Antonov airlines set a new record in the aircraft’s history by completing the longest continuous sequence of An-225 flights. The An-225 is the largest turboprop-powered aircraft in the world. 

Antonov is a Ukraine-based airline and is leading specialists in heavyweight and outsize cargo. Antonov’s fleet includes other giants, such as the An-124-100 aircraft – which can lift up to 150 tonnes – and the An-22 which has a 60-tonne payload limit. They are the only airline in the world to offer cargo airlifts ranging from 5,500 kg to 250,000 kg.

Twelve heat-recovery steam generators were delivered from Iquique Airport in Chile to Chimore Airport in Bolivia, to achieve the new record. The delivery was completed for an integrated transportation company, Hansa Meyer Global. Each steam generator module weighed 160 tonnes per unit, and the weight distribution of the heavy load exceeded the maximum permitted value for this charter.

In order to cater for the size of the cargo and work within the permitted maximum value, the airline applied ‘reverse-bend’ technology and had to include dampening panels to adapt and adjust the points of lifting. Chimore Airport was unable to accommodate night-time operations, so the entirety of the process was completed during daytime hours.  

Andriy Blagovisniy, commercial director of Antonov airline, quoted: “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.” 

Antonov’s flight crew received specialized training to prepare the loads’ design features to ensure that it adequately met the maximum required g-force during the different stages of the flight. Once it had arrived in Bolivia, the lifting points were reinstalled into their original position, and external cranes were used for the offloading process. 

A team of specialists from Antonov carefully designed the whole process to ensure that the enormous load was carefully and correctly handled, and within all the set requirements. 

Antonov airlines have been providing solutions and freight charters to global projects across all industries for the last 30 years. They have worked with clients in aerospace, automotive, energy, humanitarian & peacekeeping, industrial, maritime and oil & gas sectors.

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