Russia-based outsize and heavylift specialist Volga-Dnepr Airlines transported the “world’s largest engine,” General Electric’s GE9X, from Victorville, California to Ohio one of its An-124-100Fs. The GE9X engine, designed specifically for the Boeing 777X, has been in California for flight testing since last November, in anticipation of its delivery to customers like Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar in 2020. The aircraft appeals to airlines with an emphasis on cargo, due to its larger belly capacity as compared to its predecessor.
This movement of the massive engine required two years of preparation by GE’s engineers and Volga-Dnepr’s load planning specialists – necessitating a custom loading platform and tailored procedures to handle the engine, which has a diameter equal to that of a 737 aircraft, the carrier said.
Volga-Dnepr and GE began their relationship in 1992 with the first airlift of GE90 engines to Boeing. Axel Kaldschmidt, global director of aerospace at the Volga-Dnepr Group added that its partnership with GE “has been further enhanced by the implementation of Volga-Dnepr’s strategy to establish an operating base in Houston,” in conjunction with its continued role as a partner of aerospace industry clients, which Kaldschmidt says “gives the airline the ability to work within arm’s reach of our customers.”
In other news at the Volga-Dnepr Group, the carrier has brought on Ulrich Ogiermann as its new senior vice president for operations and deputy general director, following Ogiermann’s 25-year tenure serving in executive roles at various other airlines including Qatar Cargo and Cargolux.