Despite the setbacks generated by the war, the air transport unit of the Ukrainian company ANTONOV, Antonov Airlines, known around the world for being specialized in carrying heavy and large loads, continues to work with An-124 Ruslan aircraft that were not in the country at the time. time of the Russian invasion.
The company informs that it has successfully completed a transfer flight of a huge and heavy axle, installed in a special frame, departing from Sharjah, in the United Arab Emirates, to Billunnu, in Denmark, for maintenance work.
After the maintenance was completed, the axle was returned to Sharjah. The weight of the load (axle + frame) was 82 thousand kg (82 tons). According to Antonov, this project has become the most difficult transport undertaken this year.
“Execution of this order has become a real challenge for both the cargo carrier and the airport services. In particular, in the loading process, it was necessary to raise the crane’s arrow to the maximum permissible height,” said Andriy Nazarenko, manager of flight operations.
Dmitry Prosvirin, head of the airline’s commercial office, commented that the hot season and the weight of the cargo led to the need to take off at night, at the lowest possible ambient temperature, as in this condition the cooler and denser air favors lift and engine performance. “Despite all the difficulties, the axle was handed over to Billunnu for repairs and upon completion we took it back to Sharjah.”
Eric Phillip, representative of Elite Aviation, who contracted the transport and provided the ground escort for the mission, commented that it was a difficult project especially for Sharjah airport services. “They had to complete the loading/unloading process in broad daylight as night operations are prohibited at the airport. By doing so amidst the large daytime movement of the airport, everyone involved in the process (crew and truck drivers) had to ensure that the work was error-free and that the mission was successful.”
Antonov’s five An-124-100 and An-124-150 aircraft continue to fly around the world, with transport planners and execution temporarily based in Leipzig, Germany.