Mid morning on a frosty New Years Eve morning, a Volga Dnepr Ilyushin IL-76 glided over the Penobscot River and touched down on Bangor International Airport’s runway 33. Typically a fuel stop or an overnight rest for the crew, this time the IL-76’s destination was Bangor.
Several weeks in the works with teams from BGR Operations, Thomas DiCenzo, Inc Crane and Rigging, General Electric and Ground Force Logistics, the cargo operation came together as 2017 slowly came to an end.
The cargo, a turbine rotor. Customer, General Electric in Bangor. Originating in Zurich, Switzerland, the IL-76 made an overnight stop in Gander, Newfoundland before firing up her PS90 turbofan engines for the trek to Bangor.
Once on the ground, Volga Dnepr technicians began assembling the ramp and rail system out the rear of the plane and onto a DiCenzo highbed. Fighting bitter cold temperatures and even colder wind chill factors, the crews got the ramp system assembled. Next up, the 50,000lb unit was slowly rolled on the rails out of the rear doors of the plane and onto the tractor trailer. Once on the trailer, it was secured for a 60′ trip to an awaiting crane.
The crane was set up to hoist the rotor from the trailer and onto the ground so crews could then disassemble the rail system. Once disassembled, the unit and several pallets of miscellaneous parts were loaded onto the trailer and secured for a trip out the gate and to the GE facility on Griffin Rd in Bangor.
Once the team at GE in Bangor finish their work on the rotor, it will then be shipped to the customer in South Korea. It is unknown if they will fly it or if the unit will go out by trailer to a shipping port.
The rare Ilyushin IL-76 departed a snowy Bangor for Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport just as the “bomb cyclone” hit the area on January, 4th.