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 giant Antonov AN-225 Mriya freighter to Europe in recent months. In June, the global aircraft charter specialist delivered a 140-ton load to EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg - representing another first for an AN-225 operation.

The project in Zurich was closely 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 tons and measuring over 13 metres in length.

Following the loading of the cargo, the aircraft departed on schedule and flew to Bahrain via Athens and Cairo for refuelling.

Commenting on the successful operation, Eugen Renfer said:

“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.

“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.”