Chapman Freeborn blog

Cargo Air Charter

World’s largest cargo aircraft chartered to transport giant O&G equipment

Chapman Freeborn and partner Fiege Logistics Switzerland AG received an urgent request to transport outsize oil and gas equipment totalling over 230 tons from Germany to the United Arab Emirates.

Chapman Freeborn has long been regarded the best in the business when it comes to transporting heavy and outsize cargo loads, often utilising giant aircraft such as the Antonov AN-124, Ilyshun IL-76 or even the world’s largest plane, the Antonov AN-225 for complex, unusual and often time-critical logistics projects. Our global standing as the world’s leading charter broker (backed by our multiple awards including International Air Charter Provider of the Year 2016) means requests for even the most complex movements are treated business as usual for our trusted, global cargo charter departments.

This request was no different, and between our teams in Germany and Dubai, the operation—requiring a chartered Boeing B747-400F as well as the mammoth Antonov AN-225—was delivered on time into Abu Dhabi International Airport. The success of the project, including the 16 hour loading process, can be attributed to our teams’ in-depth planning and preparation phase, including site visits and multiple pre-flight assessments of the cargo to guarantee loadability onto the aircraft.

Click here for more information on this charter project.

Below are five of the most interesting facts about the Antonov AN-225:

1. For over 25 years, the AN-225 has held the title of the biggest commercially used freighter in the world. Powered by six turbofan engines, it is the biggest heavier-than-air aircraft in terms of length (85.3m) and wingspan (88m) in operational service. It is able of carrying up to 250 tons of cargo, which is equivalent to the average weight of 52 mature elephants.

2. There is only one operational AN-225 in the world.

3. The Ukrainian plane manufacturer Antonov developed the AN-225 during the Cold War in the 1980’s to airlift (in a piggyback fashion) the Buran spacecraft for the Soviet space program. The maiden flight took place on 21 December 1988 and six months later the AN-225, with the Buran atop, was presented for the first time in the west at the Paris Air Show in 1989.

4. The AN-225 is an extension of the successful Antonov AN-124 Ruslan freight aircraft – the hull and the wingspan were both extended by 15m. The plan was to build an extended version of the AN-225 freighter with eight engines, but the project named AN-325 has not been realised. The AN-225 is currently the only commercial freighter powered by six engines.

5. The AN-225 has set over 200 world records, including airlifting the world’s heaviest cargo, and the world’s longest cargo.