Saturday, April 13, 2013

Global Diplomacy

I had an amazing adventure on the “Condor”
by George W.

In 1992, the Antonov An-124 was the largest aircraft in the world. The Antonov is much larger version of our C-5A Galaxy (see in standing in front of the An-124 below). Twenty years ago, the Russians could not afford to operate the aircraft, and they leased to the British. Lockheed Martin rented it from them to carry the Automated Remote Tracking Station (ARTS) to the Republic of Seychelles, where we had one of seven tracking stations. We had to take the whole station down for upgrades, and the ARTS took over until the station was back online. We loaded this 53-foot trailer with the dish and the communication van, which was 53 feet as well, and a 30-foot motor home end-to-end inside the Antonov. The other side of the aircraft was filled with crates with more parts. Ken Youngquest and I ran the media department at the plant in Sunnyvale, California. The program manager who ran the ARTS program had us videotape all the loading of the ARTS into the aircraft. The An-124 landed at Moffet Naval Air Station at Sunnyvale. This where the P-3 Orion was stationed. It was the aircraft that chased submarines on the West Coast.

This Lockheed Martin adventure was legendary!