Saturday, September 03, 2016

Antonov Airlines (Antonov Design Bureau) AN-124-100 UR-82073 lands at Rockhampton

Air Queensland.blogspot was on the scene at Rockhampton Airport while it was still dark on Saturday, September 03 to capture the arrival of Antonov Airlines (Antonov Design Bureau) An-124-100 UR-82073 from Paya Lebar Air Base, Singapore as ADB2390.

Transporting a pair of Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) Boeing CH-47SD Chinook helicopters in it's gigantic cargo hold / belly, the arrival of UR-82073 was the first of three chartered Antonov An-124-100 heavy lift cargo flights that are expected to touchdown at Rockhampton over coming days in preparation for 'Exercise Wallaby 2016'.

For followers who may not be familiar, Exercise Wallaby is an annual Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) military exercise that is primarily conducted at Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA), however, Rockhampton Airport is used as a base and logistics hub for the wargames that generally lasts for about two months.

Of interest, 'Exercise Wallaby 2016' will be conducted from Thursday, September 16 to Monday, November 07, and during this time, McDonnell Douglas F-15SG Strike Eagle fighter jets, Aerospatiale AS.332M Super Puma, Boeing AH-64D Apache and Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopters will be main military hardware for this years exercise. Lockheed C-130 Hercules medium lift cargo planes will also be a regular sighting.         

Additionally, there are also several chartered Air New Zealand flights planned to ferry personnel and support equipment between Singapore and Rockhampton at staggered intervals with Boeing 777-200 / 300 and Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner's.