At 8 o’clock in the morning on 29th, Nov, the largest cargo plane in the world called AN-225 arrived at Shijiazhuang in China, ready to load streetcars and ship them to Turkey.
As China daily reported:
“The world’s largest cargo plane will carry two green-energy tram cars from Shijiazhuang, Hebei province, to Istanbul, making it the first air transport of high-quality, domestically built equipment of this scale to fly to Europe.
The AN-225, measuring 84 meters long with an 88.74-meter wingspan, arrived at the airport and waited on the parking apron for the loading of the two streetcars, each weighing about 20 metric tons, on Friday.
Compared to commercial planes, which have two engines, the AN-225 has six engines, allowing it to carry heavy loads, and can fly more than 15,000 km in a single flight.
Transporting the streetcars from China to Turkey by air is much more time-efficient compared with traditional means on the sea or by rail, but loading the massive cars was a laborious task.
Twenty-one employees from the AN-225’s owner and Ukrainian aircraft manufacturer Antonov installed two giant tracks to guide the 40-meter-long tram cars into the plane and worked from 8 am to about 6 pm on Friday to complete the loading process.
Inside the aircraft, the parallel tracks were fixed to the floor, and various other tethers were attached to keep the streetcars in place during the flight.
The occasion marks the seventh time the enormous cargo plane has landed at Shijiazhuang Zhengding International Airport since 2006. The airport is the only one in the country approved to land the AN-225 by the Civil Aviation Administration of China.”