On Wednesday, Norse Atlantic Airways made an unusual landing of a Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Antarctica is the destination. The landing strip, made of snow and ice, is a 3,000-meter (9840-foot) long by 60-meter (100-foot) broad “blue ice runway.”
There are short runways, uneven runways, and runways that are frequently buffeted by crosswinds; nevertheless, there is a new runway that should worry anxious travelers: an ice runway.
Due to the fact that it is currently summer in the southern hemisphere, the Dreamliner touched down at Troll Airfield on Wednesday shortly after two in the morning, under bright sunshine. This is the first time a Dreamliner, a widebody aircraft with a maximum capacity of 330 people, has touched down on the continent of Africa.
However, be aware that aircraft N0787 was not a routine passenger route before searching for a way to arrange your own travel to Troll. The aircraft was hired by the Norwegian Polar Institute to transport 45 scientists and 12 tons of equipment to the Troll research station located in Queen Maud Land, Antarctica.
Nor was it a swift voyage over the seas. The aircraft took off from Oslo on November 13 and made a stop in Cape Town before continuing southward on Wednesday evening to accomplish the historic landing.
According to Daniel Carey of Aircontact, the broker who organized the travel, the Dreamliner’s large cargo capacity made it the perfect aircraft for the journey. According to Paul Erlandsson, a field service representative at Boeing, it also had its fuel economy to consider. Without stopping to refuel, the plane made it to Antarctica and back to Cape Town.
Bjørn Tore Larsen, CEO of Norse Atlantic Airways, released a statement saying, “It is a great honor and excitement on behalf of the entire team Norse that we have achieved together a momentous moment of landing the first 787 Dreamliner.”
In keeping with the spirit of exploration, we are honored to be involved in this significant and distinctive project. It is a real credit to our highly qualified crew and pilots, as well as to our cutting-edge Boeing aircraft.
The director of the Norwegian Polar Institute, Camilla Brekke, stated that traveling to the renownedly fragile continent by larger aircraft was a more environmentally friendly option.
“Using large, modern aircraft can help reduce overall emissions and the environmental footprint in Antarctica, which is the most crucial aspect,” the speaker stated.
The landing of a plane this size at Troll creates completely new logistical opportunities and will support Norwegian research in Antarctica.