ANTONOV Airlines flew the communications satellite, the GSAT-31, for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Flywell Aviation, from HAL Bengaluru Airport, India (VOBG) to Cayenne Félix Eboué Airport, French Guiana (CAY).
ANTONOV Airlines coordinated closely with Flywell Aviation to meet all of ISRO’s requirements to transport the satellite that weighed a total of 18,000 kg including its specialised container, which measured L 7.80 m x W 4.54 m x H 4.03 m.
“We worked with the customer to ensure that this sensitive equipment was loaded and transported safely,” said Michael Goodisman, Business Development Director, ANTONOV Airlines.
“The ANTONOV crew maintained acceptable temperatures and pressures while the aircraft was airborne, as well as during refuelling stops.
“Together with Flywell Aviation, our engineers used data-loggers to record g-forces, pressures, and temperatures so that ISRO could inspect the data post-flight and give a green light to launch the GSAT-31 satellite.”
An ANTONOV AN-124-100 transported the satellite, completing the second in a series of three flights that Flywell Aviation has contracted ANTONOV Airlines to operate, on behalf of ISRO.
“ANTONOV Airlines worked closely with us to ensure all necessary precautions were in place for the movement of this sensitive satellite cargo, and we are very satisfied with the service level provided,” said Anil Bal, Managing Director of Flywell Aviation.
The GSAT-31 was launched earlier this month from the Guiana Space Centre, French Guiana on an Ariane 5 ECA launch vehicle.
The first satellite in the series, the GSAT-11, was transported by ANTONOV Airlines on the same route in October 2018, and the final satellite is set to be delivered later this year.
ANTONOV Airlines also provides specialised support for aerospace cargo from its office in Houston, USA, last month flying a satellite from Moffett Federal Airfield, USA (NUQ) to CAY for twinned launch with the GSAT-31.