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AN-124 RUSLAN

HEAVY TRANSPORT AIRPLANE

First flight 1982

On the 24th of December 1982, the AN-124 Ruslan heavy strategic military transport airplane capable of carrying up to 150 tons of cargo took off from the factory aerodrome in the Sviatoshyn region. To assure proper engineering level during the AN-124 Ruslan aircraft development, a comprehensive goal-oriented program was elaborated and implemented for the first time in the USSR. The program provided for improvement of all components of the airplane efficiency: aerodynamic performance, structural strength and endurance figures, weight perfection, specific performances of the power plant, functional capabilities of the equipment systems, maintenance and repair manhours, etc. 540 probable airplane configurations were analyzed in order to identify an optimum combination of parameters, 185 different models were tested in the wind tunnels, including 36 variants of wings. Supercritical airfoil was finally selected for the wing: this made it possible to make the wing thick, with large structural depth, yet with low aerodynamic drag. Developed for the airplane were unique extruded panels up to 28 meters long, large-dimensioned fuselage panels, new structural materials with improved properties, including polymer composite materials, and long-life fasteners were designed. Multi-strut landing gear with a kneeling feature was used for the airplane. Two cargo doors make it possible to arrange through passage of vehicles thus considerably reducing the loading/unloading time. Utilization of a double-deck fuselage configuration with separate pressurization of the decks permitted to reduce the fuselage weight and improve service life figures, while assuring higher safety of the flying crew and cargo attendants in the event of emergency landing. The AN-124 Ruslan is the last airplane developed under the guidance of General Designer Oleg K. Antonov . It is the world’s largest production transport airplane. Modified Ruslan – the AN-124-100 – is successfully operating in the world commercial transportation market. The flight test aerodrome of the ANTONOV Company at Hostomel (30 km from Kyiv) serves as the base aerodrome of the Antonov Airlines transport wing with seven Ruslans being its main asset. Thirty world records have been set on the AN-124, including an absolute payload-to-altitude record when a 171.219-ton payload was lifted to the altitude of 10750 meters.

Characteristics

Main characteristics

Length (m) 69.10
Height (m) 21.08
Wing span (m) 73.30
Wing area (m) 2628

Flight characteristics

Cruise speed (km/h) 800-850
Operational range (km) 15700
Operational ceiling (m) 11600
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Chronology

21st of June 1966 publication of Enactment of the CPSU Central Committee and the USSR Council of Ministers No. 564-180 β€œOn Principal Areas of Aeronautical Equipment and Armaments Development During the Period of 1966–1970”, that set forth the objective of augmenting the cargo-carrying capacity of the domestic military airlift forces to 100–120 tons. In August, the Ministry of Aviation Industry issues the order for launch of design work on this project at the Antonov Design Bureau.
1968 two conceptual super-heavy airplane designs – the AN-124 and the AN-126 – are developed by the Antonov Design Bureau.
June 1971 intensive design work headed by V.A. Lotarev starts at Zaporizhya PROGRESS Engine Design Bureau to develop the D-18 turbojet bypass engine for the future AN-124.
2nd of February 1972 military-industrial commission of the USSR Council of Ministers makes a decision regarding development of AN-124 military transport airplane.
24th of January 1977 publication of Enactment of the CPSU Central Committee and the USSR Council of Ministers No. 79-23 on the launch of design activities and construction of the prototype batch of the AN-124 airplanes.
24th of December 1982 first flight of the AN-124. Crew: Volodymyr Terskiy (captain), Oleksandr Galunenko (co-pilot), Oleksandr Poddubniy (navigator), Mykhaylo Tupchienko (radio operator), Volodymyr Vorotnikov and Oleksandr Shuleshchenko (flight engineers), Mykhaylo Kharchenko (leading test engineer), Vyacheslav Mikhailov (test engineer).
December 1984 first flight of the first AN-124 (S/N 01-03) manufactured at Kyiv aircraft manufacturing facility. Over the period of aircraft manufacturing at the facility (1984-2003) eighteen airplanes were built.
June 1985 The Ruslan is demonstrated at the XXXVI-th International Aerospace Show at Le Bourget (France).
30th of October 1985 first flight of the first AN-124 (S/N 01-07) built at the Ulyanovsk aircraft manufacturing facility, where over the period of aircraft manufacturing (1985–2004) 36 Ruslans were constructed.
26th of July 1985 the AN-124 (S/N 01-01) flown by the crew under the command of Volodymyr Terskiy sets 21 world records during a single flight, including an absolute record – payload weighing 171219 kg was lifted to the altitude of 10750 m.
24th of December 1985 the AN-124 (flown by the crew of Oleksandr Galunenko) performs a unique transport operation: a 152-ton Euclid mine dump truck is delivered from Vladivostok to Polyarniy (Yakutia).
27th of December 1986 completion of the AN-124 Official Airplane Tests.
6th – 7th of May 1987 the AN-124 (S/N 01-08) flown by the crew under the command of V.I. Terskiy sets a closed-circuit flight distance world record. Within the flight time of 25 hours and 30 minutes without landing and in-flight refueling a distance of 20151 km has been covered.
January 1989 a 120-ton Liebherr crane is delivered from Kyiv to Zvartnotz airport (Armenia) to take part in the management of emergency caused by a massive earthquake.
1st of April 1989 signing of Enactment of the USSR Council of Ministers No. 520 regarding the establishment of the Ruslan air transport division as part of Antonov Company to operate the AN-124 airplanes.
December 1990 construction of the first production AN-124-100 (S/N 02-08) is completed at the aircraft manufacturing facility in Kyiv.
1st – 4th of December 1990 the crew of the 235th military transport aviation regiment of the Military Airlift Forces under the command of Lieutenant General L.V. Kozlov, Head of the AF State Flight Center, flies the AN-124 on the round-the-world route from Australia to the South Pole to the North Pole to Australia with intermediate flight stops in Brazil, Morocco, and the USSR, having covered the distance of 50005 km within 72 hours and 16 minutes of the flight time. Five world speed records were set in the process.
10th – 14th of January 1991 the AN-124 carries 129 tons of cargo (three transformers each weighing 43 tons) from Barcelona (Spain) to Noumea (New Caledonia). The record was included in the Guinness Book of Records.
September 1993 a record cargo is carried aboard the AN-124-100 – Siemens electric generator weighing 135.2 tons is transported from Dusseldorf (Germany) to Delhi (India). This transport operation is recorded in the Guinness Book of Records.

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