mardi 14 février 2012
June 21. 1995
The gigant Antonov 22, which was the largest aircraft of the world in the
mid-sixties before the arrival of the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy, has made only
two visits at Geneva to date. The first was an Aeroflot sample on March 31. 1970,
coming to load physical subnuclear items supplied by the European Nuclear
Research Center of Meyrin, near Geneva. The aircraft left the next day to Moscow.
The second visit was on June 21. 1995, this time Antonov Design Bureau's
UR-09307, which came to load seven limousine cars for the Gabon's Presidency.
After several delays on that rainy day, the particular sound of the four 15'000 HPs
Kuznetsov NK-12MA could finaly be heard miles out on final for runway 05 and
my excitation growed rapidly. I have cared to be at the beginning of a 36 exposures
K64 roll and let run my camera's engine all along the aircraft approached me and used
the complete roll just for the landing!
Exceptionally, I have exchanged my usual bike for a car to be
quickly back on the apron to shoot the aircraft taxiing. Two engines
have already been shut down.
As told before, the AN-22 is fitted with four Kuznetsov NK-12MA
engines, with contrarotative blades, the most powerfull turbines ever built!
View of the 7 limousines, including a Rolls-Royce, just before loading
Nice difference of size between the already large airport's
passenger buses and the AN-22!
June 22. 1995
What a pity! Low stratus clouds, more usual here between November
and April, were covering the airport! This shot was taken from Palexpo's
Hall 7, which was under construction at that time.
Luckily, the "Bise" (North-East wind) "woke-up", removing the
unwelcomed clouds, whose let place to a bright sunshine! Looking
to the background, another "Russian" visitor was present on that unforgettable day,
namely GATS (Gulf Aviation Technology Services) Ilyushin 76TD RA-76832
The crew was extremely kind to let me climb on board
to take some cockpit shots!
The push-back from its parking position on the INNER taxiway
took several minutes! Then it was towed on Link 5 to start the engines.
All four engines started, ready for taxi!
Giving way to the regular Aeroflot Tupolev 154M. Here, I have paid
my omission to put ears's protection... Having stayed quiet some times
close to these powerfull engines, I have noticed that my audition was greatly
affected when the aircraft was away. It tooks long minutes before coming back to normal
and during a moment, I thought I had definively lost it!...
...And I was far from the end of my emotions!!! Believing that the take-off
roll for an 8 hours flight to Libreville will be quiet long, I posted me near the
opposite threshold. Having been cleared to line-up and take-off on runway 05, it
has begun its roll but suddendly veered in the grass on the right of the runway,
closing it for quiet a while! Finally, the crew was able to put back the aircraft
on the runway themselves and it took-off on a really shorter distance than
I have expected!