Antonov Airlines flew four Apache AH-64E Attack Helicopters on behalf of Boeing, from Phoenix Mesa Gateway Airport (AZA), Arizona, USA, to Hindan Airforce Base (VIDX) in India.
An Antonov Airlines AN-124-100, which can accommodate up to five Apache helicopters, transported the aircraft, with a total payload of 39 tonnes including their dismantled rotor blades.
â€œThe Antonov Airlines team was responsive and willing to support deadlines while applying for the complex overflight permits required for military cargo,” said Jon Roland, Boeing Program Manager.
â€œAntonov Airlines partnered with us to secure the required clearance and permissions, creating a cooperative environment to ensure smooth delivery.”
The Antonov and Boeing engineers collaborated closely on mission planning in real time during the loading process.
The project required special planning and execution due to complex geopolitical issues affecting the flightpath of the cargo
â€œWe worked out how to best use the available space during loading to safely transport the cargo,” said Amnon Ehrlich, Commercial Director, Antonov Airlines USA.
â€œWe also took into consideration the high summer temperatures in Arizona while planning the move.
â€œThe loading started in the early hours to avoid the high temperatures. Following a night-time departure, the mission was completed 24 hours later.”
Boeing has already contracted Antonov Airlines for further Apache helicopter shipments later this year.