Very early on Saturday 3 September, around a dozen plane spotters and enthusiasts ventured to Rockhampton Airport to watch on as Antonov Airlines (Antonov Design Bureau) AN-124-100 'Ruslan' UR-82073 touched down on Rocky's Runway 33 as ADB2390 direct from Paya Lebar Air Base in Singapore. It parked on Gate 6 at the Southern end of the Rockhampton Airport apron.
After a short while, unloading of the massive Ukrainian cargo aircraft commenced with the Antonov's front landing gear being raised and the aircraft was placed into its unique 'kneeling' position to allow the unloading of its cargo.
On this particular flight, a pair of Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) Boeing CH-47SD Chinook helicopters were unloaded from the Antonov. Over the coming days, these two Chinooks will be joined by another pair, as well as 4-5 RSAF Boeing AH-64D Apache helicopters. These will then all be put back together and test flown in preparation for the commencement of the Singapore Armed Force's Exercise Wallaby which will officially kick-off on Thursday 15 September.
UR-82073 will remain parked on Gate 6 on the Southern end of the Rockhampton Airport apron for all of Saturday and will reportedly depart around 12am (midnight) on Sunday 3 September back to Paya Lebar. Current information suggests that it will return to Rockhampton Airport again around 4am on Tuesday 6 September and then again on Friday 9 September.
Stay tuned to the CQ Plane Spotting Blog for more great photos of this and the other fantastic aircraft and helicopters that will be paying Rockhampton Airport a visit over the next few weeks as we welcome the Singapore Armed Forces back to participate in Exercise Wallaby 2016.
Sincere thanks local plane spotter 'IAD' for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos of the Antonov 124 arriving!
All photos taken by 'IAD' ©