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Antonov AN-225 visits Zurich Airport for first time

Chapman Freeborn and NATCO Global Transport Solutions & Projects coordinated an Antonov AN-225 cargo charter to transport a 170-tonne load from Switzerland to Bahrain.

The joint operation to move a gigantic GT13E2 gas turbine rotor, a generator rotor and other outsize technical equipment to the Middle East was the first time the world's largest fixed-wing aircraft has visited Zurich Airport.

It is the second time that Chapman Freeborn has brought the Antonov AN-225 to Europe in recent months. In June, the global aircraft charter specialist delivered a 140-tonne load to EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg in France.

The project in Zurich was observed by Pedro Oliveira from NATCO and Eugen Renfer from Covio SA Aviation Services, Chapman Freeborn’s representative in Switzerland.

The six-hour loading process involved both the AN-225’s ramp-loading apparatus in addition to two heavy-lift cranes. The largest of the pieces handled was a gas turbine rotor weighing 97.5 tonnes.

“For Chapman Freeborn, coordinating outsize cargo charters is a daily occurrence, and we have extensive experience managing complex operations. Nevertheless, projects involving the world’s largest aircraft are always a very impressive spectacle,” Renfer said. “We are very proud to work with our partners to ensure the smooth running of this transportation project. The success is down to the close coordination and commitment of all of the parties involved.”