Flight attendants pose in front of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner on Troll Airfield in Queen Maud Land, Antarctica. Photo & Video Credit: Norse Atlantic Airways

Environment Antarctica12. January 2024

Milestone Achievement: Cargo Plane Makes a Round-Trip to the South Pole

A cargo airplane landed safely in Antarctica from South Africa, dropping off 45 researchers and 12,000 kilos of gear, then returned to Cape Town on a single tank of gas, making it a sustainable method of reaching the vulnerable continent.

“The most crucial aspect is the environmental gain we can achieve by using large and modern aircraft of this type for Troll,” says Camilla Brekke, director of the Norwegian Polar Institute whose researchers traveled to the South Pole to study biodiversity, climate, environmental pollutants, and geological mapping. “This can help reduce overall emissions and the environmental footprint in Antarctica.”

Capable of accommodating around 300 passengers, the roomy cargo offers more than 140 cubic meters of space for equipment. The first Boeing 787 Dreamliner from Norse Atlantic Airways landed at Troll Airfield’s runway made of snow and ice measuring 3 km long by 30 m wide, then flew back to Cape Town on one tank of gas, thus eliminating the “logistical complexities of transporting, storing, and handling fuel in Antarctica,” says Paul Erlandsson, a Boeing field service representative.

Smithsonian Magazine

:::::: Related Articles

Back to top button