An Airbus makes history by landing in Antarctica for the first time
(CNN) – For the first time in history, an Airbus A340 has landed on Antarctica.
hello fly, a small airline, was responsible for the flight. The company specializes in crewed aircraft, which means it rents out both the aircraft and the crew, and takes care of insurance, maintenance, and other logistics.
The Hi Fly 801 took off from Cape Town, South Africa on Tuesday, 2 November.
The plane was commissioned by Wolf’s Fang, a new luxury adventure camp in the far south of the world’s continent, and brought the necessary supplies to the complex. Wolf’s Fang is a new venture of the high-end Antarctic tourism company white desert.
The crew of the Hi Fly 801 (and the return flight to Cape Town Hi Fly 802) was commanded by Captain Carlos Mirpuri, who is also the Vice President of Hi Fly.
Each trip took between five and five and a half hours, and the team spent less than three hours on land in Antarctica, traveling 2,500 nautical miles.
The blue ice rink in Wolf’s Fang has been designated a level C airport, although it is not technically an airport. This means that only highly specialized crews can fly there due to the extremely difficult conditions.
“The colder it is, the better,” Mibori explained in his record.
“The grooves along the runway were carved with special equipment, and after cleaning and carving them we achieve a suitable braking coefficient; since the runway is 3000 meters long, landing and stopping such a heavy A340 at that airport would not be a problem.”
Although the blue ice is beautiful, it can also be a source of concern for pilots due to its glare.
Mibury added: “The glare is massive, and the right glasses help you adjust your eyes between the outside view and the instruments. The non-flying pilot plays an important role in issuing the usual and additional warnings, especially in the later stages of arrival.”
The first recorded flight to Antarctica was a Lockheed Vega 1 monoplane in 1928, commanded by George Hubert Wilkins, an Australian military pilot and explorer. It took off from Deception Island in the South Shetland Islands. The project was funded by William Randolph Hearst, a wealthy American publishing magnate.
Thanks to these short expeditions, scientists and cartographers have gained vital information about the topography of Antarctica.
Even today there is no airport in the so-called “White Continent”, but there are 50 runways.
Australia and South Africa are just two of the world powers with interests in Antarctica.
As the aviation website Simple Flying notes, Russia’s Antarctic research station organized half a dozen test flights to its 914-meter icy blue runway between 2019 and 2020. These flights were also carried out with wide-body aircraft.
Given that the vast majority of people arrive on the continent by ship, seeing the A340 on an icy runway is certainly amazing, meaning there are likely to be more landings in the future.