AN 225 arrives in Zurich for the first time –
an incredible countdown to deliver the equipment
At the end of June 2013 a power plant in the Middle East was shut down because of two broken rotors – Alstom, the rotor supplier, was asked to provide immediate replacements. A month later Alstom contacted us. Given the payload of 170 tons and the oversized dimensions, this was an extraordinary transport request and one only the AN 225 could carry out.
As the AN 225 had not previously landed in Zurich, we contacted the airport with the request to prepare the handling concept for the giant aircraft and to ask for landing permission from the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA). The permission and the flight date were secured by the middle of August. This left five weeks to organize transfer of the rotors from the two factories in Germany and Switzerland to Zurich airport; to plan the loading/unloading activities and on-site shipment in the Middle East; and last but not least to organize an airport event for Alstom employees involved in the “rotor project”.
Arriving late in September, the AN 225 was loaded late into the night. Taking off the following morning, she required two refuelling stops to get to the Middle East before the equipment was delivered to the power plant site. An incredible countdown ended with a grateful power plant client and many excited Swiss plane spotters!