Inside Logistics

Antonov delivers rescue part to Iqaluit

AN-124 lands in remote Arctic town to deliver the world’s most powerful turbofan engine model to a grounded B777-300 in sub-zero temperatures and returned the unserviceable engine to the UK


February 23, 2017
by

Antonov A-124 landing in Iqaluit. (Photo Courtesy of Caleb Little)

London, UK—ANTONOV Airlines has delivered a new engine to a B777-300 grounded in Iqaluit, Nunavut, following an emergency landing by the Swiss International Airlines jet on February 1 during a flight from Zurich, Switzerland to Los Angeles, USA. No-one was hurt in the incident, and the passengers were flown out the following day on a replacement Swiss Air plane.

The engine, a General Electric GE90, was delivered safely to the grounded  aircraft, less than 48 hours after the jet landed in Canada.

It was transported on one of ANTONOV Airlines’ seven AN-124s.

The AN-124 remained in Iqaluit for a total of five days, in temperatures of around minus 35 degrees Celsius, with a wind chill of minus 52 degrees Celsius, while the unserviceable engine was removed and the new engine was installed on the jet.

The unserviceable engine was then loaded onto the AN-124 and transported to East Midlands Airport, UK.

“It was important to get the new engine to Canada as soon as possible after the incident, and be flexible enough to stay on the ground for as long as was needed,” said Martin Banns, Commercial Executive at ANTONOV Airlines in the UK, and responsible for organizing the flight.

“Remarkably, despite sitting on the ground for five days in those extreme temperatures, our AN-124 required no de-icing due to a lack of moisture in the air.”

The GE90 being loaded in Zurich, Switzerland.

The GE90, which is the most powerful turbofan engine in the world, measured 725cm in length, 378cm in width, and was 399cm high. It weighed 13 tonnes.

The AN-124, with a payload of up to 150 tonnes, is one of the world’s biggest aircraft. ANTONOV Airlines also operates the world’s largest plane, which has a payload of 250 tonnes, the unique AN-225.

Passengers and crew on board the Swiss International Air Lines flight from Zurich, Switzerland, were safely flown on to their destination in Los Angeles, USA, within hours of the emergency landing in Canada.

ANTONOV Airlines last flew to Iqaluit 20 years ago in 1997.