October 10 - UK headquartered global air charter broker Chapman Freeborn teamed-up with NATCO Global Transport Solutions and Projects to deliver a 170-tonne consignment from Switzerland to Bahrain, using the giant Antonov AN-225 freighter.
The joint operation was to deliver a GT13E2 gas turbine rotor, a generator rotor and other out-of-gauge equipment; it was the first time that the AN-225 had visited Switzerland's Zurich Airport.
The loading process at the Swiss gateway took six hours an involved both the AN-225's ramp loading equipment and two heavy lift cranes. The largest component was the gas turbine rotor, which measured 13 m long and weighed 97.5 tonnes.
The aircraft departed on schedule, stopping at Athens and Cairo for refueling, before arriving at Bahrain.
Eugen Renfer from Covio SA Aviation Services, Chapman Freeborn's representative in Switzerland, was present in Switzerland overseeing the project and he observed: "For Chapman Freeborn, coordinating outsize cargo charters is a daily occurrence and we have extensive experience managing complex operations. Nevertheless, projects involving the world's largest aircraft are always a very impressive spectacle.
"We are very proud to work with our partners to ensure the smooth running of this transportation project. The success is down to the close coordination and commitment of all of the parties involved."
This is the second time during 2013 that Chapman Freeborn has brought the AN-225 to Europe. HLPFI reported July 12, 2013 that the charter broker and international freight forwarder Air Cargo International coordinated the delivery of compressors from South Korea to France (http://tinyurl.com/newc4ob).