ANTARCTICA- The Norse Atlantic First Boeing 787 Dreamliner flight to Antarctica has successfully completed its journey. Operated by the Norwegian low-cost carrier Norse Atlantic (N0), the flight transported scientists and essential supplies to the Troll research station.
Norse Atlantic’s N0787 flight safely landed at Troll Airfield (QAT) in Queen Maud Land at 02:01 local time on Thursday morning.
Boeing 787 Lands in Antarctica
The journey originated in Oslo (OSL) and commenced on November 13, with a Cape Town (CPT) stopover en route to Antarctica. The aircraft spent over 40 hours in South Africa before departing from CPT at 23:03 on Wednesday.
Norse Atlantic revealed its plan earlier this month to conduct a unique charter flight to Antarctica utilizing the Dreamliner. The flight, carrying scientists from the Norwegian Polar Institute and essential supplies, was bound for the Troll research station, located approximately 7 km from Troll Airfield.
Although this marks the initial landing of a Boeing 787 Dreamliner in Antarctica, the Australian carrier Qantas has previously employed its 787-9 fleet for scenic flights over the icy continent. It occasionally incorporates this routing into its commercial routes as well.
Flying a large aircraft to Antarctica poses challenges, particularly during the landing and takeoff stages, given the freezing conditions. While Icelandair has previously flown its Boeing 767s to the continent, yesterday’s flight marked the first time a 787 has accomplished this feat.
Unlike regular airports with conventional paved runways, Antarctica lacks such infrastructure. Instead, aircraft must land and take off from blue ice runways, with Troll Airfield’s runway measuring 3,000 meters in length and 60 meters in width.
The climate conditions further add complexity, as evidenced earlier this month when a team of scientists had to wait an extra week for an Icelandair plane to arrive.
Currently experiencing the summer season in the Southern Hemisphere, this period sees the majority of flights to and from Antarctica.
During 2021, the charter airline HiFly made history by conducting Antarctica’s inaugural Airbus A340 flight, this time destined for Wolf’s Fang Runway (WFR) in Queen Maud Land.
It’s worth noting that while the 787-9 is lengthier than Icelandair’s 767-300ER, HiFly’s A340-300 surpasses both in terms of length and maximum takeoff weight.
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