Antonov Airlines AN-124 completes US satellite flight

Source: Antonov Airlines

Antonov Airlines and charter firm Proair have transported a satellite and supporting equipment from Turkey to the US utilising one of its AN-124-100 aircraft.

The Türksat 6A satellite was transported in a special container fixed to the frame. For loading the piece into the cargo cabin of the AN-124-100, a low-profile cargo ramp was used in combination with external cranes.

Antonov Airlines commercial executive Vladyslav Ishchuk said: “For our cargo loading department, this project became a challenge. There were doubts the possibility of loading the satellite on board the AN-124-100 because of the height of the container – 414.6 cm, while the size of cargo door cabin is 440 cm.

“Also, we understood the importance of this transportation and did everything possible to successfully complete this mission. We thank our partners and customers for their trust and effective cooperation.”

The logistics of the mission were planned for six months and the entire air transport mission lasted 39 hours.

“It was imperative to carry out the transportation exactly on time for the launch,” the company said.

Muhammet Davut Yüce, managing director of Proair Aviation & Charter Türkiye, added: “In this project, which required much more detailed work than traditional charter flights, every aspect of the process was meticulously handled, and our excitement persisted until the very last material was unloaded from the aircraft.

“We extend our gratitude to Tübitak Uzay and all stakeholders for placing their trust in us.”

The Türksat 6A satellite is the first geostationary communication satellite built in Turkey, which is aimed at expanding the country’s space capabilities. It will be launched by SpaceX.

The Türksat 6A satellite will serve end users in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and much of the Asian continent, as well as Turkey.

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Damian Brett

Damian Brett
I have been writing about the freight and logistics industry since 2007 when I joined International Freighting Weekly to cover the shipping sector. After a stint in PR, I have gone on to work for Containerisation International and Lloyds List - where I was editor of container shipping - before joining Air Cargo News in 2015. Contact me on [email protected]