MIAMI – An Antonov AN-124-100 delivered a dismantled aircraft to Miami, Florida (MIA) from Viracopos, Brazil (VCP) this week. The un-assembled aircraft was fitted into six wooden crates, which were transported in the Russian cargo plane to the Miami hub.
In the span of only one week, the planning and execution were able to take place. The crates consisting of wing sections measured 15 Meters (49 feet), and two crates of fuselage sections measuring 12 meters (39 feet). The crates were loaded by two external cranes, along with forklifts, together with special equipment designed by Antonov.
This type of work is what Antonov Airlines specializes in. The Ukrainian-based carrier operates charter services transporting oversized cargo. The airline is a division of the Antonov Aviation Company. The carrier also operates the world’s only Antonov AN-225, the world’s largest cargo aircraft, powered by six engines.
A Russian Giant
The An-124 aircraft is powered by four fan jet engines. The aircraft is capable of carrying 150 tonnes of cargo, and has a maximum take off weight of over 886,000 pounds. Built by the Antonov Aviation Company, the Ukrainian built jet made it’s first flight in 1982. The total aircraft production numbered 55 when production ended in 2004.
Antonov Airlines operates seven of the front loading behemoths, and has been in the over sized cargo business since 1989. The airline is based at Hostomel airport (GML), near Kiev, Ukraine. In addition to the AN-124, and the mighty AN-225, the carrier also operates the largest turboprop aircraft, the AN-22, which is capable of carrying up to 60 tonnes of cargo.
Featured image: Antonov Airlines UR-82009 Antonov An-124-100M-150. Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways