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More wind turbines travel by air

2010. 7 January

( Cargo carriers and aircrew know a lot about the wind.  Wind patterns affect the cost of flights, as well as their stability and safety.  But cargo freighters now have a new interface with the wind, carrying equipment that will harness it for sustainable power.

  With a rapidly increasing stock of wind turbines already in use or being built around the world, air cargo is being called on more often to move urgently needed parts.

  Most turbines parts, including their characteristic blades, are transported to wind farms by road or sea.  But sometimes it is more economical - and environmentally desirable - to dispatch by air.

  Tianjin-based Grandstar Cargo found itself carrying the wind recently when a shipper sought to move a wind turbine gear box and related equipment, in five pieces, from Frankfurt to Shanghai-Pudong.

  The equipment was required for installation as a demonstration project at World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, an event which is generating significant air cargo traffic.

  Because the consignment exceeded the B744F’s nose cargo door height restrictions, Grandstar Cargo had to work with ground handling partners and the two airports to load and unload through the side cargo door.  This was a difficult task because of the need to spread the weight on the pallet so it could be moved by the PDU.

  It was the first time Grandstar Cargo had handled such a heavy consignment through the side door but the carrier reported that everything went perfectly in both loading and unloading.