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Antarctica

'Momentous': Boeing 787 Dreamliner becomes biggest plane to land on Antarctica

The flight operated by Norse Atlantic Airways and named Everglades landed at the Troll Airfield in Antarctica at 2:01 a.m. local time on Wednesday in a 'momentous moment.'

It's a "Frozen" dream come true. A landed smoothly on an icy runway in a remote part of Antarctica, becoming the largest plane to ever touch down on the frozen continent.

The flight operated by Norse Atlantic Airways and named Everglades landed at the Troll Airfield in Antarctica at 2:01 a.m. local time on Wednesday.

"We have achieved together a momentous moment of landing the first 787 Dreamliner," Norse Atlantic CEO Bjørn Tore Larsen said in a statement. "In the spirit of exploration, we are proud to have a hand in this important and unique mission."

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More about the Dreamliner's mission in Antarctica

A Boeing 787 Dreamliner sits on an icy runway in a remote part Antarctica on Nov. 15, 2023. It is the largest plane to touch down on the frigid continent.

The Dreamliner's mission was to take "essential research equipment and scientists to the remote Troll research station in Queen Maud Land, Antarctica," Norse Atlantic said in .

Altogether there were 45 passengers, including scientists from the , on board the flight, which also transported 12 tons of research equipment essential for Antarctic exploration.

The Norwegian Polar Institute operates the research station located in Jutulsessen in Queen Maud Land, approximately 150 miles (235 kilometers) from the coast, according to Norse Atlantic.

“Landing such a large aircraft opens up entirely new possibilities for logistics at Troll, which will also contribute to strengthening Norwegian research in Antarctica," Camilla Brekke, director of the Norwegian Polar Institute, said in a statement. "The most crucial aspect is the environmental gain we can achieve by using large and modern aircraft of this type for Troll."

Using a bigger plane to deliver a larger load "can help reduce overall emissions and the environmental footprint in Antarctica," she said.

A Boeing 787 Dreamliner is pictured on an icy runway in a remote part Antarctica on Nov. 15, 2023. It is the largest plane to touch down on the frigid continent.

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The Dreamliner's flight path

"Everglades" took off from Oslo, Norway on Monday and made a roughly 40-hour stop in Cape Town, South Africa, before embarking toward the Antarctic, said Norse Atlantic.

The Dreamliner was able to make a round-trip flight from Cape Town to Antarctica without needing to refuel, Norse Atlantic said.

The flight landed on Wednesday a "blue ice runway" that's nearly 2 miles long (3,000 meters) and 200 feet wide (60 meters). Instead of a conventional paved runway, Troll Airfield's is literally ice.

A Boeing 787 Dreamliner and its Norse Atlantic Airways flight crew is pictured on an icy runway in a remote part Antarctica on Nov. 15, 2023. It is the largest plane to touch down on the frigid continent.

Outside of being historic, shows it was uneventful and smooth as ice.

"It is a true testament to our highly trained and skilled pilots and crew, and our state-of-the-art Boeing aircraft," Larsen said.

Saman Shafiq is a trending news reporter for ˽ýӳ. Reach her at sshafiq@gannett.com and follow her on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter @saman_shafiq7.

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