Volga-Dnepr Airlines' has used a special 'hook' system designed to secure heavy, single pieces of air cargo for transportation to deliver a 98 tons hydro turbine motor wheel from Russia to Kyrgyzstan.

The shipment was transported on December 4th from Saint Petersburg in Russia to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on board one of Volga-Dnepr's AN-124-100 freighters. The turbine was destined for the Kambartinskaya GES-2 hydro-electric power station, currently under construction.

The motor wheel measured 6.25 metres in diameter and was 3.5 metres high. It was held securely in place during the flight using the 'hook' technology inside the aircraft's freight compartment. This is the latest piece of unique technology developed by Volga-Dnepr Group's Technical Director Department for the carriage of outsize and heavy air cargo.

The delivery process commenced at the end of November at the Leningrad Metal Plant where the rotor wheel was produced. The unique loading equipment was dispatched from Ulyanovsk to Saint Petersburg by special transport to allow the rotor wheel to be fixed within the construction frame and placed onto a trailer bound for Pulkovo Airport. The 98 tons shipment was carefully loaded onboard the AN-124 with the help of four lifting cranes and a special rail system.

The development of the unique loading system took two months at the Technical Department's Ulyanovsk base. The rotor wheel was fixed at the top of the loading equipment and fastened with the special frame. The use of the new technology provided for uniform distribution of the load onto the cargo compartment floor and thus ensured maximum cargo stability.

Vladimir Petrishev, Technical Director of Volga-Dnepr Airlines, said the transportation was another record for the Antonov AN-124-100 with such a heavy shipment being transported on a hook for the first time ever. "The construction designed by the Volga-Dnepr engineers is universal and may be applied for the transportation of other cargo types," added Vicktor Tolmachev, Technical Director of Volga-Dnepr Group.