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Footage recorded by a Soviet helicopter offers an unprecedented view of the alien landscapes beyond the far horizon
Watch Airbus A340 land in Antarctica for the first time
A multimillion-pound Airbus A340 made the first landing in Antarctica by a passenger aircraft on Wednesday, using a specially equipped helicopter and a remote controls map.
The “world’s most advanced self-navigation aircraft” can use its instruments to keep it on the correct route to avoid obstacles such as icebergs.
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The Airbus is the same model used for the latest space missions and as well as six beds, the A340 is equipped with inflatable tents and a staff canteen.
“We had the idea about two years ago to make some sort of flight to Antarctica. Some months later we found a site,” Andreas Siegenthaler, director of sales and marketing at Airbus A350 XWB, told AFP.
“We talked to different government entities. Antarctica is known as one of the most challenging environments in the world to operate in,” he said.
The spot chosen for the landing, at the southern tip of the Northern hemisphere, was chosen due to good weather conditions, Siegenthaler said.
The flight lasted an hour and 45 minutes and marks the end of a successful 14-day mission which was funded entirely by private sponsors.
Siegenthaler said they aim to fly to Antarctica twice a year from November to April in 2026.
The A340 is capable of making about 13,500 flight hours per year, with the fleet in 2015 flying some 4,000 flight hours, supporting over 100,000 passengers a year in 140 countries.