Early on Tuesday 29 August, a large crowd of onlookers were on hand to see the arrival into Rockhampton Airport of Antonov Airlines (Antonov Design Bureau) AN-124-100M-150 UR-82029 from Paya Lebar Air Base in Singapore as ADB3584.
The giant aircraft taxied onto Gate 6 at the Southern end of the Rockhampton Airport apron and almost immediately commenced unloading its cargo. The massive Antonov was placed into its unique 'kneeling' position - with its front landing gear raised - to allow the unloading of its cargo.
On this flight, four Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) Boeing AH-64D Apache helicopters were unloaded and parked at Rockhampton Airport. Their serial numbers are believed to be 056, 063, 064, and 069.
All four Apache helicopters are flown by the RSAF's 120 Squadron "Kestrel" (also known as the "Red Hawks") based at Sembawang Air Base in Singapore. The Squadron is the first and oldest RSAF operational squadron in service, first formed in 1969. The squadron goes by the motto of "Strive To Achieve".
It is expected that the Apaches will soon be re-assembled and then test flown ahead of their participation in the Singapore Armed Force's Exercise Wallaby 2023 (XWB23) which is expected to kick-off in the next week or so.
Meanwhile, after all four Apache helicopters were unloaded, UR-82029 was closed up parked for the night. It is expected to depart from Rockhampton Airport early on Wednesday 30 August.
UPDATE! Indeed, early on Wednesday 30 August, UR-82029 departed Rockhampton Airport bound for as Johor Bahru ADB398F.
Be sure to stay tuned to the CQ Plane Spotting Blog for all the latest news and updates on Exercise Wallaby 2023 via our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/cqplanespotting/
Sincere thanks to the local plane spotters for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos of the Antonov AN-124 at Rockhampton Airport!
Photos taken by John Lee, Trevor Hardsman and Scott Harris ©