In the news this morning. The largest aircraft ever at Antarctica landed and departed Antarctica yesterday. It’s a Boeing 787-9 from Norse. It’s at the Norwegian research station Troll. It had 45 passengers and 12 tons of research equipment. Not sure exactly what “largest” means here, but it’s certainly the largest passenger aircraft ever to have landed in Antarctica.
I’m sure anyone can land there, but I’m also sure than landing fees and lodgings will be very far from cheap. Flying to Antarctica in a SEP, that would be something different It’s only from early November to late February it’s possible to get there. For the rest of the year, they are isolated.
The largest aircraft ever at Antarctica landed and departed Antarctica yesterday.
I understood that the “normal” Antarctica services were flown with an A340-300. Not sure which one is bigger but airline ops down there appears to have become pretty regular.
Not sure which one is bigger but airline ops down there appears to have become pretty regular.
At Troll station they write they have 6-8 flights per year. It’s possible to go there by boat, but only in the summer and it includes a 250 km ride with snowmobile, or whatever vehicle they use.
It’s an entire continent, and it’s also flights within that continent between these research stations. It said in the news that several persons from this particular flight would go to the German station Neumayer III.
Thanks LeSving, that was interesting. I had no idea there was anything bigger than DC-3s landing in Antarctica. They must need some heavy equipment to level the ice, but there’s probably no size limit as long as the runway is long enough. There’s quite a good BBC article about Antarctic aviation: there are ~50 runways, and Australia may build a concrete one; it also describes the British Antarctic Survey DHC-6 off-runway operations:
One of the greatest dangers pilots face in Antarctica is disorientation due to a lack of contrast between the sky and the land. To prevent this danger, BAS won’t deploy an aircraft to a new site unless there is “sunshine on the ground” [clear blue sky].
“When we go deep field into mountain sites, we’ll have a good look at the landing site from overhead from many different angles to spot crevices,” says Auld. “Then assuming we can’t find any, we use a technique called trailing ski to put sufficient weight on the skis to test to see how rough the surface is, but also to see if we’re exposing any crevices that we couldn’t see from the air. If we’re happy with that, then we’ll come in and land.”
I had no idea there was anything bigger than DC-3s landing in Antarctica.
No, I thought Antarctica was DC-3 / C-130 / -7 exclusively These larger planes don’t need to refuel there, from/to Cape Town.
Very cool in aviation terms but in general it somehow makes no sense to me. Research goes on and on about exploring Antarctica. Mosty they find that human influence is bad and the ice melts. Then they say we have to explore this in much more detail and more and more of them come. They burn huge amounts of fuel to get there, running such stations in the middle of nowhere uses huge amounts of resources, produces trash which does not rot. No idea what they actually do about their black water etc. If they take the results of their own research seriously, should they not better stay at home and leave the place alone?
The Ozzies used Beetles on their base, replacing the oil with paraffin. Much cheaper and more fuel efficient than big cat track special purpose vehicles.
Just another example of Norse exaggerating every metric again.
Lufthansa operated an A350-900 to Antarctica in 2021 which is larger then the B789 operated by Norse.
Several A340/A330 as well as B757/767 have operated into Antarctica in the past. As well as Cargo planes such as the IL76 and C130 and recently C17.
Iceland Air 767 into Troll airfield
Iceland Air 757 into “blue ice runway”
C17 into McMurdo
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