Antonov Airlines’ AN-225 in 160 tonne cargo transport from Chile to Bolivia
July 31, 2018: Antonov Airlines had been recently called upon by Hansa Meyer Global Transport GmbH & Co to transport Heat Recovery Steam Generator (HRSG) Modules, each weighing 160 tonnes, from Chile to Bolivia.
The Ukrainian airline delivered the cargo utilising its AN-225 aircraft in twelve consecutive flights.
“The initial configuration of the cargo did not allow its loading on the aircraft, and as a result the lifting points were reworked,” said Andriy Blagovisniy, commercial director, Antonov Airlines.
“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 cargoes' height.
“Upon arriving at the destination, we pulled the cargoes out to the loading ramp, and the specialists on-site reinstalled the lifting points on their initial positions, tying them with bolts for subsequent lifting and offloading using external cranes.
“A special low-profile loading system designed by Antonov Company specialists was used to handle the large height of the cargo.”
The weight distribution of the single-piece cargo on the aircraft floor initially exceeded maximum permitted values for the AN-225.
“Special damping panels and reverse bend technology were introduced to tackle the weight distribution of the cargo,” added Blagovisniy.
“Our flight crew received special training that took into account the design features of the cargo, to meet the maximum permitted g-forces during takeoff, in flight, and landing.”
Antonov Airlines secured the cargo inside the aircraft with a special lashing pattern, developed specifically for the project that allowed for welding of a calculated number of lashing points and special winching points for the cables of the aircraft winches.
“As Chimore Airport does not have provisions for night time operations and flights, the entire process, including the unloading of the cargo and the departure of the aircraft, had to be completed strictly during daylight hours,” said Blagovisniy.
Additional equipment for aircraft servicing and cargo unloading, including a ground power unit and a forklift, had to be delivered in Chimore, Bolivia.
Antonov Airlines transported its own towing tractor from Gostomel Airport in Kyiv, Ukraine to Chile to ensure suitable aircraft towing throughout the twelve flights as there was no tractor with the required power available at Iquique Airport.