spantax
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AN-124: Restarting Production

Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:11 am

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.
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DocLightning
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RE: AN-124: Restarting Production

Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:33 am

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.
-Doc Lightning-

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tonymctigue
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RE: AN-124: Restarting Production

Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:47 am

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]
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RE: AN-124: Restarting Production

Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:09 am

The 747-8 engines would be a perfect fit? 67K thrust and very efficient compared to what is hanging on those wings today.
 
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RE: AN-124: Restarting Production

Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:11 am

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.
 
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RE: AN-124: Restarting Production

Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:13 am

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.
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RE: AN-124: Restarting Production

Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:21 am

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]
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RE: AN-124: Restarting Production

Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:25 am

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.
 
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RE: AN-124: Restarting Production

Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:35 am

If the aircraft is made in Russia I can't see any in a western air force, only as a charter like currently.
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RE: AN-124: Restarting Production

Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:37 am

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.
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tonymctigue
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RE: AN-124: Restarting Production

Mon Jul 16, 2012 12:11 pm

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.
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RE: AN-124: Restarting Production

Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:21 pm

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.
 
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RE: AN-124: Restarting Production

Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:41 pm

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...
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RE: AN-124: Restarting Production

Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:49 pm

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.
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lhcvg
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RE: AN-124: Restarting Production

Mon Jul 16, 2012 2:32 pm

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.
 
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RE: AN-124: Restarting Production

Mon Jul 16, 2012 4:52 pm

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.




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RE: AN-124: Restarting Production

Mon Jul 16, 2012 5:38 pm

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]
 
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RE: AN-124: Restarting Production

Mon Jul 16, 2012 9:38 pm

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).
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RE: AN-124: Restarting Production

Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:02 pm

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.

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RE: AN-124: Restarting Production

Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:05 pm

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.
 
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RE: AN-124: Restarting Production

Tue Jul 17, 2012 1:10 am

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]
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RE: AN-124: Restarting Production

Tue Jul 17, 2012 1:53 am

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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highflyer9790
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RE: AN-124: Restarting Production

Tue Jul 17, 2012 2:47 am

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

It's called a C-5 Galaxy.


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PanHAM
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RE: AN-124: Restarting Production

Tue Jul 17, 2012 6:04 am

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]
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anrec80
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RE: AN-124: Restarting Production

Tue Jul 17, 2012 6:33 am

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.
 
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RE: AN-124: Restarting Production

Tue Jul 17, 2012 6:41 am

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 9):

Actually during the design Antonov considered Rolls Royce engines. Though the outcome of negotiation was that British company agreed to sell a number of engines required for like 100 aircraft (or some large number). So this did not go.

This does not sound to me that the politics was that big of a deal even in Soviet times. In today's political climate, it's not much less, but is unlikely to stall the project either.
 
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RE: AN-124: Restarting Production

Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:00 am

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 9):

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.

@anrec80

especially the last sentence of my quote considers that. A reengined version with all thw western avionics needed would make the aircraft much more expensive to buy while the market rates are still dictated by the avialbale old 124s. The owners make tons of money with the current situation and the ROI of new buiuld aircrfat would decline. The Ukrainians / Russians are doing the right thing for them, build a small number, upodate here and there a bit and still have a relativley cheap aircraft to fly with niche market high charter rates. Some all cargo airlines in the West would love to have such cash cows.
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r2rho
Posts: 2475
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 10:13 pm

RE: AN-124: Restarting Production

Tue Jul 17, 2012 12:07 pm

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 dozen. If the FAL were still active, no doubt that An-124's would be coming out its doors today. The problem is the cost of restarting the FAL for a relatively small number of frames and low production rates. Let alone any upgrades you may want to incorporate. IMO, the whole thing could be funded as a military project, with the Russian & Ukrainian governments taking up some of the financial losses that would incur.

Quoting YVRLTN (Reply 21):
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.

A very nice example of what the An-124 can uniquely do. Despite its high operating costs, due to exclusivity it can demand enough of a premium to offset them and make money.

Without going as far as new engines, a relatively straightforward avionics upgrade would knock off at least 2 crewmembers, and the aircraft systems in general could be modernized at moderate cost and low risk. And according to the link provided above, "April, 2011 Modernization program was launched for the modification of D-18-3 engines into the D-18-3M model, resulting in contracts with the engine designer and manufacturer SC Ivchenko-Progress and with Motor Sich (Ukraine).
 
NASCARAirforce
Posts: 2452
Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2005 7:27 am

RE: AN-124: Restarting Production

Tue Jul 17, 2012 11:20 pm

Quoting YVRLTN (Reply 21):
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).

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




84-0458 - 84-0473 Shorts C-23A previously flew with British Class B registration G-14-3103 through G-14-3120 before delivered
to USAF.



85-25342/25345 Shorts C-23B
Ex-civil Shorts 330s for U. S. Army
Were originally N332GW, N334GW, N330GW, N313GW of Golden West.
25342 (c/n SH3010) ex N330GW. To civil registry as N8154G Aug 1998.


88-1861/1870 Shorts C-23B Sherpa
c/n SH3201/3210. Ex UK regs G-BSJI/G-BSJS.
For US Army National Guard
1861 to NASA as N435NA Dec 2011.
1862 to NASA as N423NA Dec 2011
1864 to NASA an N430NA Dec 2011
1867 to NASA as N428NA Dec 2011

90-7011/7016 Short C-23B Sherpa
c/n K-0011/0016, ex G-BUCU/G-BUCZ

93-1317/1336 Shorts/Bombardier C-23B Sherpa
c/n AK-001/020. For Army National Guard units.
ex N409SA, N410SA,N432SA, N412SA, N413SA, N428SA, N426SA, N427SA (first 8)
1320/28 c/n SH3404/12
1326 converted to C-23B+
1327 "Miss Carole" operated by Pennsylvania NG
1329 c/n SH3413. Named "Dublin Square" with 207th Aviation Battalion, Alaska ANG in 2009
1330 (c/n SH3416) named "Ms April" with 249th Aviation Regiment, South Dakota ANG in 2010.
1332 (c/n SH3414)
1336 (Det 1 H Company 171st Aviation Batallion) crashed in a farm field near
Unadilla, GA Mar 3, 2001. 21 killed. Official investigation blamed
shifting cargo and claimed that the aircraft was overweight on takeoff, but
the head of the investigation dissented and blamed extreme turbulence and
windshear with faulty weather radar, poor route selection, and inbalance of cargo
 
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135mech
Posts: 410
Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 5:56 pm

RE: AN-124: Restarting Production

Wed Jul 18, 2012 4:13 pm

Quoting YVRLTN (Reply 21):
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).

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 were going to build was just for conversions, sadly.
135Mech
 
SuperCaravelle
Posts: 261
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2012 8:04 pm

RE: AN-124: Restarting Production

Wed Jul 18, 2012 10:53 pm

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 want) will be quite low, right? Is there any need to develop an updated or new version because the current planes are getting too old?
 
747400sp
Posts: 3890
Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2003 7:27 pm

RE: AN-124: Restarting Production

Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:07 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 1):
And would never happen in the U.S. political climate.



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 in the face of the US military, to buy an AN 124. Do not get me wrong, the AN 124 is my favorite Russian Cargo Plane, and I am happily to see it in production again, but I could not see it in US colors.



PS: Remember the up roar that congress made, which the USAF originally order A332s, for the KC -45 project.
 
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Aesma
Posts: 7960
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2009 6:14 am

RE: AN-124: Restarting Production

Thu Jul 19, 2012 2:10 am

Quoting 135mech (Reply 29):
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 were going to build was just for conversions, sadly.

No, the first few ones would have been made in France but the objective was to have an A330 FAL in Mobile.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
User avatar
kanban
Posts: 3663
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2008 1:00 am

RE: AN-124: Restarting Production

Thu Jul 19, 2012 5:20 am

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 does it will see single aisle sales in the region.
 
Ruscoe
Posts: 1587
Joined: Sun Aug 22, 1999 5:41 pm

RE: AN-124: Restarting Production

Thu Jul 19, 2012 5:52 am

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 would not help their case.

ruscoe
 
User avatar
neutrino
Posts: 1013
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 5:33 pm

RE: AN-124: Restarting Production

Thu Jul 19, 2012 4:21 pm

Quoting StudeDave (Reply 15):
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

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.
Potestatem obscuri lateris nescitis
 
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neutrino
Posts: 1013
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 5:33 pm

RE: AN-124: Restarting Production

Thu Jul 19, 2012 4:26 pm

Quoting highflyer9790 (Reply 22):
Quoting spantax (Thread starter):
And additionally, an USAF AN-124 would be so sexy and amazing.

It's called a C-5 Galaxy.


HighFlyer.

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 terms.
Potestatem obscuri lateris nescitis

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