A Volga-Dnepr Airlines freighter has made its first landing on to an ice airfield in Antarctica.
The IL-76ТD-90VD service performed its first landing at the Novolazarevskaya Antarctic Research Station airfield.
Volga-Dnepr says the service will open up significant opportunities to support exploration projects on the continent.
The aircraft completed a series of runs on the runway to check performance capability and define the engine reverse thrust application range.
Flight checks were performed in order to incorporate amendments to the IL-76ТD-90VD’s Airplane Flight Manual (AFM) for ice airfield operations. After the amendment of its AFM, the IL-76ТD-90VD aircraft will be approved to operate to Antarctica airfields.
Volga-Dnepr UK sales director, Georgy Sokolov says: “Obtaining approval to fly to adverse weather regions expands Volga-Dnepr Airlines’ operating boundaries. Active exploration of the Arctic and Antarctic regions is currently underway, and with the IL-76ТD-90VD airplane meeting International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) existing and advanced requirements.
“Most importantly, being fitted with environment friendly engines, it will provide a reliable transport solution for our customers. We have already started implementing a major project in Antarctica for Antarctic Logistics Centre International.”