Air International 1993-11
G.Endres - The World's Cargo Business
Boeing 747-200F of China Air Cargo.
The incredible An-225 Mriya (Dream), NATO reporting name Cossack, being displayed at Zhukovsky under gloomy skies on September 5, 1993. To date this is the only example flying, although a second example is under construction. Note the two independent steerable twin-wheel nose undercarriage units apparent in this view together with the seven independent twin-wheel main gear units on each side, of which the rear four pairs on each side are also steerable.
Although first flown in 1954, the remarkable Hercules has still found no obvious successor and remains in production today, its only replacement seemingly being another Hercules! Aside from the 60 or so air arms which have operated the type, it has also seen service with over 100 civilian operators. Southern Air Transport's N522SJ seen here is one of 15 currently operated by this Miami-based freight airline which has been a prolific operator of the type with some 22 different examples in use over the last 25 years.
A model of the SATIC Super Transporter, based on the A300-600R and designed to replace the ageing Super Guppies for carriage of large Airbus sub-assemblies such as those shown here. Construction of the first example is now well under way and delivery of all four on order will be completed by 1998.
One of a growing number of smaller carriers operating worldwide on behalf of the huge TNT freight network is Pacific East Asia Air Cargo of Manila which flies BAe 146QTs on behalf of the parent company. G-TNTD is seen here on August 31, 1993 at Dublin.
Airbus’ four Super Guppies, used to transport sections of Airbus aircraft to Toulouse from partner factories throughout Europe, are now nearing retirement and will begin being replaced by A300-600ST Super Transporters from September 1995.
Little seen in UK skies for many years, the Lockheed Electra has seen something of a local resurgence in the last few years with both Hunting Cargo Airlines and Channel Express now operating the type in the all freight role, L-188CF G-CEXF from the latter operator depicted here emphasising its role by the complete lack of cabin windows.
HeavyLift Belfast G-BEPS was one of the two used for civilian certification of the type before five of the ten examples built for the RAF entered service with the Stansted-based cargo carrier.
Vickers V.953C Merchantman G-APES is one of three survivors of the type which remain in service with Hunting Cargo Airlines (nee Air Bridge Carriers) which is slowly supplanting them with freighter versions of the L188 Electra.
HeavyLift's unique, one-off CL-44-O Guppy is ideal for outsize loads and is seen here being loaded with two 9,500kg (20,944lb) pollution control barges for freighting from France to Alaska following the major oil spillage there in 1989.
From small beginnings in 1972, Federal Express has built-up into one of the world's largest freight airlines with a fleet which varies in size from Cessna 208B Super Cargomasters to Boeing 747-200Fs and, as illustrated here, McDonnell Douglas MD-11Fs.
Fairchild's Expeditor, an all-freight version of its Metro III commuter airliner, has found a niche market with small package airlines, as exemplified here by all 11 of United Parcels Service's examples lined-up for a publicity shot before setting-out on their overnight deliveries.
A total of 16 Boeing 747-400F dedicated cargo aircraft have been ordered to date by six customers (Air France, Asiana, Cargolux, Cathay Pacific. KLM and Singapore Airlines). The prototype is seen here taking-off for its maiden flight on May 7, 1993.