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twelvericepaddies
01-13-2005, 05:24 PM
As usual, the huge Russian Antonov cargo jets are carrying the largest loads of air freight to a disaster zone (they will take in many millions and Russia's total contribution was $2.). It seems that Antonov cargo aircraft are only owned and operated by Russian companies. Maybe there are some lesser known freight companies who use them, but I only ever see Russian-owned ones. Why would this be? 2nd, I am somewhat out of date on large freighters, but I think the C-141 is the closest in capacity to an Antonov - is that right? Is there a commercial version of that, or is it only militaries that can afford to run them?

paperbackwriter
01-13-2005, 06:29 PM
Probably the Antonov An-124 "Condor" (http://www.airliners.net/info/stats.main?id=40), yes? The C-5 Galaxy (http://www.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?fsID=84) is the closest US or Western equivalent, but is only USAF-operated. The Volga-Dnepr company operates 20 of the civil-certificated version, the AN-124100, and these are sometimes leased to Western freight companies.

Some Western freight companies use cargo versions of jets originally designed for passenger use, such as the Boeing 747 (http://photos.airliners.net/small/8/8/7/744788.jpg)'s, MD-11's (http://photos.airliners.net/small/6/9/7/751796.jpg) and Airbus A300's (http://photos.airliners.net/small/3/9/2/006293.jpg)

Xema
01-13-2005, 06:32 PM
There are plenty of 747s set up as freighters - much larger than a C-141.

As for large military frieghters, there's the C-5 (http://www.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?fsID=84) and the C-17 (http://www.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?fsID=86).

LSLGuy
01-13-2005, 08:01 PM
In the US & European regulatory environment, it's not possible to just sell a military aircraft to a private company and put it to use. the regulations governing aircraft design & constrcution and certification are different and military aircraft do not necessarily comply with civilian standards.

Conversely, in Russia, with the Soviet heritage that the military was the government, the commercial aircraft standards are the same. That facilitates taking a military design, repaiting it, and putting it to civilian use.

Certainly there are some Western military aircraft that have been certified for civil use, but its not automatic. It's a very expensive process, and to amortize that cost over just a few, or a few dozen, aircraft usually doesn't make sense.

The critical thing which An-124s and C-5s provide is the ability to carry extra big items, and the total demand for that service worldwide is not huge. For disaster releif, or for routine cargo hauling, there's not much economic advantage to a huge airlifter over merely a big one. And the greater flexibilty of smaller aircraft pays off in a commercial environment.

JRDelirious
01-13-2005, 09:00 PM
Also, a note: the C-141 (as mentioned, not in the same league as the An124 or C5) is now retired from active service.

One thing that An124s and C17s do have going for them in a situation such as this is that by design they can (if so set up) fly into and out of, and load and unload at, fields with limited support facilities on the ground. So even when they fly into well-equipped airports they then don't tie up ramp resources as much, leaving them to be used for more civvie planes.

The one even larger plane, the Antonov Mrya, was not produced in any marketable quantity -- it was more of a "to prove we can" project, tied in to the Soviet Buran space shuttles, impractical for commercial use.

Valgard
01-14-2005, 12:29 AM
The one even larger plane, the Antonov Mrya, was not produced in any marketable quantity

Unless you consider "one" to be a marketable quantity :D

pilot141
01-14-2005, 03:30 AM
Jeez, this many mentions of the mighty C-141 (http://aviatika.rkk.hu/pics/response/C-141-06.jpg) and no links to the Russian C-141ski?

I give you the IL-76. (http://www.russians.bird.ch/Il76/IL76AVS.jpg)

Go four-engined transports! (http://grimm.berkeley.edu/~ped/images/pole99/c141.jpg) (C-141 at the South Pole). (Yeah, I'm biased. :cool: Sue me.)

ElvisL1ves
01-14-2005, 07:33 AM
Antonov Airlines, formerly Volga-Dnepr Airlines (http://www.airfoyle.co.uk/) charters 8 An-124's, and the 1 An-225 that was ever built, via a UK agent named Air Foyle.

Boeing has been mulling commercial sales for the C-17, which would provide the same ground-handling capabilities but with a smaller airplane, but has taken no action yet.

Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
01-14-2005, 08:09 AM
We had an Antonov here at Nashville International during the summer.

They are amazingly quiet on landing.

It's like watching a large house set down on the runway.

Landing speed is quite slow.

paperbackwriter
01-14-2005, 10:37 AM
Also, a note: the C-141 (as mentioned, not in the same league as the An124 or C5) is now retired from active service.

Note to a note: Yes, the last active duty C-141 was retired last September, but they are still in use with the Air Force Reserve (http://www.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?fsID=93).

Lumpy
01-14-2005, 01:17 PM
Just as a W.A.G., I would suppose also that planes designed and built by the Soviet aerospace ministries would be a bitch to try to service and get spare parts for in the West. I doubt there would be much commonality with Western "off the shelf" parts. It might be just not worth the headaches of trying to go through the labrythine Russian industrial system.

Ale
01-14-2005, 05:16 PM
We had an Antonov here at Nashville International during the summer.

They are amazingly quiet on landing.

It's like watching a large house set down on the runway.

Landing speed is quite slow.

Once saw one flying low on final directly overhead, caught me by surprise, itīs much quieter than a puny 737!
What a sight, itīs impressive.

Robot Arm
01-14-2005, 10:46 PM
While we're talking about Antonov freighters, don't forget the An-22 (http://www.aircraft-charter-world.com/cargo/an22.htm).

pilot141, can I ask when you were in the USAF? My dad flew 141's (retired in 1980), whenever I see one of your posts I wonder if you may have crossed paths.

pilot141
01-14-2005, 11:38 PM
I flew 141s out of McGuire AFB, NJ but it was in the 90s. 1994-1998 to be exact. 6th Airlift Squadron (the Bully Beef Express) - even though I was there after your dad we might have been in the same squadron.

Robot Arm
01-15-2005, 08:09 PM
Opposite coasts, it sounds like. I know we were at Westover in Massachusetts for a while (I was born there), then he was stationed at McChord in Washington for 10 years (4th Squadron, I think) and finished with about 18 months at Altus, Oklahoma.

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