Watch This Airbus Jumbo Jet Sink Into the Aegean Sea On Purpose

Not a tragedy, but an enticement: Turkey is creating an artificial reef to draw tourists.

byBen Keeshin|
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Having flown so close to it for decades, do old planes go to heaven? No idea, cap'n, but we know at least one of them is going to a watery grave. This past weekend, Turkey sank a 36-year-old Airbus A300 jumbo jet to the floor of the Aegean Sea, in hopes that the hulking craft will attract coral, fish and other sea life—and that those, in turn, will attract tourists.

Turkey purchased the jet from a private seller for around $92,000, and immediately set about preparing it for the sea. All fluids and electronics were stripped, leaving a plane-shaped shell. (Sadly, this means Dory will be unable to ring for a stewardess.) In order to stir up extra publicity for the stunt project, Turkey chose the largest plane ever to be used as an artificial reef: the Airbus is 177 feet long, with a wingspan of 144 feet. While the A300 was originally powered by twin turbofans producing a total of roughly 120,000 lb–ft of thrust, now, it will be motivated only by the tides.

Tourism in Turkey is down 40 percent in the last couple of years, as the country has dealt with a raft of suicide bombings and the Syrian refugee crisis. The country is hoping moves like this will be enough to boost the number of visitors stopping by. The Drive's recommendation? Just keep sinking disused jets into the sea, because it makes for an incredible spectacle all by itself. See for yourself in this video, which shows an abbreviated version of the Airbus's two-and-a-half-hour trip to the bottom.

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