Antonov’s lone giant steps in when the plane crashes
The An-124 is usually the largest at the airport, but the model has a big brother. The only flying copy of the An-225 is now in service. 84 meters long, with six engines, the giant can lift 225 tons.
The fuselage of an An-124 measures just under 69 meters and the wings have a span of 73.3 meters. But the capacity to carry loads of 120 tons is the Antonov model, the world’s largest aircraft in commercial operation – or it used to be.
The 4-engine aircraft was designed to carry rocket parts for the Soviet space program, but when the space shuttles within the Buran project needed to be transported, even larger donations were required.
Based on the An-124, the An-225 was created – where the designation gossips that the plus model can carry a load of 225 tons. The fuselage extends 84 meters, and truly bulky objects can be placed on top of it.
Wing span: 88.4 meters
Even without a load, the giant weighs 285 tons, and to be able to lift with the equivalent of an entire car park, the An-225 has a wingspan of 88.4 meters with a wing area of 905 square meters. The six jet engines made by ZMKB Progress D-18 each develop 229 kN.
A copy was completed by Antonov and first flown in 1988. Since the aircraft was first put into commercial service in 2001, it has spent periods in the mothballs, but now the owner Antonov Airlines in Ukraine has decided to put its monster aircraft to work. It reports Freightwaves.
The decision is based on the fact that the airline Volga-Dnepr Airlines recently gave eight of its total of twelve An-124 flight bans (four were not on duty) due to an engine failure that led to an emergency landing in Russia. This will remain until the matter is fully investigated. According to Antonov Airlines, their An-225 is a temporary solution to face a lot of pressure.
The end of the year is always the most intense for the freight industry. When almost no passenger planes are in the air, the transport plane has more to do. In many cases, they are loaded with the light goods that belong in conventional aircraft. And now the shipping companies will fly huge amounts of covid-19 vaccine to all corners of the world. This poses problems for those who need to carry heavy goods.
Boeing models have the same load capacity
The An-225 actually helped fly medical equipment earlier this year, so the giant has no cobwebs in its 32 wheels. Both models can easily carry heavy objects such as power stations and helicopters.
Friend of Order may point out that the Boeing 747-400 and B747-8 actually have a load capacity comparable to Antonov’s smaller 124th, but then you should consider that both the Ukrainian beasts have dimensions that mean they can swallow a luxury yacht or bulky aircraft parts.