Cometto selects Volvo Penta diesels for rocket fuel hauler
The European Space Agency (ESA) uses the Guiana Space Centre spaceport just outside
of the city of Kourou, French Guiana,
to launch spacecraft for the purposes
of telecommunications, weather monitoring and satellites. Kourou’s location 310 miles north of the equator is
an ideal location for the task, with the
Earth’s rotation providing the spacecraft some added velocity.
It’s at that space center in South
America’s tropics that a pair of Volvo
Penta diesel engines powers a spe-
cially built hauler that is tasked with
transporting the solid rocket fuel
boosters used by the agency’s Ariane
5 heavy-lift launch vehicle.
The Cometto AIT250 Fardier (a
French word meaning dray) got its
start far across the ocean at the foot
of the Alps in Northern Italy. Based in
the tiny town of Borgo San Dalmazzo
is Industrie Cometto S.p.A., an equip-
ment manufacturer that has built
semi-trailers, modular trailers and
self-propelled haulers since 1954.
Its products are manufactured on a
per-project basis and can move a lot
of weight: the largest trailers stretch
up to nearly 200 ft. with 40 rows of
wheels and can move a 7700 ton
ship. The company has patented its
steering and suspension system, with
each axle able to bear up to 66 tons.
“The strength of Cometto machines
The AIT250 hauler is shown at Cometto’s headquarters in the Italian Alps shortly before being shipped to the European Space Agency
spaceport in French Guiana.