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Chapman Freeborn Antonov AN-225 charter: World’s largest cargo aircraft used for giant delivery to Abu Dhabi

Chapman Freeborn and Fiege Logistics Switzerland AG have successfully completed a high-profile project to transport outsize oil and gas equipment totalling 232 tons from Germany to the United Arab Emirates.

The global aircraft charter specialist’s Germany team utilised the giant Antonov AN-225 freighter and an additional Boeing B747-400F aircraft to deliver the time-critical cargo from Leipzig Halle Airport (LEJ) and Frankfurt–Hahn Airport (HHN) to Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) on May 20th 2016.

The AN-225 operation at Leipzig Halle Airport was closely managed by Chapman Freeborn’s project manager Christian Becker. The 16-hour loading process to manoeuvre 153 tons of cargo involved using the AN-225’s ramp-loading apparatus and internal winch, in addition to an external heavy-lift crane. The largest of the six pieces handled was a compressor weighing 79 tons and measuring over 14 metres in length.

Following the successful loading of the outsize cargo, the AN-225 departed and flew to Abu Dhabi via Cairo for refuelling.

At the same time, the closely-synchronised B747-400F operation at Frankfurt–Hahn Airport was overseen by Chapman Freeborn representatives, with a further consignment of nearly 80 tons of cargo successfully loaded and dispatched to Abu Dhabi.

The mammoth charter project required in-depth planning and precise preparation – including coordination meetings, site visits and pre-flight assessments of the cargo to advise on the loadability of the freight.

The design of the unique AN-225 is based on its smaller sibling the AN-124 – an aircraft type regularly used by Chapman Freeborn to transport heavy and outsize air cargo around the world, in addition to a variety of western-built freighters.

The six-engine AN-225 can carry payloads of up to 250 tons and was originally developed by Antonov Design Bureau in the 1980s to transport the Soviet Union’s Buran spacecraft.

About Chapman Freeborn

UK-headquartered Chapman Freeborn Airchartering was established in 1973. The company specialises in the charter and lease of aircraft for a wide ranging client base including freight forwarders, multinational corporations, governments, humanitarian agencies and a host of industries around the globe.

In addition to air cargo charters and on board courier (OBC) services, Chapman Freeborn offers specialist passenger services including private jet and helicopter charters for executive travel and large aircraft for crew rotations and international group travel.

Over the last decade, Chapman Freeborn has received more than 20 top aviation industry awards for service and innovation, including the recent Charter Provider of the Year title at the STAT Times Awards 2016, held in Mumbai.

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