October 30 - Ruslan International has partnered with DB Schenker subsidiary, charter broker Karpeles Flight Services, to move a brand new AgustaWestland AW101 helicopter from the UK to Africa.

AgustaWestland flew the helicopter from its Yeovil factory in the southwest of the UK to London Stansted Airport, where the manufacturer's technicians dismantled the aircraft and stored it in a hangar ready for onward transportation.

The helicopter was transported from Stansted to Africa on a custom-built cradle, specifically designed to enable the aircraft to fit into the AN-124. With an overall height of 4.38 m, the helicopter on its transit chassis was a tight fight through the aircraft's nose door, said Ruslan.

With the additional support equipment and spares, the entire load weighed 60 tonnes. Ruslan subsequently returned the support equipment to the UK on another of its fleet.

At the destination, the helicopter was offloaded using the AN-124's onboard winches and internal cranes. An external crane was also sourced by Ruslan to assist AgustaWestland in assembling the helicopter over a three-day period.

"For this movement, with its size, value and urgency, there was no viable alternative to the AN-124," said Ruslan commercial executive Paul Bingley.