Insight

What is a helicopter without its rotor blades?

This movie shows the unusual sight of a helicopter at the Rhenus Deep Sea Terminal at the Maasvlakte in Rotterdam. What it doesn’t show is that this helicopter arrived in the port of Rotterdam as breakbulk cargo on Nirint’s liner service from South America. Once the rotor blades were put back on the Super Puma took off by air to fly back to its home base near Luzern in Switzerland

The Super Puma helicopter was used for aerial work at the Merida Cable Car in Merida in Venezuela, the highest and largest cable car in the world. After finishing the work, the 15 million euro helicopter couldn’t just simply fly home. “We usually fly to and from our destination when working in Europe,” says Stéphane Morand, project manager at Heliswiss International. “Crossing the Atlantic isn’t an option though, since the helicopter has a 2.5 hour flying range before it needs to refuel. It would also be very expensive to cover such distances.”

That is why Heliswiss asked Nirint Shipping in Rotterdam to ship the heli. “Nirint runs regular services between South America and Rotterdam, which is really convenient. Also they are able to store the helicopter below deck, which is important since helicopters and salt water don’t get along very well.”

To be able to ship the Super Puma, the rotor blades were taken off and it was wrapped in a cover. Once in Rotterdam, the blades were put back on and after a successful test run the helicopter took the high road and flew back home.

Stéphane Morand

Project Manager - Heliswiss International

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