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gdavis003
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Volga Dnepr Grounds An-124 Fleet

Wed Nov 25, 2020 9:12 pm

Volga Dnepr has decided to ground their Antonov 124s after the recent engine failure at Novosibirsk with peak cargo season imminently approaching: https://theloadstar.com/exclusive-safet ... efinitely/
 
TC957
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Re: Volga Dnepr Grounds An-124 Fleet

Wed Nov 25, 2020 9:26 pm

Seems drastic but completely understandable. I guess engine inspections should be the first priority during the grounding.
Maybe their new 777F will eventually see service soon.
 
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VCVSpotter
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Re: Volga Dnepr Grounds An-124 Fleet

Wed Nov 25, 2020 9:27 pm

Wow, respect to VDA, especially with peak season starting as you stated. Always best to err on the side of caution. Explains why yesterday's flight by RA-82074 on MCO-SBD was cancelled. Looks like LEJ may be a good place for them to park the A124s until more is known as RA-82074 flew to LEJ (RA-82078 & RA-82079 are already there).

https://www.flightradar24.com/data/aircraft/ra-82074

On a side note, it looks like the grounding will force VDA to increase the utilization of its IL-76s to cover some of the routes.
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Antarius
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Re: Volga Dnepr Grounds An-124 Fleet

Wed Nov 25, 2020 9:59 pm

Tough call, but the right one. They were lucky that the recent incident didn't end in disaster (not to discount the extraordinary airmanship either).

Hopefully, it is short lived.
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divemaster08
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Re: Volga Dnepr Grounds An-124 Fleet

Wed Nov 25, 2020 10:17 pm

Do these aircraft really do bulk carrier items compared to the other widebody frieghters? Thought these were more specialist cargo item aircraft. Would peak cargo then be really affected?
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Re: Volga Dnepr Grounds An-124 Fleet

Wed Nov 25, 2020 10:43 pm

divemaster08 wrote:
Do these aircraft really do bulk carrier items compared to the other widebody frieghters? Thought these were more specialist cargo item aircraft. Would peak cargo then be really affected?


Although the A124s wouldn't usually be used for pallet freight, I believe that there are still 'specialty items' (such as spacecraft and such) that could fit on a 747, however they are all booked. Since the conventional market is overbooked, I think the specialty freight (aka non pallet freight) would move to these A124s. So I think that peak season affects them, but just not in the traditional way that one might think.
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gabik001
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Re: Volga Dnepr Grounds An-124 Fleet

Wed Nov 25, 2020 10:46 pm

VCVSpotter wrote:
Wow, respect to VDA, especially with peak season starting as you stated. Always best to err on the side of caution. Explains why yesterday's flight by RA-82074 on MCO-SBD was cancelled. Looks like LEJ may be a good place for them to park the A124s until more is known as RA-82074 flew to LEJ (RA-82078 & RA-82079 are already there).

https://www.flightradar24.com/data/aircraft/ra-82074

On a side note, it looks like the grounding will force VDA to increase the utilization of its IL-76s to cover some of the routes.

RA-82074 did not reach LEJ yet. Should land in 2hrs 15 mins. It reminds me B787 grounding when LOT sent SP-LRA first time to ORD and 5 hrs prior to its arrival FAA and EASA grounded all Dreamliners fleet...
Indeed we can expect more IL76 movement around the globe.
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Spacepope
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Re: Volga Dnepr Grounds An-124 Fleet

Wed Nov 25, 2020 11:22 pm

divemaster08 wrote:
Do these aircraft really do bulk carrier items compared to the other widebody frieghters? Thought these were more specialist cargo item aircraft. Would peak cargo then be really affected?


It shouldn't really affect peak holiday cargo flying, that's not what these aircraft are usually used for.
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787SIN
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Re: Volga Dnepr Grounds An-124 Fleet

Wed Nov 25, 2020 11:39 pm

Be interesting to know what kind of inspection has been called for, if its on-wing NDT of the fan disk or will they all require shop disassembly and inspection. The latter will of course be more challenging to implement as it will be reliant on workshop capacity.
 
crownvic
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Re: Volga Dnepr Grounds An-124 Fleet

Thu Nov 26, 2020 1:27 am

I guess I was lucky seeing the one leave KMCO today..
 
soyuz
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Re: Volga Dnepr Grounds An-124 Fleet

Thu Nov 26, 2020 2:43 am

This is going to be a can of worms. I remember reading about a year ago that Ukraine or Antonov actually issued a directive recommending VDA’s 124s not be allowed to fly. I believe that Volga have been doing their own maintenance while Antonov’s argument was that the maintenance should be done at their plant in Kiev. Also the engines are Ukrainian. Neither side allows each other’s aircraft in its airspace. It’s a mess and unlikely to be resolved any time soon mainly for political reasons. It all means that ADB’s 124s are going to be very busy over the next few weeks or months and I hope that it could allow for more flights by their 225. The only other civil 124 operator is Maximus with one example and it seems to buzz around in the Middle East region most of the time.
 
SteelChair
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Re: Volga Dnepr Grounds An-124 Fleet

Thu Nov 26, 2020 3:24 am

Looks like they made a huge mistake canceling their -8F's. I have a feeling, a hunch really, that the few -8F's in circulation are going to become very valuable in the years ahead. Industry will kick themselves for allowing the line to shut down.
 
crownvic
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Re: Volga Dnepr Grounds An-124 Fleet

Thu Nov 26, 2020 5:01 am

SteelChair wrote:
Looks like they made a huge mistake canceling their -8F's. I have a feeling, a hunch really, that the few -8F's in circulation are going to become very valuable in the years ahead. Industry will kick themselves for allowing the line to shut down.


Was not that simple. Boeing claimed they were losing money on every airframe sold and industry was balking at the per unit price tag. Then again, with the way the air freight industry is gouging everyone now, perhaps the aircraft could have been affordable with today's air freight rates! I agree though, it is a shame that the line could not have been saved.
 
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flee
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Re: Volga Dnepr Grounds An-124 Fleet

Thu Nov 26, 2020 2:13 pm

crownvic wrote:
SteelChair wrote:
Looks like they made a huge mistake canceling their -8F's. I have a feeling, a hunch really, that the few -8F's in circulation are going to become very valuable in the years ahead. Industry will kick themselves for allowing the line to shut down.

Was not that simple. Boeing claimed they were losing money on every airframe sold and industry was balking at the per unit price tag. Then again, with the way the air freight industry is gouging everyone now, perhaps the aircraft could have been affordable with today's air freight rates! I agree though, it is a shame that the line could not have been saved.

It is always easy to say things with hindsight. The dedicated freighter market was declining prior to Covid-19 as belly cargo is widely and cheaply available. With Covid-19 decimating pax flights, the demand for cargo services became acute and suddenly, dedicated freighters are back in fashion! It is not surprising that the operators are gouging to try to recover their previous losses.

Yes, Boeing is not about to give away their freighters for free. They are a business that need to generate profit from activities, afterall. I guess if there are sizeable new orders (how many, 50?), they can try to restart the production line for the 748F - it may still be feasible.
 
Antarius
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Re: Volga Dnepr Grounds An-124 Fleet

Thu Nov 26, 2020 2:39 pm

flee wrote:
Yes, Boeing is not about to give away their freighters for free. They are a business that need to generate profit from activities, afterall. I guess if there are sizeable new orders (how many, 50?), they can try to restart the production line for the 748F - it may still be feasible.


My recollection is that their suppliers were stopping production. So even with a large order, not sure if they could/would restart.
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flee
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Re: Volga Dnepr Grounds An-124 Fleet

Thu Nov 26, 2020 2:55 pm

Antarius wrote:
flee wrote:
Yes, Boeing is not about to give away their freighters for free. They are a business that need to generate profit from activities, afterall. I guess if there are sizeable new orders (how many, 50?), they can try to restart the production line for the 748F - it may still be feasible.

My recollection is that their suppliers were stopping production. So even with a large order, not sure if they could/would restart.

Yes, I think this is something for Boeing to do itself - some suppliers have closed shop. If Boeing does it, they can save some of their own factories from closing too.

Since the engines are beginning to give problems, I wonder if anyone is considering doing a NEO for the An-124?
 
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Spacepope
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Re: Volga Dnepr Grounds An-124 Fleet

Thu Nov 26, 2020 3:15 pm

flee wrote:
Antarius wrote:
flee wrote:
Yes, Boeing is not about to give away their freighters for free. They are a business that need to generate profit from activities, afterall. I guess if there are sizeable new orders (how many, 50?), they can try to restart the production line for the 748F - it may still be feasible.

My recollection is that their suppliers were stopping production. So even with a large order, not sure if they could/would restart.

Yes, I think this is something for Boeing to do itself - some suppliers have closed shop. If Boeing does it, they can save some of their own factories from closing too.

Since the engines are beginning to give problems, I wonder if anyone is considering doing a NEO for the An-124?


There's been a CF-6 version of the old Ruslan in the works for a long time, but as of now no progress on that program beyond vaporware.
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flee
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Re: Volga Dnepr Grounds An-124 Fleet

Thu Nov 26, 2020 3:32 pm

Spacepope wrote:
flee wrote:
Antarius wrote:
My recollection is that their suppliers were stopping production. So even with a large order, not sure if they could/would restart.

Yes, I think this is something for Boeing to do itself - some suppliers have closed shop. If Boeing does it, they can save some of their own factories from closing too.

Since the engines are beginning to give problems, I wonder if anyone is considering doing a NEO for the An-124?

There's been a CF-6 version of the old Ruslan in the works for a long time, but as of now no progress on that program beyond vaporware.

Yes, that has just remained a proposal... But Antonov has been talking of new build An-124s (and so has China) - if they do it, new engines should be accompanied by a new CFRP wing too. That will improve economics by leaps and bounds.
 
tu144d
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Re: Volga Dnepr Grounds An-124 Fleet

Thu Nov 26, 2020 6:50 pm

I wonder if the finicky nature of the D18Ts and the infamous pre takeoff procedure requiring full power run up for a few minutes to stabilize engine temps and ensure max thrust as well as proper rotational clearances played a role.
 
CRJockey
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Re: Volga Dnepr Grounds An-124 Fleet

Thu Nov 26, 2020 6:54 pm

flee wrote:
Spacepope wrote:
flee wrote:
Yes, I think this is something for Boeing to do itself - some suppliers have closed shop. If Boeing does it, they can save some of their own factories from closing too.

Since the engines are beginning to give problems, I wonder if anyone is considering doing a NEO for the An-124?

There's been a CF-6 version of the old Ruslan in the works for a long time, but as of now no progress on that program beyond vaporware.

Yes, that has just remained a proposal... But Antonov has been talking of new build An-124s (and so has China) - if they do it, new engines should be accompanied by a new CFRP wing too. That will improve economics by leaps and bounds.


3 billion USD ( my estimation) and then build 30 aircraft in 10 years? Not sure that’s happening. And the aircraft is dead ugly anyway...
 
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Spacepope
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Re: Volga Dnepr Grounds An-124 Fleet

Thu Nov 26, 2020 7:14 pm

CRJockey wrote:
flee wrote:
Spacepope wrote:
There's been a CF-6 version of the old Ruslan in the works for a long time, but as of now no progress on that program beyond vaporware.

Yes, that has just remained a proposal... But Antonov has been talking of new build An-124s (and so has China) - if they do it, new engines should be accompanied by a new CFRP wing too. That will improve economics by leaps and bounds.


3 billion USD ( my estimation) and then build 30 aircraft in 10 years? Not sure that’s happening. And the aircraft is dead ugly anyway...


While nobody that matters actually cares what the aircraft looks like, you're spot on about not getting a new wing. IIRC when the Ruslan first came out, there was pride in the upper wing skins being the largest single piece of milled aluminum used on an aircraft.

A new build will be limited to a reengine with something of comparable thrust and weight to keep the stresses in line with the old powerplants.
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CRJockey
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Re: Volga Dnepr Grounds An-124 Fleet

Thu Nov 26, 2020 7:21 pm

Spacepope wrote:
CRJockey wrote:
flee wrote:
Yes, that has just remained a proposal... But Antonov has been talking of new build An-124s (and so has China) - if they do it, new engines should be accompanied by a new CFRP wing too. That will improve economics by leaps and bounds.


3 billion USD ( my estimation) and then build 30 aircraft in 10 years? Not sure that’s happening. And the aircraft is dead ugly anyway...


While nobody that matters actually cares what the aircraft looks like, you're spot on about not getting a new wing. IIRC when the Ruslan first came out, there was pride in the upper wing skins being the largest single piece of milled aluminum used on an aircraft.

A new build will be limited to a reengine with something of comparable thrust and weight to keep the stresses in line with the old powerplants.


For many people it matters, because we are enthusiasts. But I agree, not for Antonov or the business case.

Even the re-engine I don’t believe in. 20 active aircraft makes 80 engines plus 10% spares plus some very remote chance of freshly manufactured (in the word sense) 20 more.

Not gonna happen in my book. Hard to see how even the large margins in the adhoc and oversized freight market should pay for this venture.
 
smartplane
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Re: Volga Dnepr Grounds An-124 Fleet

Thu Nov 26, 2020 7:24 pm

VCVSpotter wrote:
Wow, respect to VDA, especially with peak season starting as you stated.

And their insurers?
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: Volga Dnepr Grounds An-124 Fleet

Thu Nov 26, 2020 10:09 pm

flee wrote:
I guess if there are sizeable new orders (how many, 50?), they can try to restart the production line for the 748F - it may still be feasible.


It probably would take more than 50 unless the per unit price would go up substantially. Triumph has closed shop on all of the structural parts they made (over 90% of total structure). Being how the hull radius is different than other planes there would be a lot of expense setting up a new structures line. So sort of like resurrecting the 757, just earlier in the line closure.
 
soyuz
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Re: Volga Dnepr Grounds An-124 Fleet

Fri Nov 27, 2020 12:16 am

tu144d wrote:
I wonder if the finicky nature of the D18Ts and the infamous pre takeoff procedure requiring full power run up for a few minutes to stabilize engine temps and ensure max thrust as well as proper rotational clearances played a role.


They don’t quite reach full power during the run up. The procedure requires four minutes on the runway, increasing thrust in increments up to 70%. Once the engine temps and parameters have settled, they request TO clearance, increase thrust to nominal and then up to TOGA which on the 124 is 120. It’s really well demonstrated on flight deck videos on Dimitri Antonov’s YouTube channel. He is the chief test pilot of the 225 and 124s for Antonov Airlines (ADB). The run up procedure causes an impressive “tail wag” on the Mrija, which looks like an excited dog busting to go for a walk.
 
tu144d
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Re: Volga Dnepr Grounds An-124 Fleet

Fri Nov 27, 2020 2:35 pm

soyuz wrote:
tu144d wrote:
I wonder if the finicky nature of the D18Ts and the infamous pre takeoff procedure requiring full power run up for a few minutes to stabilize engine temps and ensure max thrust as well as proper rotational clearances played a role.


They don’t quite reach full power during the run up. The procedure requires four minutes on the runway, increasing thrust in increments up to 70%. Once the engine temps and parameters have settled, they request TO clearance, increase thrust to nominal and then up to TOGA which on the 124 is 120. It’s really well demonstrated on flight deck videos on Dimitri Antonov’s YouTube channel. He is the chief test pilot of the 225 and 124s for Antonov Airlines (ADB). The run up procedure causes an impressive “tail wag” on the Mrija, which looks like an excited dog busting to go for a walk.


Ah. Thanks for the clarification. I was browsing the forums regarding the engine run up and some have said they've seen an-124s depart without the run up. I wonder if on hot days with required reduced thrust if they are safely allowed to depart without running up the engines for the 4 minutes or reduced time at least. BTW, I love Captain Antonov's videos and when you mentioned the "tail wag" I remembered the video of the 225 departing Bolivia when they held on the rwy for the warmup and watched it again to notice the pronounced wagging. Super cool!

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