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Austrian Airlines Group-Pauty

Strongman pulls worlds largest twinjet plane out of hanger

A strong man known as the "Austrian Rock" has notched up his 16th endurance world record, this time by pulling a Boeing 777 plane from its hangar at the Vienna International Airport in Schwechat.

Franz Muellner, 44, moved the largest twin-engine aircraft in the world - 63.7 metres long, and with an unladen weight of 142 tons - purely with his muscular strength.

The man from Salzburg had prepared for five months solely for the five minute-long strength event. His daily program included two training sessions of three hours each - mostly on the rowing machine and through weight training.

Asked how it felt he said: "This plane is my new friend, I have already given the aircraft a kiss."

He said the training had been hard because of the high security arrangements at the airport, so he thanked the airport authorities and Austrian Airlines, adding: "Without them, the project would not be possible."

A rope was attached to the aircraft for the attempt and Muellner then pulled the Austrian Airlines plane 14.5 metres out of the hangar, giving him his new place in the record books.

According to project leader Wolfgang Christian Bauer, no man has managed such a feat before.

Unlike past records, Muellner required no medical care immediately after the day's performance. "It was extremely brutal, but now I'm fine," were his first words after completing the pull.

The stunt will not be the last project of the Austrian Rock. "I'm not young any more, but I am healthy. There are new goals that are perhaps even larger than the Boeing," the extreme athlete announced.

The 'Austrian Rock' has previously towed a tram from the Wiener Linien public transport, and has used his pure brute strength to set Vienna's Giant Ferris Wheel in motion.

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