The “From Ocean to Ocean”intercontinental flight with a specially equipped UTair An-2 was completed successfully on February 20, 2013. The aircraft landed safely at the Cape Town International Airport in the Republic of South Africa after having departure on the 5th of December, 2012 from the Plekhanovo airfield in Tyumen and following a route from Mys-Kamennyy on the shore of the Arctic Ocean.The An-2 aircraft covered more than 20,000 km, a flight unmatched in terms of distance and duration for this type of aircraft. The plane “Annyshka” flew over the territories of 15 countries, including Russia, the Ukraine, Czech Republic, Germany, France, Spain, Algeria, Nigeria, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo, Angola, Namibia and South Africa.
The success of the project is due to the cooperation between UTair professionals and project partners, including ExecuJet Aviation Group and Liftec. The pi loting and maintenance of the An-2 aircraft were performed by experienced UTair-Cargo flight crew pilots Sergey Bykov and Sergey Dmitrenko and aircraft engineer Alexander Achimov. In Kiev the crew was joined by partner representatives Mark Hill and co-pilot-trainee Tracey Curtis-Taylor who recorded events of the historic flight on her blog in real time during the flight. To view the blog, visit www.an2oceans.ru.
During the flight the crew had to deal with difficult navigational and technical tasks occasioned by meteorological conditions and negotiations with aviation authorities for the provision of high quality fuel. The UTair “Annyshka” performed perfectly over a record distance and confirmed its unique reputation as the world’s largest, safest and most enduring biplane.
UTair partnerExecuJet Aviation Group will receive the veteran aircraft and adapt it for use in charitable purposes.
This historic flight with the An-2 aircraft was dedicated to the celebration of the 65th anniversary of multipurpose aircraft. The An-2 aircraft is the world’s only aircraft which has been in serial production for more than half a century and has been awarded a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. Modifications of the original An-2 aircraft design are still manufactured.
UTair Aviation ranks among the top three Russian airlines. In 2012 UTair aircraft transported 8,582,681 passengers. The airline operates more than 200 fixed wing aircraft and performs flights to 110 destinations. The airline maintains its central hub at Vnukovo International Airport in Moscow, from which it performs 100 flights daily. For more information about the of the “From Ocean to Ocean” project, visit the site at www.an2oceans.ru .
The charity mission involving the Russian An-2 aircraft, nicknamed “Annyshka” is called “Just Love” and is focused on providing an experience of the miracle of flight to those who would not otherwise have the opportunity to fly. According to Mark Hill, the experience of flight can bring unforgettable emotions and can change a life and one’s perception of the world. The An-2 aircraft will be used to educate orphan children in Africa about aviation and to perform demonstration flights to give them the opportunity to experience flight.