Aircrafts / Support Aircrafts / Russia / An-124 Ruslan

Number of Engines 4
Total Thrust (kg) 93 600
Length (m) 69.10
Height (m) 20.78
Wingspan (m) 73.30
Top Speed (km/h) 865
Ceiling (m) 12 000
Max. Takeoff Weight (kg) 405 000
Range (km) 16 500
Crew 6 (+1)
Date Deployed 1987
Unit Cost ($) 150 000 000

The Antonov An-124 Ruslan (NATO reporting name: Condor) was the largest aircraft ever mass produced until production of the Airbus A380 started, and was, until the advent of the An-225 Mriya, the largest aircraft in production. During development it was known as the An-400 and An-40 in the West, and it flew for the first time in 1982. Over forty are currently in service (26 civilian models with airlines and 10 firm orders at August 2006) in Russia, Ukraine, UAE and Libya.

Physically, the An-124 is similar to the American Lockheed C-5 Galaxy, but it has a 25% larger payload. An-124s have been used to carry locomotives, yachts, aircraft fuselages, and a variety of other oversized cargoes. The An-124 is able to kneel to allow easier front loading. Up to 150 tonnes of cargo can be carried in a military An-124: it can also carry 88 passengers in an upper deck behind the cockpit. However, due to limited pressurization in the fuselage, it seldom carries paratroopers.

The An-124 was manufactured in parallel by two plants: the Russian company Aviastar-SP (ex. Ulyanovsk Aviation Industrial Complex) and by the Kyiv Aviation Plant AVIANT, in Ukraine. Series production ceased with the break up of the Soviet Union. The last five unfinished airframes left from the Soviet times were completed in 2001 (1), 2002 (1), and 2004 (3). While currently no An-124 are being produced - there are joint effort of Russia and Ukraine to resume series production in 2008-2009.

Since the type was initially designed for only occasional military use, original An-124s were built with a projected service life of 7,500 flight hours with possibility for extension. However many airframes have flown more than 15,000 flight hours. In response to complaints by commercial users, aircraft built after 2000 (the An-124-100) have an improved service life of 24,000 hours, older airframes are being upgraded to this standard. The works on its extension up to 40,000 flight hours are being performed. The state enterprise Kyiv Aviation Plant AVIANT (Kiev, Ukraine) offers upgrades to the АN-124-100М-150 version.

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