THE World Solar Challenge 2003 was held in Australia from October 19th to October 23rd; a race against the clock, held between solar powered vehicles, designed and developed by world's leading technical institutes. For the second time in a row the Dutch NUON Solar Team, consisting of students of the Dutch Technical University of Delft, was the fastest to cover the 3,010 kilometers long trajectory. Two years ago it was the vehicle NUNA - of the same university - that won the challenge, this year NUNA's successor NUNAII took 32 hours and 39 minutes to do the same.
This is a performance in logistics that deserves congratulations and respect. But the logistical challenge started months before the start of the actual race with the transport of the extremely delicate solar car NUNAII from the Netherlands to Australia. This is where MASkargo and its partner, KLM Cargo, came in.
A lot of things have to be taken into consideration when embarking on such an enterprise. Apart from the solar car, transportation for the tools, spares and camping equipment need to be taken care of. The changes in temperature and moisture during the trip from The Netherlands, via Malaysia to Australia, had to be taken into account. All in all a challenge that needs ample expertise and experience in air cargo transport.
How MASkargo faced the challenges
As in 2001, this time also saw KLM Cargo and MASkargo teaming up to help the NUON Solar team with the air transport from Amsterdam, via Kuala Lumpur to Sydney. For this purpose a special wooden crate was built, co-designed and developed by KLM Cargo, MASkargo and the NUON Solar team. It's dimensions: 5.42m long, 2.15m wide, 1.90m high. In this crate the NUNAII rests on a raised platform. The team's equipment was stored under the platform. Doors on both sides of the crate provide access to both equipment and the locks that hold the NUNAII safely in place.
On 2 September 2003, the NUNAII was brought from the university compound to Schiphol Airport, where it was gently pushed inside the crate and locked into position. After all equipment was loaded the crate was locked and sealed. Five days later, NUNAII took off on KL807 for Kuala Lumpur. MASkargo staff handled the transfer and arranged further transport to Sydney.
Prior to the race NUNA was tested thoroughly by the NUON Solar Team. In the end, the huge effort were not in vain - the team won the Solar World Challenge 2003.
KLM Cargo and MASkargo are proud that the NOUN Solar Team has won again and to have helped them with the transport for the NUNAII.
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