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Big plane carrying big cargo at Stennis Airport

Updated: Apr. 12, 2021 at 2:43 PM CDT
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HANCOCK COUNTY, Miss. (WLOX) -Think of it as a much bigger version of your favorite package delivery service.

This week, one of the largest cargo planes in the world is parked on the tarmac at Stennis International Airport.

The Russian/Ukrainian Antonov 124 cargo plane makes a stop in Hancock County for a special delivery, a Rolls Royce jet engine that’s to be tested out at Stennis Space Center.

“Obviously we’re about 10 miles from this airport so we try to be agile in our supply chain delivery,” said Manny Dominguez, Rolls-Royce logistics operation manager at SSC. “What we do, especially behind the scene,s is we do a lot of testing for noise, wind and endurance testing to make sure we keep planes safe, so it’s vital to what we do here so we make sure we cover those bases.”

While the Antonov is on the ground, the crew at Stennis International makes sure all the bases are covered so this delivery goes smoothly. Think of it as renting a moving truck, except this is a plane that weighs 150 tons.

“This operation here is very extensive at the airport. It involves a lot of parties, including the airport to support it and to coordinate the flight aspects of it. You have the flight and ground components of this operation,” said Chanse Watson, airport executive director. “This aircraft actually flew in from Iceland. Prior to that, it flew from Germany.”

When the plane leaves, it will be carrying another Rolls-Royce engine to another destination.

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