Last week on 18 July two 747-400s, with a payload of 120 tons each, were needed to move the Red Bull Air Race aircraft and equipment from Budapest to Kazan in Russia. The extraordinary cargo was carried by Russian airline AirBridge Cargo.   

Dismounted wings, aircraft fuselages tightly tied down, backup engines on separate pallets – these were the items, among other things, in the consignment flown from Budapest by the two 747-400s of Russian airline AirBridge Cargo to Kazan, the capital of Tartary, Russia. The latest event of the Red Bull Air Race was held in the historic city on the river Volga on 22-23 of July.

The aircraft participating in the Red Bull Air Race series are rather light: the wet weight of a Zivko Edge 540 racing plane is only 816kg, easily fitting on a large pallet. The technical equipment needed for the race, however, includes rather complex and valuable goods, which in itself justifies transportation by air. The nose of the AirBridge’s 747-400s can be opened, allowing the Red Bull aircraft without their wings to be conveniently lifted into the cargo compartment. The 747-400 only needs four hours for the Budapest-Kazan flight, thus transportation by air was significantly faster than it would have been by train, giving the pilots practice time for the weekend race over the Volga River.

“The loading operation went surprisingly smoothly, Celebi Ground Handling staff really wrapped it up fast this time. As a result, it only took two days to move the complete ground and air equipment of the Red Bull Air Race from the Danube to the Volga,” said Head of Cargo Development of Budapest Airport, József Kossuth. He also pointed out that over the years several consignments of extraordinary value or dimensions have been successfully flown out of Budapest, including power station turbines produced by General Electric in Hungary that were carried to Algeria on board the Ukrainian Antonov AN-124 ‘Ruslan’ or the largest cargo aircraft, the AN-225 ‘Mriya’.