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An-124 was created in the tradition of An-22 to be the largest production transport aircraft in the world. It is larger than the C-5B Galaxy, but smaller than the An-225 Mriya (NATO named Cossack) which carries the Russian space shuttle. The first prototype (SSSR 82002, Number 318) flew on December 26, 1982. Designed as a military transport, it appeared at the Paris Air Show in Aeroflot colors in June 1985.

It is similar to the C-5A except for the low horizontal stabilizer. The Condor appears to have a wing of higher aspect ratio and a slightly higher sweep. The horizontal tail is larger and is body-mounted rather than T-mounted on the vertical tail. The wing has conventional ailerons, singleslotted Fowler flaps, leading-edge flaps, and upper-surface spoilers. The tail has fixed-incidence and an elevator. The wings are high-mounted, swept-back, and tapered with curved tips and negative slant. Four turbofans are mounted on pylons under the wings. The fuselage is a thick oval in cross-section with a rounded nose and tapering to the rear. The tail fin is swept-back and tapered with rounded tips. Flats are swept-back, tapered, and mid-mounted on the body.

The An-124 includes many features to aid in loading and unloading and has an extensive array of flaps and spoilers to facilitate low-speed flight and short-field operation. The An-124 can unload cargo from both the tail and nose of the jet and is listed in the Guinness Book of Records for carrying the heaviest single cargo item ever, a 135.2 ton electric generator. The Condor has a wider storage area and can carry more weight than the Air Force C-5 Galaxy cargo transportation aircraft. The "Condor" uses a 24-wheel landing gear system, which permits its operation on unprepared fields. It allows changing the angle of the fuselage, which facilitates the conduct of loading and unloading operations.

the An-124 does not allow parachute dropping. The tests carried out in 1989 with the dropping of dummy parachutists forced to abandon the idea of dropping people in this way. This was due to the aerodynamic factors of the model - the powerful swirls of air behind the aircraft prevent the normal opening of the parachutes. After all, initially, "Ruslan" was created for transportation to the launch site of space and strategic missiles, as well as elements of launchers.

The Condor is the largest aircraft ever mass produced. It was designed by the Soviet aerospace companies Aviastar and Antonov in the late 1970s and conducted its first test flight in 1982. The Condor began flying for the Red Air Force and Aeroflot in 1986. It is capable of hauling 300,000 pounds of cargo and 88 passengers. It holds the world record for extended flight, covering a distance of 20,151 kilometers. It has a maximum airspeed of over 450 knots and a maximum range of 2,900 nautical miles between refueling stops.

The heavy transport An-124 was created in 1982; it is a wide-body aircraft, designed to carry various cargoes, including those, whose loading gauge and weight do no allow carrying them by rail and other means of transportations. The An-124-100 "Ruslan" is a civil version of the airplane. The vehicle was designed to large freight hauling for new building work in Siberia, the North and the Far East, as well as transcontinental carriages. Design details of the An-124, such as the rear cargo door/ramp, indicated that the An-124 was not designed to airdrop heavy equipment and vehicles. The cargo space can place and secure carriage of maritime containers weighing up to 20 t in through the fore and aft hatches, long frameworks and bridge conduits, earthmovers and pipe-laying machines, building cranes and drilling equipment, heavy dump-trucks and tractors, buses, river boats, etc. Modern airborne transport equipment comprising two bridge cranes weighing 10 t each, two winches with the thrust of 29 kN, and roller and tie-down equipment provides for loading and unloading the aircraft without assistance.

The high-pass gear allows operating the airplane both at paved and unpaved runways. Mechanization of handling and two auxiliary power units for power supply and engine ignition secure autonomous operation of the aircraft at poorly equipped aerodromes. High carrying capacity and flight range, the engines economy and autonomous operation of the aircraft provide for a high profitability in operation. The prime cost of cargo carriage by the An-124 is half as high as that by other transport airplanes.

The multipurpose heavy long-haul wide-body transport aircraft An-124-100 "Ruslan" is designed to carry various cargoes, including bulky and heavy goods, as well as equipment, that cannot be carried by rail and land. The vehicle secures cargo transportation at long distances, including transcontinental routes. The An-124 can also carry 88 passengers in an upper deck behind the cockpit.

The aircraft is able to cover the distance of 4500 km with the maximum load of 120 t, it performs flights in all latitudes, in altitudes of up to 10000 m and in temperatures ranging from 60 below zero to 45 above zero. It secures operations at the meteorological minimum of 60x600 m ICAO Category I, at the aerodromes that are certified under this category. The wing pylons are fitted with four power units, each with the engine thrust of 23,4T, which provide for rather low fuel consumption (0.6 kg/kf . h) for this type of airplanes. Two auxiliary power units TA-12 ensure the air and land engine starting as well as the aircraft power supply.

The airplane is fitted with the handling equipment, including two cranes, each with carrying capacity of 3 t. The fore and aft cargo hatches are used for handling; they allow maximum using the midship of the cargo space of 6.4x4.4 m. the cargo hatches are equipped with leading footlights, and special systems regulate the height of the cargo hatches doorsills. High carrying capacity and flight range, the engines economy and autonomous operation of the aircraft provide for a high profitability in operation.

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Page last modified: 02-12-2019 17:59:41 ZULU