The Sky's The Limit
|Winter is just around the corner and for contractors scattered out across the world, it means different things. In Perm, Russia, winter can hit in full force by the middle of October and shut down all construction until spring.
The Russian airport authorities awarded Kosmos Scientific and Production Company the first phase for the extension of aprons, taxiways, and extending the existing runway at the Perm Airport. All of the concrete work had to be completed before the winter deadline.
In July, Kosmos contacted GOMACO's Russian distributor, KwintMADI, and told them they needed another paver and a texture/cure machine by the first of September and they wanted the machines to be GOMACO.
Victor Sokolov, chairman of the board of KwintMADI, contacted GOMACO International Ltd. and started the process that would take careful planning, communication and hard work that would encircle the world and bring forth a new sense of global cooperation.
"Delivering the equipment from the factory in a very short time was possible, but shipping it to a site on the other side of the world would more than triple the time required,"Rory Keogh, director of sales and marketing, GOMACO International Ltd., said. "If a faster method of transportation could be found, we would be in with a shout."
The answer presented itself in the form of the Antonov-124-100 Russian cargo plane, one of the world's largest commercial cargo airplanes available today. The solution was presented to Kosmos and they agreed with the condition that the equipment had to be in Perm by the first week of September.
While GOMACO's personnel worked to build the GHP-2800 paver and T/C-600 texture/cure in the Ida Grove plants, GOMACO International coordinated the arrival of the Antonov with the help of Kuhne & Nagel and Tailwind International, Inc., planning out every aspect of the shipment down to the exact dimensions and shipping weight of the concrete paving machines.
By the end of August, the machines were ready to ship and the Antonov was flown into Eppley Airfield in Omaha, Nebraska, to pick up its cargo. The plane took up three acres of apron at the Omaha airport.
Maurice Goold, managing director of KwintMADI and Sergei Medvetsky, principal engineer of Kosmos, traveled to Ida Grove to witness the final preparations. On August 29, at approximately 9 a.m., loading began.
First, the tail end of the Antonov was opened and a semi trailer with the T/C-600 was backed into the opening of the cargo hold. Twenty ton cranes built into the plane lifted the T/C-600 off the truck and carried it into the belly of the cargo hold.
Because of limitations on the shipping height, the mold had to be shipped separately from the paver. The paving mold with Auto-Float® was the next to load, along with some crates of spare parts and other miscellaneous items.
The rear doors were closed and the nose of the plane was opened. Ramps were put down and locked in place and the GHP-2800 was ready to load.
The GHP-2800 was driven off the trailer and, as representatives from GOMACO, Kwintmadi, Kosmos, Eppley Airfield, local media, and curious onlookers watched, walked right into the front cargo hold of the Antonov.
Crew members worked to lock down their cargo and secure it for the long flight. At approximately 4 p.m. that afternoon, the Antonov took flight. The plane flew the equipment to Koltsovo International Airport in Ekaterinburg, Russia. From there, the equipment was trucked to Perm, its final destination.
By Tuesday, September 3, the GHP-2800 was used in a test pour and by Thursday, it was slipforming on the actual runway. Their first day of production, the crew paved 2,625 feet (800 m) of runway and averaged 5.7 feet per minute (1.75 m). Paving passes were 24.6 feet (7.5 m) wide. The runway is 8.7 inches (220 mm) thick and approximately 1.9 miles (3 km) long.
"They are doing a great job, even better than great," Andrey Tcherniakov, president of Kosmos, said. "We were convinced that GOMACO was a quality company, now we are sure of it. We take a lot of pride in quality work, and the only way to get quality work is with quality equipment."
Wing Span: 240.5 feet (73.3 m)
(Trivia Source: http://www.krasel.com/aircrafts1-AN124.htm)
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