Antonov An-124 'Ruslan'
Revell 04221 1:144 Antonov An-124 'Ruslan'. The Antonov An-124 is still the largest production aircraft in the world. It was developed as a strategic long-range military transport for the Soviet armed forces. Since its first flight on 26th December 1982, the An-124 has set a whole series of new payload records. It has a maximum take-off weight of 405 tonnes with a payload of 150 tonnes. Noteworthy design features are the nose, which hinges upwards, and the large rear loading doors to enable simultaneous loading and unloading. The landing gear with 24 wheels also enables it to land on landing strips with poor surfaces. In addition to the gigantic hold, the upper deck of the An-124 can seat 88 passengers. The then Aeroflot also received a whole range of An-124s for the civil transport of heavy goods, although it was primarily used for transporting military loads for the Soviet armed forces. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, most of these aircraft were used in Russia by the new Aeroflot, the Volga-Dnepr Airline and Polet. As there is hardly any competition to the An-124 as a freighter, there is naturally great demand from western firms and armed forces, including the Federal Germany army. An-124s have also been operated by other airlines, one of the first being HeavyLift, based in England, which operates as a freight carrier. More recently chartered An-124s have often made the headlines when they were used for humanitarian missions.
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