When you've got a parcel that needs delivering across town for your favourite nephew's birthday, you can rely on Canada Post or a courier company to get it there safe and sound.
And when you are moving house, most people trust their possessions to a reliable moving firm to pick up and deliver everything from door to door.
But when you are tasked with moving four helicopters halfway around the world, who ya gonna call?
Well, for a job that costs about $1 million, Richmond's Vector Aerospace called in one of the largest civilian cargo planes on the planet on Wednesday to scoop up all four Super Puma choppers the company's Langley-based overhaul and repair shop finished working on and airlift them, first to Australia, and then Afghanistan.
The Russian-built Antonov 124 that touched down at YVR in the early morning hours is 69 metres (226 feet) long and has a wingspan of close to 73 metres (240 feet).
In comparison, the world's biggest commercial jetliner — the double decker Airbus A380 is a shade under 73 metres (238 feet) and has a wingspan of around 80 metres (261 feet).
But as impressive as that is, it's the Antonov's cargo capacity which makes it stand out. It can haul a hefty 330,000 pounds — more than enough to swallow up the four helicopters that, combined, weigh in around 50,000 lbs., said Elvis Moniz, Vice Preisdent of Operations at Vector Aerospace who was airside overseeing the loading process.
And getting them into the massive cargo bay once the Antonov's nose is lifted and its ramp dropped down takes about eight hours as the aircraft, crates of spare parts and boxed up rotor blades are inched into place.
The flight, which was scheduled to depart YVR Thursday morning, was expected to take 37 hours to complete.
Vector Aerospace's Moniz said two of the helicopters are destined to service offshore drilling rigs in Australia, while the other two will be tasked with some unspecified work in Afghanistan. Moniz said he could not divulge exactly what their roles will be there due to security reasons, but added they will most likely be employed in ferrying people and supplies between bases in the war-torn country.
"It's not every day you see an aircraft like this (Antonov) fly into Vancouver," Moniz said. "It's quite a sight. And when you see just how much it can carry, it's pretty amazing."
Packing away four helicopters on one flight also saves a significant amount of money when it comes to delivery costs.
"Still, bringing in an Antonov like this costs around $1 million," Moniz said.
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