Yeah, the office building at Island Air was an excellent location to see the AN
225. I was listening to ATC and heard the controllers directing the it.
Original instructions from the ground controller to the Antonov crew were to taxi from it's parking spot via taxiway alpha onto 22R (the controller called it 22R even though 8L
was in use) Back taxi on 22R and then 26R, left on Romeo Bravo to 8R, whew! Thats about a 4 mile taxi.
The Antonov crew followed the instructions given until the point that they were supposed to turn left onto RB
, they turned right 180 degrees and started to line up with 8L
. The controller sees this and advises them that they are lining up with 8L
instead of 8R, and although ATC had wanted them on 8R they were cool about it. The controller asks the Antonov crew if they would rather use 8L
and they reply in the affirmative. The controller then asks the Antonov how long they will need before they are ready to roll, 75 seconds is the answer the Antonov crew gives. The controller clears them for take off and 75 seconds later they're rolling.
The big airplane accelerates surprisingly quickly IMO and it rotates at about the intersection of taxiway lima. Rotation is a little different from what I'm used to seeing. The nose wheels come up slowly, and the mains leave the ground roughly at the intersection of taxiway delta. People on board a HA
717 taxying on bravo must have been surprised to see that behemoth hurtle by them! At first the deck angle looks shallow, maybe it just looks that way because of its size, but by the time it overflys the departure end of the runway it's climbing smartly. The aircraft rolls right, but not before it's flying over Keehi Lagoon park. Anyone on the ground down there now knows what aluminum overcast is!
I must say that the AN225 is a very impresive aircraft, not only in size but witnessed performance. I was expecting a very loud smokey takeoff, it was just the opposite, quiet and clean as far as exhaust emissions. In fact I would say it was as quiet, if not quieter than a 747-400.
I'm glad I got to see it.