Delivery in the Antarctic winter: a Boeing aircraft airdropped equipment, fresh food and mail destined for the Australian research station Davis
Photo: Barry Becker/Australian Antarctic Division
The logistics assignment carried out by the Royal Australian Air Force here in the Antarctic was out of the ordinary to say the least. A Boeing C-17A flew close to the Davis research station and airdropped a total of nine metric tons of cargo containing equipment, fresh food and mail. What made this operation so special was that it was the first to take place in the Antarctic winter. Previously, expeditioners staying at the station had only been able to receive visitors via aircraft during the southern summer. Even ships only deliver supplies in the warmer seasons.
Now this successful airdrop has shown that year-round access and provisioning is possible, enabling the Australian Antarctic Division’s researchers to begin making preparations for their summer expeditions as early as winter. The airdrop was extraordinary for another reason: flying from Australia, this aircraft was the first to be refuelled in flight in the area of the Subantarctic. Incidentally, DB Schenker has also transported equipment for Antarctic researchers, albeit “only” by ship from Sweden to Cape Town.