Lambert St Louis International Airport (STL) has handled its latest outsize air charter: a trailer-mounted flight simulator, a control trailer and containerised associated equipment bound for the Middle East on a giant Antonov freighter.
The total load weighed a modest 45 tonnes, which is well within the 125 ton payload of the Antonov Airlines An-124 utilised. However, the two trailers each measured 15.9 m long x 2.55 m wide x 4.1 m tall – taking full advantage of the aircraft’s exceptional fuselage length.
Loading the flight, which was managed by Ruslan International (the joint venture company which manages and markets the 17 An124 aircraft owned by its shareholders Antonov Airlines and Volga Dnepr Group) was a simple drive-on, drive off exercise, using the aircraft’s opening nose and tail, and the special vehicle ramps it carries.
Says STL’s Cargo Development Director, David Lancaster: “It’s always a pleasure to welcome these unique aircraft, and observe their phenomenal load capabilities.
“We routinely welcome charters here, carrying diverse loads that reflect the region’s heavy industry and hi-tech manufacturing. We are fortunate to have a highly capable airport that never closes, can provide full service for all shapes and sizes of air cargo, and which has excellent hinterland connections.”