Volga-Dnepr Develops New Cargo Technology

Engineering staff at Russian freight carrier Volga-Dnepr Airlines have developed a special ‘hook’ system to secure heavy, single pieces of cargo. The product was put into service on December 4, 2008, holding a 98ton hydro-turbine motor wheel inside one of its Antonov An-124-100s on a flight from St Petersburg to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. The wheel, 20.5ft (6.25m) in diameter and 11.5ft (3.5m) high, was destined for the Kambartinskaya GES-2 hydro-electric power station, currently under construction in the CIS republic.
The delivery commenced in late November 2008 when the ‘hook’ system, which had taken two months to build, was transported from the airline’s Ulyanovsk headquarters to the Leningrad Metal Plant in St Petersburg, where the rotor wheel was produced. It was secured within the construction frame and then transported by road to Pulkovo Airport, where it was loaded on to the An-124 with the help of four lifting cranes and a special rail system.