Antonov An-124 Ruslan

The Antonov An 124 Ruslan is the largest serial-built aircraft in the world. Named after a giant out of a Russian folk tale, the airplane can carry a load of up to 150 tons and holds several world records such as the heaviest ever transported single cargo piece of 120 tons weight and the heaviest ever transported cargo at 143 tons.

Its first flight was on December 26 th 1982. The aircraft was originally designed for military purposes, yet there are numerous civilian versions with cargo airlines. The An-124 is piloted by a crew of six. The upper deck holds dormitories, a toilet and kitchen but can also come with a pressurized cabin for up to 88 people. Several modification projects were realized in the past, like the use of an EFIS flight deck or the installation of new Rolls-Royce or General Electric engines as opposed to the original ZMKB Progess engines.

The aircraft is loaded a via a flip-up cargo door in the nose as well as by a hydraulic back ramp. 24 tires balance the weight of the airplane during takeoff and landing.

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© Lukas Kirchner 2005