Hi Fly, a company that leases widebody aircraft, has made history by successfully landing the first ever Airbus A340 in Antarctica. Captain Carlos Mirpuri flew his crew from Cape Town to Antarctica and back, a journey that totaled 2,500 nautical miles, or just over five hours each way. The aircraft, officially called the Hi Fly 9H-SOL A340-313HGW (High Gross Weight, has a maximum take-off weight of 275 tons. Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.
The Airbus A340 has a four engine redundancy and exceptionally long range, makes it perfect for this journey. Getting there wasn’t the biggest challenge, bur rather landing on the blue glacial ice runway. A team had to carve grooving using special equipment, and after cleaning it up, adequate braking coefficient can be achieved.
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Our operations department conducted a several months preparation of this flight and the success of our first landing is testimony to a job well done. It is not easy to spot the runway, but at one point we have to see it, as absolutely no navigation aids exist in WFR and from around 20 miles we must be in visual contact,” said Hi Fly.