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mozart
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Largest Plane Ever To Land McMurdo/Antarctica?

Sun Aug 30, 2015 9:16 am

Just learned that McMurdo Pegasus has a 10,000 ft runway and according to Wiki can be used year-round by wheeled aircraft.

What is the largest aircraft ever to have landed there? Would it possible for Boeing 747 freighters to land and take off from there? What challenges would exist, other than the obvious (visibility can be bad and low fuel is an issue for fuel)?

Also, are there charts anywhere to be found?
 
TC957
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RE: Largest Plane Ever To Land McMurdo/Antarctica?

Sun Aug 30, 2015 9:20 am

I would think it'll be an IL-76 of some sort.
 
karadion
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RE: Largest Plane Ever To Land McMurdo/Antarctica?

Sun Aug 30, 2015 9:24 am

The C-17 has landed at McMurdo plenty of times which is larger than the Il-76. The C-5 Galaxy is also capable of landing at McMurdo.

[Edited 2015-08-30 02:26:13]
 
flyDTW1992
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RE: Largest Plane Ever To Land McMurdo/Antarctica?

Sun Aug 30, 2015 9:36 am

C-5 has landed at McMurdo before if I'm not mistaken. That'd certainly be the largest. As for 747s, I'm not sure. Seeing as a work for one of the few 747F operators that could conceivably be called up for such a mission if it were indeed possible, I may have to look into that if I get the time in the next few days.
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zeke
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RE: Largest Plane Ever To Land McMurdo/Antarctica?

Sun Aug 30, 2015 12:01 pm

Australia has an A319 that lands on a different ice runway way down under.
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Mortyman
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RE: Largest Plane Ever To Land McMurdo/Antarctica?

Sun Aug 30, 2015 1:09 pm

There are pictures of both USAF C5 Galaxy and RNZAF Boeing 757 in the Wiki article:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pegasus_Field
 
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zkojq
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RE: Largest Plane Ever To Land McMurdo/Antarctica?

Sun Aug 30, 2015 2:27 pm

Air New Zealand planned to send some 767s down there a few years ago.
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fanofjets
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RE: Largest Plane Ever To Land McMurdo/Antarctica?

Sun Aug 30, 2015 4:14 pm

Going back four or so decades, this was probably the largest aircraft:


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finnishway
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RE: Largest Plane Ever To Land McMurdo/Antarctica?

Sun Aug 30, 2015 5:00 pm

Quoting mozart (Thread starter):
Would it possible for Boeing 747 freighters to land and take off from there? What challenges would exist, other than the obvious (visibility can be bad and low fuel is an issue for fuel)?

Would it be possible for a Boeing 747 to land and take off from McMurdo? Probably yes, but why would it go there? Large military aircaft are used because they can operate better from places like Antarctica where there are limited amount of infrastucture and equipment. Military aircraft like C-17 can carry a lot of cargo and people on the same flight. Boeing 747 can carry a lot of people, but not a lot of special cargo.

C-17 can be loaded and unloaded with its own equipment and it has a tail ramp. B747 would require special equipment for that. C-17 was also designed to operate from all kind of runways, B747 wasn't.

What challenges are there? Weather is one of the challenges, but I would say for an aircraft size of the B747 turnaround would be a challenge itself. How to do it fast and safely.

A319CJ (if I am correct) and modified B757 combi operate regularly to Antarctica, B737 has been tested by PrivatAir and I think it has also operated there some charters. Air New Zealand planned to test B767 a few years ago, but hasn't done it yet.

[Edited 2015-08-30 10:01:42]
 
hh65man
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RE: Largest Plane Ever To Land McMurdo/Antarctica?

Mon Aug 31, 2015 3:20 am

The C-5 Galaxy is the largest I believe so far, and back in the day it was pretty routine for the C-141 Starlifters to fly in and out. Now days it's pretty much C-130s (VX6 I think) from the Navy.
 
studedave
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RE: Largest Plane Ever To Land McMurdo/Antarctica?

Tue Sep 01, 2015 12:57 am

Quoting hh65man (Reply 9):
Now days it's pretty much C-130s (VX6 I think) from the Navy.

VXE-6 (the redesignated VX-6) is now gone.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VXE-6




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washingtonflyer
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RE: Largest Plane Ever To Land McMurdo/Antarctica?

Tue Sep 01, 2015 1:02 am



C5 at McMurdo
 
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yellowtail
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RE: Largest Plane Ever To Land McMurdo/Antarctica?

Wed Sep 02, 2015 12:06 am

I am curious...I assume they don't take fuel in Antartica and tanker in what they need since they are going out empty (presumably)....or do aircraft like the C5 do air to air enroute?
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flyDTW1992
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RE: Largest Plane Ever To Land McMurdo/Antarctica?

Wed Sep 02, 2015 12:19 am

Quoting yellowtail (Reply 12):
I am curious...I assume they don't take fuel in Antartica and tanker in what they need since they are going out empty (presumably)....or do aircraft like the C5 do air to air enroute?

They fly in from Christchurch, so most of these aircraft should be able to tanker in most of what they need. There is a supply of jet fuel at McMurdo though.
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A346Dude
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RE: Largest Plane Ever To Land McMurdo/Antarctica?

Wed Sep 02, 2015 2:21 am

Quoting flyDTW1992 (Reply 13):
They fly in from Christchurch, so most of these aircraft should be able to tanker in most of what they need. There is a supply of jet fuel at McMurdo though.

At least some aircraft must take fuel at McMurdo. The 757s that land there do not have big enough tanks to complete the southbound trip while holding an alternate. There are special procedures used to ensure relatively safe operation to Antarctica without an alternate. It's essentially a point of no return at which time the weather must be above prescribed limits.

I say "relatively" because it almost didn't go so well once: http://www.taic.org.nz/ReportsandSaf...G]skins/taicAviation/skin_aviation

[Edited 2015-09-01 19:27:18]
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