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Press article fom  08.12.2002

A dream of an aircraft at Frankfurt-Hahn Airport

Frankfurt-Hahn Airport, 8th December 2002. The largest heavy load transporter in the world, the Antonov AN 225 Myria (Myria means dream), landed for the first time at Frankfurt-Hahn Airport on Saturday. With 90 tonnes of cargo on board, it took off on Sunday for Montreal in Canada with a refuelling stop in Shannon. The charter company is Chapman Freeborn Airmarketing GmbH of Frankfurt, which had brought cargo from different customers for shipment. For the greater part, this comprised particularly large and heavy machinery and spare parts for ships, which represents the ideal cargo for this large-volume aircraft. With its giant cargo hold, it is predestined for large items of freight. The largest item of cargo was 3.20 metres high and could not be loaded by conven-tional means. The two heaviest items each weighed 15 tonnes and the longest component was 9.40 metres in length.

The manufacturer, Antonov, started development of the AN 225 in 1985. Based on the example of the AN 124, an even larger aircraft was designed that was to be capable of transporting both the Russian space shuttle "Buran” as well as heavy loads. The first flight took off from Kiev on the 21st December 1988. The six-engined jet aircraft is the heaviest aircraft that has ever flown. This impressive cargo machine can lift a total weight of 600 tonnes into the air when fully laden. With a payload capacity of 250 tonnes, it is capable of transporting 100 tonnes more than the second largest aircraft in the world, its little sister, the Antonov 124, and more than twice as much as the "Jumbo Jet", the Boeing 747 (110 tonnes). The cargo hold, with a width of 6.40 metres and a height of 4.40 m, has the same internal dimensions as the Antonov 124, but is 6.50 metres longer than this. For loading, the entire nose of the aircraft is tilted up, the nose gear folds in and even complete lorries can be driven into the cargo hold via a ramp.

After the completion of the Buran programme, the only machine manufactured was temporarily taken out of commission in 1989. Since May 2001, it has been leased for the transportation of particularly heavy loads - having been brought technically up to the latest standards. Chapman Freeborn first chartered this unique aircraft exactly one year ago, but the flight had to be cancelled at short notice due to the lack of an entry permit for Canada. The company is therefore even more satisfied this year to be able to transport particularly bulky and heavy goods across the Atlantic for the shipping agents Bachmann, Bax, Emo Trans, Kuehne und Nagel, Panalpina and Schenker with the AN 225. In the coming year, Chapman Freeborn Airmarketing will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of its establishment.

An Antonov 124 has already been processed 39 times this year at Frankfurt-Hahn Airport. Frankfurt-Hahn thus leads the way in the area of heavy goods shipment in Germany. Goods of all kinds from textiles, mobile phones and PCs right up to industrial plant and generators have been transported. The largest-ever individual item carried weighed 100 tonnes. The take-off of the Antonov 225 represents the crowning of this development.

Between January and October 2002 around 112,300 tonnes of air cargo were processed at Frankfurt-Hahn Airport. 17,300 tonnes were pure, i.e. air freighted, cargo; 95,000 tonnes can be attributed to the air feeder service. About 140,000 tonnes in total are expected by the end of the year. Frankfurt-Hahn Airport is the fourth largest cargo airport in Germany.

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