Ukraine-based Antonov Airlines has completed the delivery of 12 heat-recovery steam generator modules – weighing 160 tonnes per unit – from Iquique Airport (IQQ) in Chile to Chimore Airport (CCA) in Bolivia for client Hansa Meyer Global Transport.
And what aircraft was used in such a gargantuan project? Why, the largest aircraft in the world, of course – the An-225 – in what the airline is calling the longest continuous sequence of An-225 flights in the aircraft’s history.
The weight distribution of the enormous cargo on the An-225 exceeded its maximum permitted values for this charter, so the airline employed “reverse-bend” technology and damping panels in an effort to rework the lifting points. To complicate matters more, the entire process, from unloading the cargo to the flights’ departures, had to be completed during daylight hours, due to CCA’s inability to accommodate night-time operations.
“The amended design, which featured bolted joints, allowed us to remove the lifting points from the cargoes when they were installed on the loading ramp, which in turn reduced the cargo’s height,” said Andriy Blagovisniy, commercial director of the airline.
Antonov Airlines operates a fleet of other giants as well, including seven An-124-100 aircraft, which can lift up to 150 tonnes at a time, and one An-22, with a 60-tonne payload limit. The An-22 is the world’s largest turboprop-powered aircraft.