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Antonov 124: an out of the ordinary cargo aircraft

Published on 18/04/2014 00:00 - By

With its 24 wheels, a wingspan of 73 metres (240 ft.), and its 1,000 m3 (35,300 cu.ft.) hold, the Antonov 124 is truly exceptional. This heavy lift cargo aircraft, made at Kiev in Ukraine and Ulyanovsk in Russia, is actually a derivative of the American Lockheed C-5 Galaxy.

After its commissioning in 1986, 52 were produced. Its hold of 36 metres (118 ft.) long by almost seven metres (23 ft.) wide is used primarily today for transportation of military vehicles, boats or satellites as shown here; although, in the past, the Antonov 124 also transported cars for the Paris-Dakar race, and even the largest Christmas tree in the world, to New York.

Yorann Marc, Project Manager - SDV : watch the interview in the video.

To facilitate the loading of rolling equipment over the ramps, the Antonov 124 can be “kneeled", like here, into a lower position, by retracting its forward undercarriage. 2-5 hours are required for this operation. Capable of carrying a payload of up to 120 tonnes (> 264,000 lbs.), you will, nevertheless, never see animals transported by this aircraft, although passengers could possibly be accepted, but even then, only in exceptional situations, and for one simple reason.

Yorann Marc, Project Manager - SDV : watch the interview in the video.

Last particularity of the Antonov 124, is the cockpit access, behind this door - a ladder – apparently the only solution possible. Price of this cargo plane : 150 to 200 million dollars, If you could buy one, because it is no longer on sale today. In fact production ended in 1995.

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