February 18 - Chapman Freeborn has successfully completed an Antonov 225 charter to transport four giant pieces of oil and gas equipment totalling almost 150 tonnes from Houston to Sao Paulo.

The charter was the first time the AN-225, the world's largest fixed-wing aircraft, had been used for an operation in South America, says Chapman Freeborn.

The global aircraft charter specialist's Brazil office coordinated the complex preparations and loading of four valves each weighing 37 tonnes. They were assisted by the company's US team.

Chapman Freeborn experts in Houston and Sao Paulo oversaw the loading, with 100 tonne cranes used to manoeuvre the pieces on to the aircraft.

The equipment will form part of a Petrobras refinery project in Paulinia, in the state of Sao Paulo. Andre Rodrigues, country manager of Chapman Freeborn Brazil, said: "We're proud to be the first company to bring the AN-225 to South America and will use the experience and lessons learned in this successful charter in future projects."