DT Video: Antonov An-124 Airlifter

Hope you guys are enjoying your weekend so far. Check out this DT video tour of one of the world’s most commonly used heavy airlifters; the Soviet-designed and Ukranian-built Antonov An-124 Ruslan.

The civil-operated An-124s are frequently chartered by the Pentagon to transport heavy military equipment like tanks and helicopters into war zones when the U.S. Air Force’s strategic lifters aren’t available.

More than 40 of the birds are in service around the globe operated by the Russian air force and several private companies around the globe.

Check out the picture of an An-124 (the second biggest cargo jet on earth after the six-engined An-225) swallowing the fuselage of a massive Airbus A380 superjumbo to get a sense of just how massive the Ukranian jet is:

  • Belesari

    Always wondered why the AN-124 lifted so much more than the C-5. Same basic size dimensions. Only difference i can see is more powerful engines which begs the question why doesnt the C-5 have a engine upgrade?

    I mean couldnt Lockheed have gotten in on the heavy lift market more with that….?

    • Matt

      Didnt the C-5M get new engines?

      • Praetorian

        Yes it did.

  • dermedt

    Man, that is not a real sized fuselage of the A380!
    Its a downscaled model made for presentation .

    • Kevin

      The previous commenter was correct, that is a scaled down model of the A-380.

      And yes, the C-5m has been re-engined with CFM56s (I believe, same engines as the modernized KC135s) as well as a glass cockpit and some other upgrades. Unfortunately there are only 2 in service with a 3rd just completed.

      • RioDulce

        Th C5-M has been re-engined with the GE CF6-80C2 engine. This engine is used on the 747, MD11, 767. The USAF designation is F-108-GE100

  • Kakywonok

    I am proud for soviet engeneers they are awesome

  • jamesb

    Did they ever make anymore An-125’s?

    • m167a1

      226s? do you mean…

      I think a second was compleated in the 2000s for cargo work but as far as I know there are only the two

  • jamesb

    The Russian’s always made their stuff less technical but more basic and over builded……

    That IS one big mother!

  • TFitz

    We see those things quite often at Boeing Field in Seattle. I have the same reaction I did as a kid in the late 50’s when my dad took me to an open house at an ANG field where they had a B-36 on display: how do they get that f*********g thing off the ground?!?

    • m167a1

      Hanging in the air like bricks don’t

  • yungbubu

    dermedt is right !!! in fact the size of the An-124 nose cargo door is 6,40 × 4,40 meters, whereas the A380 fuselage is way bigger with 8,41 x 7.14 m.

  • Thomas L. Nielsen

    I saw one of these at Skopje Airport years ago (itn had been chartered to fly some heavy equipment for KFOR). Compared to the other “normal size” aircraft at the airport, it wasn’t in the background. It WAS the background!

    Regards & all,

    Thomas L. Nielsen
    Luxembourg

  • IKnowIT

    Downscale A380 model

  • seesthrubs

    Why does the author (among others) refer to the Antonov as being Ukrainian? Just because it is now headquartered in in Ukraine? Antonov himself was Russian and they had plants in countries other than Ukraine. Still in doubt, there is a Russian flag on the top of the fuselage on the bottom pic. Accuracy please.

  • Lance

    Awesome airplane. I give my heads down to the C-5 though. But it shows the difference between Ukrainian and Russian air force strategy. Same about Ukrainian being more MiG-29 friendly while Russia love the Su-27.

    • mike

      You know nothing, dude. Ukraine uses the airplanes it has because it can’t afford a new pot to **** in. They don’t even operate the An-124. Their “strategy” is to hope the economy improves someday.

      • blight

        They’re operated in a civilian capacity, but Ukraine has no interests that require An-124’s. They’ve turned much of the Soviet Union’s old inventory into plowshares (Blackjacks for debt relief).

    • blight

      Ukraine’s AN-124’s are civilian operated. They have no interest in the large hoard of Soviet military equipment sitting around, which is probably why they’ve been divesting their arsenal for some time (removing nukes, Blackjacks, selling tanks etc). I don’t know if they restarted the line, but I imagine there’s nothing stopping them from doing so.

  • Paul

    This outsourcing of heavy airlift should be handled by US companies operating military derivative C-17’s exempted for civil use by the FAA and/or recently retired C-5A’s. Lockheed is on the record of wanting to take some of these C-5A’s and convert them to C-5M’s for civil use. Such a service will provide hundreds of jobs for Vets here in America flying and maintaining these aircraft but the Pentagon has been blocking such efforts.

    I have no doubt this position by the DoD will eventually change with the education of Congress to this unnecessary outsourcing of needed jobs and national capability. Even the GAO in a 2009 report (GAO 09-625) questioned this outsourcing calling it a possible national security risk.
    http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d09625.pdf

    • 36th TFW

      this is relivant how?