Volga-Dnepr Airlines delivered two Russian telecommunications satellites—Express AM7 and Express AM8—to the Baikonur Cosmodrome launch site in Kazakhstan.
The AM7 satellite was launched on March 19, and the AM8 satellite is scheduled for launch on April 6.
Flights carrying the satellites operated from Toulouse in France and from the Russian city of Krasnoyarsk using a special shipping container to safely transport the cargoes aboard Volga-Dnepr Airlines’ An-124-100 freighter.
To keep the delicate and highly-precise equipment safe, Volga-Dnepr’s experts ensured the cargo hold was maintained at very specific pressure and temperature levels throughout the flights, and the flight also operated at a lower altitude of 32,000 feet. Special loading equipment developed by the airline was also used to ensure safe loading and offloading.
The Express AM7 and AM8 satellites were manufactured for the Russian Satellite Communications Company. Express AM7 was made in France by Airbus DS, while the AM8 satellite was built by the Reshetnev Company in Russia, a leading manufacturer of information satellite systems. The telecommunications satellites will provide high quality landline and mobile telephone services and also support digital video and radio broadcasting, high-speed Internet access (HSIA) and data transmission.
In 2014, aerospace cargoes represented 42 percent of Volga-Dnepr Airlines’ charter business, growing by 50 percent year-on-year. Volga-Dnepr delivers one in three of all satellites in the world. In 2015 to date, the airline has operated seven flights delivering space equipment.