Four helicopters bound for Heli Expo in Los Angeles, the world’s largest helicopter show, have crossed the Atlantic onboard one of Volga-Dnepr’s An-124-100 freighters.

The helicopters were loaded at Italy’s Milano Malpensa Airport for the airline’s customer, AgustaWestland, a leading helicopter manufacturer. As part of its ‘cargo supermarket’ service offering, Volga-Dnepr also organised road transport to deliver the helicopters from Los Angeles Airport to the exhibition site.

Alexey Stepanov, Duty Load Planner at Volga-Dnepr Airlines, said: “We adopt special procedures for the movement of helicopters because big helicopters require a special load plan. This usually includes removing and packing the blades so they can be transported on the flight with the helicopter along with other equipment and spare parts. Sometimes horizontal stabiliser blocks or strap-on tanks have to be uninstalled and the loading and unloading is usually assisted by the use of a special ramp extension or tow bar.”

In the last 10 years, Volga-Dnepr has operated 739 flights delivering helicopters; 634 onboard Antonov-124-100 ‘Ruslan’ aircraft and 105 onboard Volga-Dnepr’s Ilushin-76TD-90VD freighters.

This latest contract was completed within the Ruslan International An-124 joint venture.