Heavylift / Breakbulk

  • Into the aeroplane’s belly by crane and rail.

10.10.2016 By: Andreas Haug

Artikel Nummer: 16219

Land, air and water

Russia’s Volga-Dnepr Airlines recently transported coast guard vessels from the European part of Russia to eastern Siberia. But things did not end with the air transport.

In order to transport speed boats for coastal deployment from one end of the country with the largest land mass in the world to the other, only transport by air provided the appropriate answer. Volga-Dnepr Airlines, which specialises in heavylift aviation operations, ­recently flew four Mangust class patrol boats to the Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk airport (Iata code UUS), and simultaneously provi­ded its customer with additional logistics services, including touching down on water in a port in the south of Russia’s biggest island.


The ships for the protection of the Russian realm, which were made in the Vympel shipyard in Rybinsk, located ­approximately 300 km north of Moscow, weighed in at around 32 t and were approximately 19 m long. They were initially loaded at ­Tunozhna airport (IAR), near Yaroslavl, onto two of Volga-Dnepr’s twelve Antonov An-124-100 Ruslans. A special ramp, a rail system and a crane were used in this heavylift ope­ra­tion. “We carried out these flights as well as additional logistics services for our client, the Vympel shipyard,”explained Alexander Kartashov, one of Volga-­Dnepr Airlines’ executives and a corporate key ­account manager.


Lots of experience from the past

This included providing the lifting crane and concomitant equipment at the place of departure as well as arrival, the overland transport of the boats to the port of Korsakov, and touching down on water there – “a first in the history of our company”, according to Kartashov. In this process a broad range of conditions had to be taken into account, such as a typhoon warning over Sakhalin and ­rather rough waters in the Sea of ­Okhotsk. “But we were successful and were able to hand the vessels over to the coast guard before the due date,” ­Kartashov reported.


Over the past 26 years Volga-Dnepr has gathered extensive experience in the transport of seagoing units. In that period, the transportation of submarines, yachts, rescue vessels and patrol boats, amongst ­others, have all been carried out.


Serving the technology of the future

Another complex project for Volga-­Dnepr, which had the future written all over it and spanned locations all around the world, rook place between March 2015 to July 2016. It covered logistics support for the flight of the Solar Impulse 2. The company supported the first solar flight around the world, deploying an Ilyushin IL-76TD-90VD and an ATR-72 aircraft to this end.