Tag Archives: Antonov

New production of AN-124 Ruslan, possibly AN-225

A Volga-Dnepr An-124-100 coming in to land (Image © Antonov)
A Volga-Dnepr An-124-100 coming in to land (Image © Antonov)

One of the world’s largest cargo airplanes, the Antonov AN-124 Ruslan, will get a second life. Not only will more current aircraft be updated to the AN-124-100 standard, the Ukrainian aircraft manufacturer will actually build up to 80 new aircraft of the -200 and -300 standards.

High representatives of Governments and Defense Industry Complexes of Ukraine and Russian Federation visited the aircraft manufacturing plant in the beginning of December. The Ukrainian delegation was even headed by vice prime minister Yuriy Boyko, the Russian by deputy chairman of the Russian Federation Dmitry Rogozin.

The parties discussed many ways to further co-develop aircraft, especially the production of regional jets of the AN−148/An−158 family, the AN−70 military STOL transport aircraft AND resumption of series production of the modernized version of the AN−124−100 Ruslan transport: the AN−124−200 including restarting the production of an upgraded Ivchenko-Progress D-18T turbofan engine powering the aircraft.

On the side even the possibility of constructing a second giant AN-225 Mriya was discussed. Equipped with six engines the Mriya – once designed for the Soviet space program – holds the record of the world’s largest cargo plane with a max registered load of 253,820 kilograms (559,577 pounds). Since the collapse of the Soviet Union the single Mriya left is commercially deployed by Antonov.

Although a full green light for the series production of the Ruslan (NATO reporting name Condor) and the Mriya (NATO reporting name Cossack) has not been given, the future looks promising. On the civil market there is a demand for a fair priced big cargo aircraft that can compete easily with the more expensive Boeing 747-800 / -900 Freighters.

26 former Soviet (semi-)military AN-124s are currently flying as commercial transporters, including seven with Antonov’s own air freighter division. Russian Volga-Dnepr and Polet Airlines have combined orders for 10 new aircraft (5 each).

Russian Air Force
New AN-124s will be very interesting for the Russian Air Force as well, while Moscow is currently rebuilding its military might everywhere. A sizeable strategic airlift component will be needed to match those ambitions.

Plans already existed to upgrade the 14 aircraft in service and six in storage to the AN-124-100 standard by 2020. They operate out of Tver. But the Russian Air Force has already asked for a new military version dubbed AN-124-300, which will include upgraded avionics for military needs. Current projections call for at least 20 of these new military Ruslans.

© 2013 AIRheads’ Marcel Burger with source information from Antonov

The AN-225 Mriya at Stockholm-Arlanda on 5 January 2012, picking up heavy underwater Ericsson telecom cables for a customer in South Korea (Image © Marcel Burger)
The AN-225 Mriya at Stockholm-Arlanda on 5 January 2012, picking up heavy underwater Ericsson telecom cables for a customer in South Korea (Image © Marcel Burger)

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AN-140s to Russian Baltic Fleet

The civilian original of the Antonov AN-140-100 (Image © Antonov)
The civilian original of the Antonov AN-140-100 (Image © Antonov)

The Russian naval air forces in the Baltics will soon receive at least two new Ukranian built Antonov AN-140-100 turboprop cargo aircraft, sources from the Western Military District told press agency RIA Novosti.

The aircraft has been built under license by Russian Aviacor. Another six AN-140s will be distributed amongst the other air units of the four Russian fleets, the first already having been delivered in April 2013. Apart from transporting regular cargo, the AN-140 can be equipped with special mission gear for maritime patrol and special operations. Its range with 6 tons of cargo is about 2,000 kilometers (1,080 nautical miles).

The military AN-140-100 derives from the civilian passenger aircraft, of which only about a dozen fly in the Ukraine and Russia. Compared to the first version of the type the -100 has a bigger wingspan, giving it better flying characteristics. The type has been successfully test-flown in landing conditions from minus 55 degrees Celsius to plus 45. The aircraft is certified to operate from the airfield located at 2,500 m (7,500 feet) above sea level.

In the passenger role the AN-140-100 can carry up to 52 people plus crew at a maximum cruising speed of 291 knots (540 kmh) up to almost 23,000 feet (7,600 meters). The arrival of the An-140 is part of a wider build-up of Russian military air, ground and naval forces in the Baltics, meaning NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission will have something extra to do in the future.

Source: RAI Novosti/Antonov

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Most famous biplane of 1946 gets new life

Test flight of the new Antonov An-2-100 (Image © Antonov Aircraft Corporation)
Test flight of the new Antonov AN-2-100 (Image © Antonov Aircraft Corporation)

It is probably the world’s most famous biplane. 18,000 have been built between 1946 and 2002, but today starts a new chapter in the life of the Antonov AN-2, with the AN-2-100. The modernized 70-year old model made its first flight on July 10, 2013, at the Ukrainian aircraft factory plant piloted by commander Sergii Tarasiuk and co-pilot Valerii Epanchintsev.

,,The AN-2-100 is intended for passenger, cargo and mixed cargo-passenger transportation on local airlines. It can be operated autonomously at small airfields with low sub-soil strength, including ice and snow-covered ones, in a wide altitude range, under good and adverse climatic and weather conditions”, writes a spokesperson of the Antonov aircraft company of Ukraine in a press release.

The main difference between the AN-2-100 and its predecessor is the new MC-14 turboprop engine, designed and produced by Ukrainian Motor Sich company. The new engine doesn’t need the special aviation gasoline of the old Antonov 2, but the cheaper normal aviation kerosene. The An-2-100 also has a new reversible propeller and weights in fully operational condition 200 kg less than the Annie of 1946.

Antonov will refurbish existing An-2s to the An-2-100 standard. The company identified 135 AN-2s within Ukraine alone, with only 54 aircraft still airworthy. Antonov hopes for foreign orders as well, with reportedly 1580 of them available in the Russian Federation, of which 322 still fly – mainly for agricultural purposes. 290 An-2s are being operated in Kazakhstan, 143 in Uzbekistan, 89 in Turkmenistan, 82 in Belarus, 63 in Azerbaijan, 30 in Kirgizia, 13 in Moldova and 4 in Armenia. How many Antonov An-2s are stored, displayed or fly outside the former Soviet states is unclear.

Source: Antonov Aircraft Corporation