El Al Flight 219.

  • $\begingroup$ Your links seem to be describing two distinct hijackings, one in 1969, one in 1970. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 17, 2017 at 17:32
  • $\begingroup$ I believe the first article has the incorrect date and flight number, the hijacker, Leila Khaled was responsible for hijacking TWA 840. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Commented Mar 17, 2017 at 17:35
  • $\begingroup$ Wikipedia says Leila Khaled was responsible for two hijackings. Note the different name for the other hijacker in the two hijackings. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 17, 2017 at 17:37
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    $\begingroup$ Wait, you can smuggle a 707? This opens whole new realms of possibility. $\endgroup$
    – Delioth
    Commented Mar 17, 2017 at 17:50
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    $\begingroup$ @Delioth Yes, stickers were placed over the Lufthansa markings on the aircraft and flown in the night to the airport so ATC wouldn't turn the flight around. In the late 80's Lufthansa couldn't fly into West Germany, and neither could German pilots. The Lufthansa livery was covered with white stickers and flown by an American crew to "smuggle" the aircraft into the country with Lufthansa livery. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Commented Mar 17, 2017 at 17:57

The aircraft tractor you see is an Aircraft Recovery Transport System (ARTS) developed by Goldhofer:

enter image description here Image Source

You can read more about Goldhofer's ARTS here and here (PDF).

  • $\begingroup$ Do the wing-contacting portions of this bear weight, or just stabilize? $\endgroup$
    – msouth
    Commented Mar 17, 2017 at 20:38
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    $\begingroup$ They bear weight, @msouth, you can see the wheels up in the air in the first image. $\endgroup$
    – AnoE
    Commented Mar 17, 2017 at 20:59
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    $\begingroup$ It seems this doesn't answer the question at all (still the details about the tractor are interesting) $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Commented Sep 18, 2020 at 12:50

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