One of the world’s largest cargo aircraft landed in Yellowknife on Sunday morning, carrying a South Korean attack helicopter that will undergo 10 weeks of winter testing around the city.
Korea Aerospace Industries’ Light Armed Helicopter arrived in the belly of an Antonov An-124, a Soviet-built and Ukrainian-operated cargo aircraft that weighs almost 400,000 lbs even without freight aboard.
The arrival of the helicopter is considered a boon for the city’s economy. The territorial government forecasts a $2-million injection of capital to hotels, restaurants, and related industries from some 40 pilots, engineers, and support staff over the next two months.
The Light Armed Helicopter is in development and scheduled for completion next year, when it will begin replacing two ageing models of attack helicopter relied upon by South Korea’s armed forces.
Cold-weather testing in Yellowknife will not involve any live munitions, the territory said.
Photos on this page by Stephen Fochuk for Cabin Radio.
Correction: December 5, 2021 – 17:49 MT. We initially reported that the Antonov An-124 that landed in Yellowknife on Sunday is Russian-built. The reality is a little more complicated, given the Soviet Union disintegrated between the aircraft’s creation and the present day. The plane was built for the Soviet airline Aeroflot in the late 1980s but is now operated by the Antonov Design Bureau, which is Ukrainian – as the aircraft’s livery would suggest.