Leading generator manufacturer Brush has flown a replacement turbogenerator across the globe to a bauxite mine in Australia, in record time, with help from an Antonov An-225 – the world’s biggest cargo plane – making its first such flight.
The DAX 8-335 generator, which weighs 117 tonnes and has an output of 57.8 MW, was needed to replace an identical generator that had been damaged after a water leak at the Worsley Alumina mine in November 2015. It is one of two generators at the site which provides the power needed to drive the site’s mining equipment.
Delivery time in the contract was 20 weeks. To minimise downtime, Brush fast-tracked production of the replacement generator, reducing delivery time to 17 weeks end-to-end.
The Antonov made three refuelling stops during its 8350 mile flight from the Plzen factory 90 km from Prague, to Perth, completing the journey in 43 hours. This is reckoned to have saved thousands of hours compared with the six or seven weeks shipping by sea would have taken.
Tomáš Vycichl, project manager at Brush, said: "Transporting the generator by air involves a number of challenges – we had to attach it to the fuselage using 36 anchor points to guarantee zero movement in flight and we used accelerometers to ensure that the forces it experienced were within acceptable limits. We’re pleased to report that the generator has arrived in excellent condition, and it will be installed and commissioned by early June."
Pavel Lukes, Brush managing director Europe, said: "The Antonov An-225 is a remarkable piece of engineering which rightly draws attention from the media all over the world on this its inaugural