The Antonov - Machtres Fighters

Go to content

The Antonov

Planes > transport

leg Konstantinovich Antonov; 7 February 1906, Troitsy, Moscow province, Russian Empire – 4 April 1984, Kiev, Ukrainian SSR) was a Soviet aircraft designer, the founder of Antonov ASTC, a world-famous aircraft company in Ukraine, later named in his honour.
Antonov was born on 7 February 1906 in a village near Moscow. His father was civil engineer Kostantyn Kostantynonych Antonov and his mother Hanna Yukhymivna Bykoryukina died when he was nine years old. The family first lived on the grounds of a psychiatric hospital that his father had helped build. In 1912, the Antonovs moved to Saratov, where he attended the local technical school. From an early age, Antonov was fascinated with aviation and spent much of his spare time at the local airport. He was there most of his life until he died in a car crash.


An-22 Antheus
Antonov designed the An-22 Antheus (named for the giant son of Greek god Poseidon) to carry the Soviet Army's mightiest fighting vehicles, including main battle tanks and missile launchers. Its NK-12 turboprops, which also power the Tu-95/Tu-142 "Bear" family of Russian bombers and maritime patrol aircraft, are the most powerful turboprop engines in service. The first An-22 flew on 27 February 1965, and was publicly displayed at the Paris International Air Show later that year. The largest transport aircraft of the time, the An-22 set a number of world records. Production was ended in 1974 after approximately 75 aircraft had been delivered to the Soviet Air Force and Aeroflot. (Although primarily built for the Soviet Air Force, almost all An-22s wear the traditional Aeroflot colors. This allowed them much freer access to overflight and landing rights than had they been operated in military markings.)
Some notable features of the An-22 include the comprehensive navigation and precision drop avionics complete with three separate radars, a 14-wheel undercarriage (tire pressures can be adjusted from the flightdeck to optimize the aircraft for different airfield surfaces), a reinforced titanium floor with integral rear loading ramp, four overhead gantries and two floor winches for freight handling, twin tails, and double slotted wing flaps. Also, like the An-12, the main cargo hold is not pressurized, troops/passengers are carried in a forward cabin which accommodates 29.

After entering service, the An-22 set 14 payload to height records in 1967, the pinnacle of which was the airlift of 220,500 pounds (100 metric tonnes) of metal blocks to an altitude of 25,748 feet (7,848m). It also established the record for a maximum payload, 221,443 pounds (104,445kg), lifted to a height of 6,562 feet (2,000m). A number of speed records were also set in 1972, including a speed of 328 knots (608.5km/h) around a 540 nautical mile (1,000km) closed circuit with a 110,250 pound (50,000kg) payload. Several other speed-with-payload records were established in 1974 and 1975.


The An-124 was manufactured in parallel by two plants: the Russian company Aviastar-SP (ex. Ulyanovsk Aviation Industrial Complex) and by the Kyiv Aviation Plant AVIANT, in Ukraine. Series production ceased with the break up of the Soviet Union. The last five unfinished airframes left from the Soviet times were completed in 2001 (1), 2002 (1), and 2004 (3).

Externally, the An-124 is similar to the American Lockheed C-5 Galaxy, but has a 25% larger payload, and instead of the Galaxy's T-tail, the An-124 uses a conventional empennage, similar in design to that of the Boeing 747. The An-124 has been used to carry locomotives, yachts, aircraft fuselages, and a variety of other oversized cargoes. The airlift is able to kneel to allow easier front loading. Up to 150 tonnes of cargo can be carried in a military An-124; it can also carry 88 passengers in an upper deck behind the wing centre section. The cargo compartment of An-124 is 36 m x 6.4 m x 4.4 m, slightly larger than the main cargo compartment of C-5 Galaxy, which is 36.91 m x 5.79 m x 4.09 m. However, due to limited pressurization in the main cargo compartment (3.57 psi), it seldom carries paratroopers.

Since the type was initially designed for only occasional military use, original An-124s were built with a projected service life of 7,500 flight hours with possibility for extension. However many airframes have flown more than 15,000 flight hours. In response to complaints by commercial users, the An-124-100 version has been built since 2000 with an improved service life of 24,000 hours. Older airframes are being upgraded to this standard. Additional retrofiting is being performed to extend its service life to 40,000 flight hours.

Russia and Ukraine agreed to resume the production in the third quarter of 2008. In May 2008 it was reported that a new variant, to be known as the An-124-150, would have several improvements including a maximum lift capacity of 150 tonnes. However, in May 2009, Antonov's partner, United Aircraft Corporation announced it did not plan production of An-124s in the period 2009 – 2012. In late 2009, it was reported that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev ordered production of the aircraft resumed. It is expected that Russia will purchase 20 new aircraft.

Operational history

Germany led the recent effort to lease An-124s for NATO strategic airlift requirements. Two aircraft are leased from SALIS GmbH as a stopgap until the Airbus A400M is available. Under NATO SALIS programme NAMSA is chartering six An-124-100 transport aircraft. According to the contract An-124-100s of Antonov Airlines and Volga-Dnepr are used within the limits of NATO SALIS programme to transport cargo by requests of 18 countries: Belgium, Hungary, Greece, Denmark, Canada, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Norway, United Kingdom, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Finland, France, Germany, Czech Republic and Sweden. Two An-124-100s are constantly based on full-time charter in the airport of Leipzig/Halle, but in case of necessity two more aircraft are to be provided on six days notice and another two on nine days notice. The current contract is valid until 31 December 2010. The aircraft proved extremely useful for NATO especially with ongoing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

A Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle Mystic being loaded at Naval Air Station North Island, CaliforniaRussian cargo company Volga-Dnepr has contracts with Boeing to ship outsize aircraft components to their Everett plant. The An-124 is used for airlifting (in fully assembled form) the massive General Electric GE90 turbofan engines used on the Boeing 777 airliner. Rolls-Royce also contracts the Antonov An-124 to transport the Trent family engines to and from their test facilities worldwide.

United Launch Alliance contracts the An-124 to transport the Atlas V launch vehicle from its facilities in Decatur, Alabama to Cape Canaveral. Two flights are required to transfer each launch vehicle (one for the Atlas V main booster stage and another for the Centaur upper stage). It is also contracted by Space Systems Loral to transport satellites from Palo Alto, CA to the Arianespace spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.

Airbus Transport International, a subisdiray of Airbus, has selected another Russian cargo company, Polet Airlines as "designated carrier" to the company. Polet expects its three An-124-100s will transport astronautic equipment manufactured by EADS, which is Airbus' parent company, and full-size components of a model of the Airbus A380 superjumbo. As the Rolls-Royce Trent 900 is the only A380 engine that can be transported whole in a Boeing 747F, the competing Engine Alliance GP7200 needs a larger aircraft, like the An-124, if it is to be shipped in one piece.


An-124 at Moffett Federal Airfield transporting USAF helicopters to AfghanistanAn-124 Ruslan
Strategic heavy airlift transport aircraft
Commercial transport aircraft
Commercial transport version fitted with Western avionics
Commercial transport version with an EFIS flight deck
Proposed version
Variant with one seat in the rear and the rest of the cargo area (approx. 1,800 square feet) dedicated to freight
New variant with several new features
Proposed version with General Electric CF6-80C2 engines, each rated at 59,200 lbf (263 kN)
Joint proposal with Air Foyle to meet UK's Short Term Strategic Airlifter (STSA) requirement, with Rolls-Royce RB211-524H-T engines, each rated 60,600 lbf (264 kN) and Honeywell avionics—STSA competition abandoned in August 1999, reinstated, and won by the Boeing C-17A.

An-124-100 An-124-150

Maximum Payload:
120 tonnes 150 tonnes
4,600 km 5,200 km
Service Life:
24,000 hours 50,000 hours
  6 4

Two Ivchenko Progress D-18T Series 4S powerplantsData from

General characteristics

Crew: 6
Capacity: 88 passengers or the hold can take an additional 350 on a palletised seating system
Payload: 150,000 kg (330,000 lb)
Length: 68.96 m (226 ft 3 in)
Wingspan: 73.3 m (240 ft 5 in)
Height: 20.78 m (68 ft 2 in)
Wing area: 628 m² (6,760 sq ft)
Empty weight: 175,000 kg (385,000 lb)
Loaded weight: 405,000 kg (893,000 lb)
Useful load: 230,000 kg (508,000 lb)
Max takeoff weight: 405,000 kg (893,000 lb)
Powerplant: 4× Ivchenko Progress D-18T turbofans, 229.5 kN (51,600 lbf) each


Maximum speed: 865 km/h (467 kn (537 mph))
Cruise speed: 800-850 km/h (430 kn (490 mph))
Range: 5,400 km (2,900 nm, 3,360 mi (5,410 km))
Service ceiling: 12,000 m (35,000 ft)
Wing loading: 365 kg/m² (74.7 lb/sq ft)
Thrust/weight: 0.23
Flight rangeAn-124-100
0 tons of cargo = 15,000 km (8,100 nmi)
10 tons of cargo = 14,100 km (7,613 nmi)
20 tons of cargo = 13,250 km (7,154 nmi)
30 tons of cargo = 12,300 km (6,641 nmi)
40 tons of cargo = 11,500 km (6,210 nmi)
72 tons of cargo = 8,700 km (4,698 nmi)
90 tons of cargo = 7,100 km (3,834 nmi)
97 tons of cargo = 6,500 km (3,510 nmi)
104 tons of cargo = 5,900 km (3,186 nmi)
108 tons of cargo = 5,550 km (2,997 nmi)
120 tons of cargo = 4,500 km (2,430 nmi)
122 tons of cargo = 4,300 km (2,322 nmi)


40 tons of cargo = 11,900 km (6,425 nmi)
92 tons of cargo = 7,500 km (4,050 nmi)
113 tons of cargo = 5,900 km (3,186 nmi)
120 tons of cargo = 5,400 km (2,916 nmi)
122 tons of cargo = 5,200 km (2,808 nmi)
150 tons of cargo = 3,200 km (1,728 nmi)


The Antonov An-225 Mriya (NATO reporting name: 'Cossack') is a strategic airlift cargo aircraft, designed by the Antonov Design Bureau in the 1980s. It is the world's heaviest fixed-wing aircraft. The design, built to transport the Buran orbiter, was an enlargement of the successful An-124 Ruslan. The An-225's name, Mriya means "Dream" (Inspiration) in Ukrainian.
One An-225 was completed in 1988 and a second An-225 has been partially completed. The one An-225 is in commercial operation carrying oversized payloads.
The Antonov An-225 was designed to airlift the Energia rocket's boosters and the Buran space shuttle for the Soviet space program. It was developed as a replacement for the Myasishchev VM-T. The An-225's original mission and objectives are almost identical to that of the United States' Shuttle Carrier Aircraft.
The An-225 first flew on 21 December 1988. The aircraft was on static display at the Paris Air Show in 1989 and it flew during the public days at the Farnborough air show in 1990. Two aircraft were ordered, but only one An-225 (tail number UR-82060) was finished. It can carry ultra-heavy and oversize freight, up to 250,000 kg (550,000 lb) internally, or 200,000 kg (440,000 lb) on the upper fuselage. Cargo on the upper fuselage can be 70 metres (230 ft) long.

A second An-225 was partially built during the late 1980s for the Soviet space program. The second An-225 included a rear cargo door and a redesigned tail with a single vertical stabilizer. It was planned to be more effective for cargo transportation. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the cancellation of the Buran space program, the lone operational An-225 was placed in storage in 1994. The six Ivchenko Progress engines were removed for use on An-124s, and the second uncompleted An-225 airframe was also stored. The first An-225 was later re-engined and put into service.

By 2000, the need for additional An-225 capacity had become apparent, so the decision was made in September 2006 to complete the second An-225. The second airframe was scheduled for completion around 2008, then delayed. By August 2009, the aircraft had not been completed and work had been abandoned.

Based on Antonov's earlier An-124, the An-225 has fuselage barrel extensions added fore and aft of the wings, which received root extensions to increase span. Two more Ivchenko Progress D-18T turbofan engines were added to the new wing roots, bringing the total to six, and an increased-capacity landing gear system with 32 wheels was designed. The An-124’s rear cargo door and ramp were removed to save weight, and the empennage was changed from a single vertical stabilizer to a twin tail with an oversized horizontal stabilizer. The twin tail was essential to enable the plane to carry large, heavy external loads that would disturb the aerodynamics of a conventional tail. Unlike the An-124, the An-225 was not intended for tactical airlifting and is not designed for short-field operation.

An-225 Ivchenko Progress D-18T turbofan enginesInitially the 225 had a maximum gross weight of 600 tonnes (1,320,000 lb) but the aircraft was modified in 2000-01, at a cost of US$20M, with a reinforced floor that increased the maximum gross weight to 640 tonnes (1,410,000 lb).

Both the earlier and later takeoff weights establish the An-225 as the world's heaviest aircraft, being heavier than the double-decker Airbus A380 even though Airbus plans to pass the An-225's maximum landing weight with 591.7 tonnes (1,304,000 lb) for the A380. The Hughes H-4 Hercules, known as the "Spruce Goose", had a greater wingspan and a greater overall height, but was 20% shorter, and due to the materials used in its construction, also lighter. In addition, the Hercules only flew once, making the An-225 the largest aircraft in the world to fly multiple times. The An-225 is larger than the Airbus A380 airliner, and also bigger than the Antonov An-124, Boeing 747 Large Cargo Freighter, and Lockheed C-5 Galaxy, the nearest equivalent heavy cargo aircraft.

The An-225 has also been contracted by the Canadian and U.S. governments to transport military supplies to the Middle East in support of Coalition forces. In November 2004, FAI placed the An-225 in the Guinness Book of Records for its 240 records.

On 11 August 2009, the heaviest single cargo item ever sent via air freight was loaded onto an Antonov 225. At 16.23 metres (53.2 ft) long and 4.27 metres (14.0 ft) wide, the consignment–a generator for a gas power plant in Armenia and its loading frame–weighed in at a record 189.09 tonnes (416,900 lb). Also during 2009, the An-225 was painted in a new blue and yellow paint scheme, after Antonov ceased cooperation with AirFoyle and partnered with Volga-Dnepr in 2006.
An example of the cost of shipping cargo by An-225 was €266,000 for flying a chimney duct from Denmark to Kazakhstan in 2008.

Specifications (An-225)

General characteristics

Crew: 6
Payload: 250,000 kg (550,000 lb)
Door dimensions: 440 x 640 cm (14.4 x 21 ft)
Length: 84 m (275.6 ft)
Wingspan: 88.4 m (290 ft 2 in)
Height: 18.1 m (59.3 ft)
Wing area: 905 m2 (9,743.7 ft2))
Aspect ratio: 8.6
Cargo Volume: 1,300 m3 (46,000 cu ft)
Empty weight: 285,000 kg (628,315 lb)
Max takeoff weight: 640,000 kg(1,323,000 lb)
Powerplant: 6× ZMKB Progress D-18 turbofans, 229.5 kN (51,600 lbf) each
Takeoff run: 3,500 m (11,500 ft) with maximum payload


Maximum speed: 850 km/h (460 knots, 530 mph)
Cruise speed: 800 km/h (430 knots, 500 mph)
With maximum fuel: 15,400 km (9,570 mi)
With maximum payload: 4,000 km (2,500 mi))
Service ceiling: 11,000 m (36,100 ft)
Wing loading: 662.9 kg/m² (135.5 lb/ft²)
Thrust/weight: 0.234

Machtres All Rights ® Reserved 2022
Back to content