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AN-124: Restarting Production  
User currently onlinespantax From Belgium, joined Nov 2004, 323 posts, RR: 1
Posted (2 years 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 13611 times:

As per Journal de l'aviation

http://www.journal-aviation.com/index.php

Antonov-124 to be restarted by UAC (United Aircraft Corporation). According to M.A. Pogosyan, UAC President, the new aircraft would be different.... (can't say more, as you have to suscribe to read the full article).

And according to Aviation Week

http://www.aviationweek.com/Article....l/asd_07_10_2012_p03-01-474957.xml

there is, as first problem, a dispute between Ukraine and Russia concerning the possibility of restarting the production of this ukranian ac in Russia. Also points to the possibility of USAF using private-owned AN-124 as C-5 are gradually being retired.

Well, exciting subject. One can say that actually AN-124 has a virtual monopoly of very heavy lifting and nobody is ready to challenge them. It would be so silly to lose this position! And additionally, an USAF AN-124 would be so sexy and amazing.

Your wise comments and information warmly welcome. Regards.


A300.10.19.20.21.30.40,AN26,ATR42,AVR146,B717.27.37.47.57.77,B1900,C130,C212,CH47,CRJ200.700,DC9,DHC4,ERJ135.190,F27
36 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19417 posts, RR: 58
Reply 1, posted (2 years 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 13524 times:

Quoting spantax (Thread starter):
And additionally, an USAF AN-124 would be so sexy and amazing.

And would never happen in the U.S. political climate.


User currently offlinetonymctigue From Ireland, joined Feb 2006, 1944 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (2 years 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 13455 times:
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This is something I've been wondering for years now. It is certainly a unique aircraft that has this small but very specialised and presumably a high yielding market entirely to itself. These beasts are a fairly frequent visitor to my home airport of SNN with Volga Dnepr Airlines operating a maintainence facility there (although they have scaled back their operations there recent years) and they are impressive. The biggest obstacle I can see though is finding customers. If this were to be economically viable, one imagine they will need to convince some of the major western cargo airlines to buy them. Would the likes of FedEx, UPS, DHL and the likes be interested? I personally cannot see it. Boeing and Airbus certainly can and do use aircraft with this sort of odd load carring capability for transporting aircraft section but could they be seen to be using an aircraft built by someone else? Unlikely although one can imagine that the AN-124 or even much bigger AN-225 would certainly be very useful to either company. Perhaps there is demand for a few new frames from the likes of Volga Dnepr Airlines to replace some of the older ones, but with such low demand, is it feasible to resume production?

Without being an expert, one can imagine that an aircraft of this size and weight is only useful for carrying one off payloads of exceptionally large cargo items. I cannot imagine though that it would be particurarly efficient when compared to conventional cargo aircraft for day-to-day scheduled cargo operations. I can imagine a fuselage that wide and oddly shaped, wings that long and 4 engines result in alot of drag.

Certainly an interesting topic for discussion though and personally I'd love to see more AN-124s being produced. If it were to happen, would re-engining it with GE, RR or P&R engines be considered? Would certainly make them more saleable to western operators.

Edit:

A quick Google search showed up this on the Volgs Dnepr website. It includes a timeline of this project and is clearly something Volga Dnepr have been looking into for some time now. I guess they would be interested. This is afterall the livelyhood and they need to have something to replace their fleet of AN-124s.

http://www.volga-dnepr.com/eng/group/projects/reconstruction124/

[Edited 2012-07-16 04:03:22]


Next Flights: 27/06/14 CX 178 MEL-HKG; 28/06/14 CX 830 HKG-JFK; 04/07/14 EI 134 BOS-SNN
User currently offlinesweair From Sweden, joined Nov 2011, 1811 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (2 years 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 13358 times:

The 747-8 engines would be a perfect fit? 67K thrust and very efficient compared to what is hanging on those wings today.

User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 4, posted (2 years 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 13349 times:

Quoting spantax (Thread starter):
And additionally, an USAF AN-124 would be so sexy and amazing.

Based on the limited information I have on the AN-124, and the slightly-better-but-still-limited information I have on USAF policies re: design/certiifcation of their aircraft, I'd say there's a snowball's chance in hell of an actual USAF AN-124 unless the opened the design up for the USAF to tweak it to their needs. At which point it would be a new program and the politicians would scream bloody murder.

Quoting tonymctigue (Reply 2):
Would the likes of FedEx, UPS, DHL and the likes be interested?

The AN-124 is slanted the wrong way for them; the package freighter guys usually care a lot more about volume and operating economics than they do about weight. The AN-124 takes a hit on economics in order to provide it's huge weight capability.

Tom.


User currently onlinespantax From Belgium, joined Nov 2004, 323 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (2 years 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 13320 times:

Quoting tonymctigue (Reply 2):
Would the likes of FedEx, UPS, DHL and the likes be interested? I personally cannot see it.

Me too, of course. "Production" does not always means a couple of machines per month. AN-124 is a niche aicraft, but it is the only one in its niche. Western engines, avionics, new materials... and a smaller crew could do wonders on this sound and robust platform. And it is to UAC or Volga-Dnieper or whoever to imagine new possibilities. For instance, AN-124 as firefighter. I had the privilege to see one in action at Le Bourget some years ago and the "wall of water" that the plane dropped was astonishing, the dream of each and every forest fire authority all over the world.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 1):
And additionally, an USAF AN-124 would be so sexy and amazing.

And would never happen in the U.S. political climate.

Well, you never know. There are C-295 in USCG, Spartan, Eurocopters... the Airbus tankers. Apart from A380 as AF-1 I don't see the problem in the long term. USAF seems to be an extremely expensive body, even for US standards. One day you will have to pass through the same budgetary cuts and reductions we are experiencing rigth now here, in Europe.



A300.10.19.20.21.30.40,AN26,ATR42,AVR146,B717.27.37.47.57.77,B1900,C130,C212,CH47,CRJ200.700,DC9,DHC4,ERJ135.190,F27
User currently offlinetonymctigue From Ireland, joined Feb 2006, 1944 posts, RR: 9
Reply 6, posted (2 years 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 13256 times:
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Quoting sweair (Reply 3):
The 747-8 engines would be a perfect fit? 67K thrust and very efficient compared to what is hanging on those wings today.

Quite possibly. I know from chatting with the various AC gurus around SNN (some who have worked on maintainence on the AN-124) that one of its biggest drawbacks are the engines. They are incredibly slow to react by modern standards and pilots often have to spool up for takeoff with the brakes on. I also know that despite its size, its range is quite limited and frequently requires multiple fuel stops, particurarly on longer journeys. I can imagine that 4 nice shiney new modern western-bult engines would do wonders for the economics. It would also make it fit better from a maintainence point of view into existing cargo fleets if it used the same engines as the B747/B777. Would it be enough though? Still can't imagine seeing it being used for anything other than to serve a niche market.

[Edited 2012-07-16 04:30:58]


Next Flights: 27/06/14 CX 178 MEL-HKG; 28/06/14 CX 830 HKG-JFK; 04/07/14 EI 134 BOS-SNN
User currently offlinesweair From Sweden, joined Nov 2011, 1811 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (2 years 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 13234 times:

By 2014 NATO is pulling out of Afghanistan, this will be a major airlift operation, the C17s and C5s will get a lot of wear along with the An124s. I know C17s are used to airlift some NATO members assets, but Germany and France have to charter AN124s as they opposed the C17.

User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6537 posts, RR: 9
Reply 8, posted (2 years 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 13181 times:

If the aircraft is made in Russia I can't see any in a western air force, only as a charter like currently.


New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlinePanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 9170 posts, RR: 29
Reply 9, posted (2 years 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 13171 times:

The An124 is what is called in ocean shipping a "tramper". Not fit for scheduled regular line services, it serves its niches for outsized cargo which no other aircarft can take.

Fitting the latest GE or RR engines to that beast would probably still violate a lot of US export restrictions and rquire a lot more changs to a 60/70s designed aircraft. Not really economical for the small number of frams required.



E's passed on! That parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker!
User currently offlinetonymctigue From Ireland, joined Feb 2006, 1944 posts, RR: 9
Reply 10, posted (2 years 2 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 13040 times:
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Quoting PanHAM (Reply 9):
The An124 is what is called in ocean shipping a "tramper". Not fit for scheduled regular line services, it serves its niches for outsized cargo which no other aircarft can take.

Fitting the latest GE or RR engines to that beast would probably still violate a lot of US export restrictions and rquire a lot more changs to a 60/70s designed aircraft. Not really economical for the small number of frams required.

At its heart, the An-124 is a military transport aircraft built for a purpose where economics take somewhat of a back seat to it capabilities for use in military operations. For instance, I saw a documentary once about the An-124 that one of the reasons for its large landing gear is so it can be landed on unpaved runways. The front landing gear is capable of being partially retracted while on the ground so you can lower the nose of the airplane so it can be loaded without a ground-based ramp. Hardly concerns for your average cargo operator.

The An-124 stumbled its way into commercial cargo operations after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the only reason it has been successful is it can do what no other aircraft can so its operators can charge enough of a premium to offset its inefficiencies. Also, lets not forget that most jets are always been tinkered with by manufacturers to get slightly better performance with each production run. One can imagine that development of the An-124 stopped after the collapse of the Soviet Union if not, well before. If the An-124 were to go in to commercial production, then it would require an almost complete redesign which begs the question, is it worth it? We have seen how Boeing and Airbus managed to modify existing designs to produce the DreamLifter and the Beluga do a similar odd-sized cargo job (although the weight these aircraft can lift is well below what the An-124 can lift).

If the An-124 were to go back into production, then it would most likely be for the Russian military with perhaps a few frames for Volga Dnepr to replace some of their aging fleet and even at that, it would probably not be enough to justify it.



Next Flights: 27/06/14 CX 178 MEL-HKG; 28/06/14 CX 830 HKG-JFK; 04/07/14 EI 134 BOS-SNN
User currently onlineLHCVG From United States of America, joined May 2009, 1544 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (2 years 2 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 12731 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 1):
Quoting spantax (Thread starter):
And additionally, an USAF AN-124 would be so sexy and amazing.

And would never happen in the U.S. political climate.
Quoting spantax (Reply 5):
Well, you never know. There are C-295 in USCG, Spartan, Eurocopters... the Airbus tankers. Apart from A380 as AF-1 I don't see the problem in the long term. USAF seems to be an extremely expensive body, even for US standards. One day you will have to pass through the same budgetary cuts and reductions we are experiencing rigth now here, in Europe.

I think there's an important distinction here between western Europe (Airbus, Eurocopter, etc.) and a Russian (or Ukrainian) firm. There would be more political backlash against it being Russian rather than foreign per se. There's Buy American as in buying U.S. products where possible, and then there is the prospect of buying from a historical foe of the U.S., and Congress would throw a fit if that ever came through.

Also, I think a decent portion of our own AN-124 usage was for surging MRAP's and associated equipment to the theater, and there is less time pressure when those are removed.


User currently offlineDALCE From Netherlands, joined Feb 2007, 1677 posts, RR: 7
Reply 12, posted (2 years 2 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 12638 times:

The Il-76 got new engines AFAIK...so why would sticking new engines under the AN-124 be much more pain?
Only political issues could make life hard for a re-engined An-124, but only if the An-124 would get 'western' engines...



flown on : F50,F70,CR1,CR2,CR9,E75,143,AR8,AR1,733,735,736,73G,738,753,744,319,320,321,333,AB6.
User currently offlineAirbusA6 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 2011 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (2 years 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 12597 times:

A few British operators operated AN-124s to carry outsized loads for while, but don't seem to do so anymore.

Indeed, according to Wikipedia, the An124 was offered to the RAF with RB211 engines and honeywell avionics, only to lose to the C17.



it's the bus to stansted (now renamed national express a4 to ruin my username)
User currently onlineLHCVG From United States of America, joined May 2009, 1544 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (2 years 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 12450 times:

Quoting AirbusA6 (Reply 13):
Indeed, according to Wikipedia, the An124 was offered to the RAF with RB211 engines and honeywell avionics, only to lose to the C17.

Come to think of it, have any of the "westernized" Russian aircraft ever received many orders? I seem to recall a Tu-204 option for RB211's (or was it the PW2000's?) and new avionics too.


User currently offlineStudeDave From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 486 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (2 years 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 12151 times:

Quoting tonymctigue (Reply 2):
Boeing and Airbus certainly can and do use aircraft with this sort of odd load carring capability for transporting aircraft section but could they be seen to be using an aircraft built by someone else?


Well-- Airbus used those Super Guppies for quite awhile, did they not?

Four old Boeings working hard for Airbus~ embarrassing?
YES--- for both sides if you ask me...
but it happened.




StudeDave



Classic planes, Classic trains, and Studebakers~~ what else is there???
User currently offlineSQ22 From Germany, joined Feb 2012, 97 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (2 years 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 12056 times:

Quoting StudeDave (Reply 15):
Four old Boeings working hard for Airbus~ embarrassing?
YES--- for both sides if you ask me...
but it happened.

Off-topic: As far as I know two of them were newbuilds (1982 and 1983) by UTA of France. I guess they got a license or purchased the rights of the Super Guppy, but that did not change the origin.

[Edited 2012-07-16 10:39:44]

User currently onlineTrijetsonly From Germany, joined Jul 2009, 197 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (2 years 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 9656 times:

Boeing uses AN-124 Freighters on a regular basis to carry the GE-90 engines for the 777, when there is no Dreamlifter available.
And all Volga-Dnepr and Antonov Design Bureau AN-124 are getting new engines right now (just have seen this today in LEJ).


User currently offlineJETSTAR From United States of America, joined May 2003, 1642 posts, RR: 10
Reply 18, posted (2 years 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 9386 times:
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Quoting SQ22 (Reply 16):
Off-topic: As far as I know two of them were newbuilds (1982 and 1983) by UTA of France. I guess they got a license or purchased the rights of the Super Guppy, but that did not change the origin.

Just to clarify, on the last versions, the SGT only the fuselage was built new, the cockpit, wings, tail and main landing gear were from a C-97 and the nose gear was from a B-707.

JetStar


User currently offlineNASCARAirforce From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3178 posts, RR: 4
Reply 19, posted (2 years 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 9357 times:

Quoting spantax (Thread starter):
an USAF AN-124 would be so sexy and amazing.

I agree but I don't see it happening unless Russia and Ukraine order a couple hundred F-16s

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 4):
Based on the limited information I have on the AN-124, and the slightly-better-but-still-limited information I have on USAF policies re: design/certiifcation of their aircraft, I'd say there's a snowball's chance in hell of an actual USAF AN-124 unless the opened the design up for the USAF to tweak it to their needs. At which point it would be a new program and the politicians would scream bloody murder.

First of all it would have to be licensed built in the U.S. or joint built by Lockheed Martin or Boeing - no way would the U.S. government allow a plane to be built by Russia, in Russia/Ukraine with Russian workers and an updated new C-5 lose the contract therefor not creating more jobs for Lockheed Martin workers and giving the jobs to Russia - that is the kind of stuff that gets you removed from office.

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 4):
The AN-124 is slanted the wrong way for them; the package freighter guys usually care a lot more about volume and operating economics than they do about weight. The AN-124 takes a hit on economics in order to provide it's huge weight capability.

If DHL and Fed Ex considered the A124, they would have never cancelled their A380 orders

Quoting spantax (Reply 5):
Well, you never know. There are C-295 in USCG, Spartan, Eurocopters... the Airbus tankers. Apart from A380 as AF-1 I don't see the problem in the long term. USAF seems to be an extremely expensive body, even for US standards. One day you will have to pass through the same budgetary cuts and reductions we are experiencing rigth now here, in Europe.

Airbus Tanker isn't in the U.S. military inventory. A lot of European designed aircraft were joint or licensed built by U.S. companies - the Harrier which is a British design was licensed built in the U.S. by McDonnell Douglas, the BAE Hawk, which flies in the U.S. as the T-45 Goshawk was built by McDonnell Douglas, now Boeing. The Texan II was a Pilatus design but is built by Raytheon/Beechcraft.

Funny that we talk about European built aircraft in the U.S. because as I was typing this a C-23 Sherpa passed over landing at MCO - C-23 Sherpa is the Shorts 330 that flies for the Army, but I believe all of those were bought used from airlines. The Coast Guard aircraft you are thinking of is based on the CN-235 not 295, that is the HC-144 Ocean Sentry - not sure how that came about flying for the U.S. other than maybe some sort of trade - We'll buy your HC-144 if you buy our C-130s.

The C-27J Spartan is jointly built with Alenia and Lockheed Martin.

the Eurocopters in US fleet - UH-72 based on the Eurocopter EC145 is built by EADS North America in Mississippi

HH-65 Dolphin based on the Eurocopter AS365 Dauphin is also built by American Eurocopter in Texas

There were 8 MH-68 Stingrays - August 109s in the Coast Guard but they left the fleet after only 8 years in 2008, not sure how they were acquired

However going by how the U.S. normally gets European aircraft in the fleet - the Antonov 124 would probably have to be joint built by Lockheed Martin in a plant based in Melbourne Florida or something.


User currently offlineHarleyDriver From United States of America, joined May 2010, 84 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (2 years 2 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 7979 times:

Quoting Trijetsonly (Reply 17):
Boeing uses AN-124 Freighters on a regular basis to carry the GE-90 engines for the 777, when there is no Dreamlifter available.

Boeing may use an AN-124 to carry GE90's but its not because there isnt a Dreamlifter available. The Dreamlifter is purpose built to carry B787 parts only and nothing else.

[Edited 2012-07-16 18:35:45]


Department of Redundancy Department
User currently offlineYVRLTN From Canada, joined Oct 2006, 2445 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (2 years 2 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 7684 times:

I have chartered this magnificent machine a few times. She is truly unique.

Quoting spantax (Thread starter):
Also points to the possibility of USAF using private-owned AN-124

They already do  
Quoting tonymctigue (Reply 2):
is certainly a unique aircraft that has this small but very specialised and presumably a high yielding market entirely to itself

   The charter price is crazy, even a fairly straightforward repositioning and single leg trip is usually in the region of $500,000 just to get out of bed. She is only an option when ocean freight just takes too long. If a turbine blows (for example) and a factory is down at a cost of $500,000 per day or more, the Antonov suddenly becomes a very cheap option. The costs are high to operate her, but Im sure there must be a decent ROI.

Quoting tonymctigue (Reply 2):
The biggest obstacle I can see though is finding customers

The existing ones in service wont last forever, the oldest are 30 years old already. I often wondered if the likes of Atlas Air or Polar could use one or two, after all their bread and butter is US military work. There would be a market for 5-10 in China in the next 10 years I am sure. Virtually all of the heavy stuff we move originates in or is destined for China.

The 747 is great, but with the cockpit where it is, even with the nose loading capability, that gets in the way for the bigger stuff, plus it has the internal floor and underbelly stowage which the AN124 does not have - you can actually drive right inside the AN. Any other freighters with SCD's only are limited with long cargo (railway carriages, turbine rotors, boats etc) as you cant turn them to get into the body as well as height. There is a lot the 747 can take the 777 or A330 can not because of the door access but there is a lot more tha AN124 can take even the 748 can not - its not all about hold volume, its about access to the hold.

Quoting tonymctigue (Reply 2):
Would the likes of FedEx, UPS, DHL and the likes be interested?

Never, not designed for containerized cargo, so much wasted space. The aircraft is also way too over engineered and carrys too much of its own weight around to be ever effective for anything other than what she is used for today.

Quoting spantax (Reply 5):
AN-124 as firefighter.

Sounds great in theory, but the firefighters here in Canada will tell you what they have found with the DC10 and 747 already is that it is on the ground for so longing filling up with retardent and refuelling and they are restricted to airfields with longer runways plus they cause an operational nightmare with seperation and wake turbulence to other aircraft, so it is actually more efficient to use smaller aircraft that can keep moving - the amount of Air Tractor's and helicopters now being used here will blow you away. There is the argument between this method and using CL215's/CL415's which can scoop off the lake / ocean and have no need to land, but this is not my area of expertize so can not comment, but I can see how the AN124 would not really be too helpful for the same reason as the 747 and DC10.

Quoting tonymctigue (Reply 6):
its range is quite limited and frequently requires multiple fuel stops, particurarly on longer journeys

   A trip from N America to China for example would require two fuel stops with a heavy load. This also adds extra airport fees, time = crew hours = hotels as well as the gas bill. As the aircraft is usally used to remedy and downtime emergency situations, any time saved can be a huge bonus. I think the GEnx & Trent would both be great candidates if the necessary authorities and OEM's would co-operate.

Quoting tonymctigue (Reply 10):
The front landing gear is capable of being partially retracted while on the ground so you can lower the nose of the airplane so it can be loaded without a ground-based ramp. Hardly concerns for your average cargo operator.

Yes and no. It also has its own internal gantry crane and its own folding load ramps, so in theory you can back your truck up right inside and the aircraft can self load. I have never used it, we have always brought in mobile cranes but in a fairly basic facility in Africa or even northern Canada (where a lot of heavy equipment is starting to move to) these facilities are pretty useful.

Quoting AirbusA6 (Reply 13):
A few British operators operated AN-124s to carry outsized loads for while, but don't seem to do so anymore.

Air Foyle was one, but they were only ever an AOC (they ran easyJet's first two 732's G-BECG & H for them to start up before they got their own AOC for example) - not sure what they do these days. HeavyLift are out of business, both leased aircraft from Russia & Ukraine.

Quoting tonymctigue (Reply 10):
We have seen how Boeing and Airbus managed to modify existing designs to produce the DreamLifter and the Beluga do a similar odd-sized cargo job

I always thought it somewhat a matter of pride. Obviously what they have done works and the cost probably recovers itself over the course of the programs, but both Boeing & Airbus could seriously use the AN124.

Quoting Trijetsonly (Reply 17):
Boeing uses AN-124 Freighters on a regular basis to carry the GE-90 engines for the 777, when there is no Dreamlifter available.

   And if a T7 blows an engine where there are no replacements anywhere nearby and if over land by truck is not an option (AC up in ANC for example in winter) then the only option to move one in a timely manner is AN124. With increasing numbers of T7's appearing in our skies there will be a growing need to move GE90's around. The 70,000 lb engines are not exactly small either.

Quoting NASCARAirforce (Reply 19):
C-23 Sherpa is the Shorts 330 that flies for the Army, but I believe all of those were bought used from airlines.

I think they were factory fresh from Shorts, but I agree with your point (hence the KC30 would have been built in the US too).



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User currently offlinehighflyer9790 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 1241 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (2 years 2 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 7292 times:

Quoting spantax (Thread starter):
And additionally, an USAF AN-124 would be so sexy and amazing.

It's called a C-5 Galaxy.


HighFlyer.



121
User currently offlinePanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 9170 posts, RR: 29
Reply 23, posted (2 years 2 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 6259 times:

as mentioned before, the An124 is a "tramper", unfit for scheduled airline services and with the number of crew required impossible to operate under "western" conditions. She is expensive to charter but with only a few around and hardly anything else that can do the special jobs,- either heavy or outsized loads - she's worth the money.

[Edited 2012-07-16 23:06:04]


E's passed on! That parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker!
User currently offlineanrec80 From Canada, joined Jan 2011, 140 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (2 years 2 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 6061 times:

Quoting spantax (Reply 5):
Me too, of course. "Production" does not always means a couple of machines per month. AN-124 is a niche aicraft, but it is the only one in its niche. Western engines, avionics, new materials... and a smaller crew could do wonders on this sound and robust platform. And it is to UAC or Volga-Dnieper or whoever to imagine new possibilities. For instance, AN-124 as firefighter. I had the privilege to see one in action at Le Bourget some years ago and the "wall of water" that the plane dropped was astonishing, the dream of each and every forest fire authority all over the world.

Don't forget that the aircraft built in small series is much more expensive than if it were built in large quantities. And the budgets of all kinds of fire departments are getting cut every month. I would not bet on those markets in this economic environment.

Quoting LHCVG (Reply 11):
I think there's an important distinction here between western Europe (Airbus, Eurocopter, etc.) and a Russian (or Ukrainian) firm. There would be more political backlash against it being Russian rather than foreign per se. There's Buy American as in buying U.S. products where possible, and then there is the prospect of buying from a historical foe of the U.S., and Congress would throw a fit if that ever came through.

Could be. Though, the US still bought USD 1 billion Russian helicopters for Afghanistan (though they wanted them for free). Congress said a thing or two, but ultimately did not do anything.


25 anrec80 : Actually during the design Antonov considered Rolls Royce engines. Though the outcome of negotiation was that British company agreed to sell a number
26 PanHAM : @anrec80 especially the last sentence of my quote considers that. A reengined version with all thw western avionics needed would make the aircraft mu
27 r2rho : I think demand for more An-124's (beyond replacement of the older getting frames) is certainly there. Not for a huge number of frames, just a couple d
28 Post contains links NASCARAirforce : in case you wanted to know - per Joe Baugher's site - the guru of U.S. military aircraft http://www.joebaugher.com/usaf_serials/usafserials.html 84-0
29 135mech : The KC30 would have been built in France and flown to the states for conversion, they never intended to "build it" in the states. The factory they we
30 SuperCaravelle : Various people here are saying that the AN-124 is getting long in the teeth, but is this really the case? Their cycles per day (or month/year if you w
31 747400sp : You got that right! This was a plane, that was meant to transport people and equipment, that was to destroys the United States. So it would be a slap
32 Aesma : No, the first few ones would have been made in France but the objective was to have an A330 FAL in Mobile.
33 kanban : just wait, in a couple months Boeing or Airbus will announce a cooperative venture to upgrade the AN-124.. new flight deck,new engines etc.. who ever
34 Ruscoe : I don't know if this is still the case, but I did read many years ago that the 124 has a rather short life span in terms of cycles and hours. This wou
35 neutrino : There was once a jest (before the advent of the Beluga) that goes like this:- every Airbus is delivered on the wings of a Boeing.
36 neutrino : These two behemoths are so close in appearance and size that they could very well be "cousins" or even "brothers" (but not twins though) in human ter
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