"Ruslan" and independence... Russian An-124 back in service

An-124 "Ruslan" - while indispensable heavy transport aircraft. It was mass-produced from 1984 to 2004. The machine continues to hold the title of the largest production transport aircraft all these years.

With a length of almost 70 meters and a wingspan of about 73 meters, the An-124 is able to lift up to 120 tons of cargo with a maximum takeoff weight of up to 392 tons and fly with a maximum load of up to 4800 km at a speed of about 850 km / h.

"One hundred and twenty-fourth" was to be built in the USSR at two plants-in Kiev and Ulyanovsk (today the latter is called "Aviastar-SP"). Until 1994, the first plant assembled 17 Ruslans, after which in 2003 the Ukrainians commissioned another aircraft from the old reserves, thus completing the actual production. In Russia, the Assembly was carried out systematically until 1995 (33 aircraft were assembled), after which 6 more unfinished machines remained at the Ulyanovsk plant. Three of them were completed and put into operation in 2000-2004. Another 3 unfinished Russian "Ruslana" remain on the "Aviastar" : two cars of the new series An-124-100M for civil transportation and one an-124 in the version of the military transport aircraft.

In the period after 2006, Russia repeatedly offered Ukraine to resume joint production of the an-124, but due to the inadequacy of the Ukrainian leadership, the project was postponed for many years until 2014, followed by the termination of business cooperation between the parties.

Russia is implementing a program of modernization (restoration) of the Ruslanov Park on its own. From 2010 to 2014, for example, the military received from Ulyanovsk 10 updated An-124. According to domestic specialized blogs, armed with military transport aircraft of Russia are now 24 " one hundred and twenty-four. In 2019, the military raised on the wing of the aircraft, which has not flown since 2001, and two aircraft from combat units restored airworthiness, performing all the necessary modifications and replacements (the first Board of the military has already passed, the second – will be transferred to the end of the year). The second Russian operator of Ruslanov is the commercial airline Volga-Dnepr, whose fleet consists of 12 An-124-100 aircraft carrying out transportation of bulky goods around the world

We add that Russia is creating the most powerful domestic aircraft engine PD-35. With his appearance in 2020 years will accelerate the process of developing the heavy transport aircraft to replace the An-124, which should appear in the district 2025-27 years. The existing "Ruslans", with appropriate modifications and timely restoration of airworthiness, are capable, according to experts, to provide transportation in its class until at least 2030.

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