The An-124 Ruslan (Nato reporting name Condor), designed by the Antonov ASTC, based in Kiev, Ukraine, is a very large cargo transport aircraft. It is manufactured by Aviant State Aviation Plant, Kiev, and Aviastar, Ulyanovsk, Russia.
The Ruslan is designed for long-range delivery and air dropping of heavy and large size cargo, including machines, equipment and troops. The development of the first AN-124 airframe commenced in 1979. The An-124 completed its maiden flight in December 1982 and entered service in January 1986. The aircraft was first showcased at the Paris Air Show in 1985. It was accredited with civil certification in 1992. Around 60 aircraft have were built. The Russian Army operates 25 An-124 aircraft.
An-124 Ruslan transport capabilities
The unique transport capabilities and the high performance of the aircraft have been proven in operation.
20 An-124-100 of Antonov Airlines, Volga-Dnepr, Poliot and other airlines transport different cargoes all over the world; for example: 90t hydraulic turbines, large Liebherr autocranes, American Euclid dump trucks, the fuselage of Tu-204 passenger transporter, a 109t railway locomotive, and a sea yacht more than 25m long.
Volga-Dnepr Airlines of Russia has ten plus five An-124 aircraft on order. Polet Airlines of Russia operate eight An-124 aircraft.
Aviant State Aviation Plant in Kiev completed an An-124-100 from parts in stock which was sold to the United Arab Emirates in 2004.
Seven An-124-100 aircraft were operated by Antonov Airlines, based at London Stansted Airport, in partnership with Air Foyle HeavyLift. Antonov Airlines did not renew the contract for this partnership in June 2006 and instead signed an agreement with Volga-Dnepr Airlines and Aviastar for the modernisation and construction of the An-124.
In September 2004, the governments of Russia and the Ukraine announced that series production of the An-124 would be restarted. Up to 80 An-124-100M upgraded aircraft are to be jointly manufactured by Aviastar and Aviant between 2007 and 2020.
Volga-Dnepr Airlines placed an order for five An-124-100Ms in August 2005. Supplemental type certification was received for the aircraft in June 2007, allowing operations with 402t maximum take-off weight and 150t maximum payload. The An-124-100M’s flight range was increased to 4,000km and the crew reduced to three.
A preliminary agreement was signed between Russia and Ukraine in April 2008 to resume the An-124 aircraft production.
Antonov was contracted by Volga-Dnepr Airlines in August 2011 to overhaul the fleet of An-124-100 Ruslan into An-124-111VD standard. The modernised aircraft will have a maximum take-off weight of 402t, a cargo lift capacity of 150t, a flight range of 5,000km with a 120t payload and a minimum crew of three. It will be powered by advance 3M series D-18T engines compatible with the FADEC system.
Volga-Dnepr details new modernised An-124 variant An-124-111VD
Russian outsize freight specialist Volga-Dnepr has reached another development agreement to modernise the Antonov An-124, this time into a version designated the An-124-111VD.
It will have a maximum take-off weight of 402 tonnes and a payload capability of 150 tonnes, with a range of 5,000km with a 120-tonne load.
The upgrade will include powerplant modification to the Ivchenko-Progress D-18T 3M series engine, with full authority digital engine control.
Antonov, which disclosed the agreement during the MAKS Moscow air show, said the engine would have a life of 50,000h and 11,111 cycles.
“This will significantly improve the fuel efficiency of the aircraft, to increase its reliability, as well as reduce noise and maintenance costs,” it added.
The heavy transport would have a crew of three and its cockpit would be modernised with digital avionics.
Upgrade of the type has been a long-running effort. Antonov Airlines operates a modernised variant known as the An-124-100M-150, which needs a four-person crew.
Volga-Dnepr, which has 10 An-124s, said the lifetime of the new type would eventually be lengthened to 60,000h and 12,000 cycles, potentially taking service life to 50 years.
The aircraft would be able to comply with requirements for ICAO Category IIIa landing performance, it added.
Volga-Dnepr said the modernisation of the carrier’s first aircraft would lay a platform for production launch of a new-build version known as the An-124-300.
Antonov chief Dmitry Kiva said the agreement set out design specifications for Volga-Dnepr’s aircraft and added: “The An-124 is undergoing yet another landmark moment in its history. The demand for these unique aircraft has exceeded supply.”
Volga-Dnepr Group president Alexey Isaikin added that the modernisation, ready by 2013, would be an “important practical step” towards resumption of An-124 production. He said the company was committed to the type and was prepared to order 40. Source flightglobal.com
Russia unveils its new giant cargo aircraft
Details provided of new heavy transport aircraft to replace AN-124
Moscow’s Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute (TsAGI) – the centre of Russian research on aerodynamics, and a key institution in the development Russian aircraft since its foundation by Nikolay Zhukovsky in December 1918 – says that Russia has completed preliminary design work on a new giant cargo aircraft to replace the Soviet era AN-124.
The AN-124 with its ability to ferry 150 tonnes of cargo over 3,200 kilometres is the largest and most powerful cargo aircraft in current service. However it was designed in the 1970s and is now showing its age.
Also the AN-124 is the offspring of the Antonov Design Bureau based in Kiev in what is now independent Ukraine, and its Progress D-18T turbofan engines are built by the Motor-Sich factory in Zaporozhye in Ukraine.
As the AN-124 becomes increasingly old its maintenance needs are increasing, and the conflict with Ukraine means Russia can no longer easily source engines or spare parts for it.
The need for a new big cargo aircraft to replace the AN-124 for both civil and military uses is therefore becoming pressing, and it has been known for some time that the Russians have been working on such an aircraft.
TsAGI has not disclosed the identity of the design bureau that is responsible for this aircraft, but it is almost certainly the Ilyushin bureau which is becoming the main design centre for Russian large transport aircraft projects.
The new cargo aircraft (pictured) looks similar to the AN-124 but is actually bigger and has a longer range.
Allegedly it will be able to ferry 150 tonnes of cargo over 7,000 kilometres (twice the distance of the AN-124 with the same load) whilst the maximum load will increase from the 150 tonnes of the AN-124 to 180 tonnes for the new aircraft, which the new aircraft will however be able to ferry over a distance of 4,900 kilometres.
This is a significant upgrade in performance over the AN-124.
This is consistent with the demands of Russia’s leading air freight specialist Volga-Dnepr – the main civilian operator in Russia of the AN-124 – which says that any new aircraft replacing the AN-124 should be at least 30-40% more efficient than the AN-124. Advances in technology since the An-124 was designed in the 1970s make that possible.
The new cargo aircraft will achieve its greater efficiency by using in its structure the stronger and lighter materials which have become available since the AN-124 was designed in the 1970s, and by using a newer and significantly more powerful and efficient engine than the D-18T used by the AN-124.
The new engine will almost certainly be the new Kuznetsov PD30 geared turbofan which is reported to have a rating of around 35 tonnes of thrust (roughly a third more than the D18T).
The Kuznetsov PD30 is known to be in advanced development for use on the new Russian-Chinese wide-bodied aircraft, which will carry two. The illustration of the new Russian cargo aircraft released by TsAGI shows it will have four.
Combined with a lighter and stronger structure because of the use of new materials, four Kuznetsov PD30 engines – more powerful and more efficient than the AN-124’s D18T engines – will ensure that the new aircraft is able to meet the performance targets.
The Russians have spoken in the past of a programme entitled “Prospective Airborne Complex of Transport Aviation” or PAK-TA, which is intended to provide the air transport division of the Russian Aerospace Forces with a family of new large cargo aircraft.
It seems that at least two aircraft are being developed, and that these will share components and sub-systems with each other, making their design and construction simpler, and simplifying the logistic and maintenance burden.
The smaller of these aircraft will apparently take the form of a revived version of the IL-106 project of the 1980s, and will be able to carry payloads of 80-100 tonnes using four of the new PD-18R geared turbofan engines, which have 20 tonnes of thrust each.
The second is the larger aircraft details of which TsAGI has just revealed, which is designed to carry payloads of 150-180 tonnes using four of the new PD-30 geared turbofan engines, with 35 tonnes of thrust each.
Both of these aircraft appear to be conservative designs posing few technical challenges for an industry which has extensive experience of designing and building large transport aircraft.
Given the availability of the new engines to power the new, they should not be especially expensive or complex to design or build.
The factory tasked with building them will probably be the Aviastar factory complex in the Volga city of Ulyanovsk.
Production will probably begin in earnest in the early 2020s, as sufficient numbers of the new PD18R and PD30 engines become available, with service entry apparently intended for 2023.
The Russians have now provided us with a glimpse of what the larger aircraft will look like. Apparently the Russians have already given it a nickname: “Slon” meaning elephant. Source russiafeed.com
Kuznetsov PD30 engine
“The PD-30 engine will have the bypass design with the gearbox and split exhaust in the ducts”, said Dmitry Fedorchenko. “The modification of the core engine should be aimed at ensuring the stated parameters, including a considerable increase in the gas-dynamic characteristics of the blade units. In the course of the modification, the low-pressure turbine and compressor, gearbox, single-stage fan and control, monitoring and diagnostic system are designed anew. The gearbox will ensure the optimal revolutions of the fan and low-pressure turbine and also transfer the power to the fan by means of the shaft of the low-pressure turbine inside the medium-pressure turbine”.
According to the design data released during the Engines 2012 salon in April, the PD-30 will have a takeoff thrust of 29,500 kgf along with a bypass ratio of 8.7, an airflow rate of 1,138 kg/s and an inlet air temperature of 1,570K. The specific fuel burn will equal 0.535 kg/kgf*h in cruising mode (H=11 km, M=0.76). According to the requirements specification, the PD-14 fan diameter measures 2,950 mm, and the weight of the engine without its reverser accounts for 5,140 kg. The design and technological solutions implemented in the PD-30 include the use of blisk technologies in the high- and medium-pressure compressors, monocrystal cast blades of the high- and medium-pressure turbines, hollow fan and low-pressure turbine blades, etc.
The development of the PD-30 is planned to build on the expertise resultant from the development of another advanced Russian engine, the PD-14. To manufacture the engine demonstrator and then run the production of the PD-30, proposals have been made to subcontract other Russian companies, e.g. UMPO, Salut, NPO Saturn, Aviadvigatel, etc. Source fantasylab.ru
- An-124 Ruslan
- Strategic heavy airlift transport aircraft
- Commercial transport aircraft
- Commercial transport version fitted with Western avionics
The An-124-100M-150 version
– includes the main components of the ?N-124-100 program development:
– payload increased from 120 tons to 150 tons;
– take-off weight increased from 392 tons to 402 tons;
– flight range increased, including for cargo of 120 tons from 4650 km to 5400 km;
– aircraft assigned service life is increased to 24,000 flight hours; works on its extension up to
50 000 flight hours/10 000 flights/45 years service life are being performed;
– the new PO-500 schedule of maintenance has been introduced (maintenance every 500 flight hours);
– onboard crane equipment providing loading-unloading operations of a single piece of cargo up to 40 tons weight;
– fuselage structure had been strengthened to enable airlift of a single piece of cargo up to 150 tons weight;
– Navigation System and radar have been updated;
– digital anti-skid braking system allowing to reduce landing distance up to 30% have been installed;
– crew reduced from 6 to 4 members, and the comfort level of the crew rest cabin has been improved;
– military oxygen equipment has been exchanged for the civil one;
– reinforced wheels and tires have been installed;
– new devices for engine control have been installed;
– modernized systems of reverse control and engine vibration state monitoring have been developed;
– the SRPPZ-2000 ground proximity warning system installed;
– A826 inertial navigation system upgraded;
– Enhanced observation (EHS) has been applied;
– Mail Minimum Equipment List has been developed and is now being implemented
On June 19, 2007, the An-124-100M-150 obtained an Annex to the Type Certificate issued by Aviation Register of the Interstate Aviation Committee (AR IAC) and an updated Type Certificate was obtained for the An-124-100 aircraft issued by State Aviation Authority of Ukraine. Source redstar.gr
- Commercial transport version with an EFIS flight deck
- Planned new variant with EFIS based on Rockwell Collins avionic parts
- Proposed version
- Variant with one seat in the rear and the rest of the cargo area (approx. 1,800 square feet) dedicated to freight
- New variant with increased payload (150 tonnes)
- Proposed version with General Electric CF6-80C2 engines, each rated at 59,200 lbf (263 kN)
- Joint proposal with Air Foyle to meet UK’s Short Term Strategic Airlifter (STSA) requirement, with Rolls-Royce RB211-524H-T engines, each rated 60,600 lbf (264 kN) and Honeywell avionics—STSA competition abandoned in August 1999, reinstated, and won by the Boeing C-17A.
- variant ordered by the Russian Air Force with new avionics, a new improved braking system and a payload of 150 tonnes.
An-124 orders and deliveries
Customer orders for the An-124 include Russian Air Force (25), Libya Arab Air Cargo (two), Antonov Airlines (seven), and Maximum Air Cargo (one).
Volga-Dnepr Airlines awarded a contract to state-owned joint stock company United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) in 2008 to deliver 40 An-124-100M aircraft.
UAC will start delivering the new AN-124 Ruslan to the Russian Air Force from 2014 under the state arms procurement programme. It will produce 20 AN-124s by 2020 at the rate of three aircraft per annum. The deliveries are scheduled for completion by 2027.
Revenues from Production of An-124 Aircraft Will Reach $12,89 Billion
According to some forecasts, the resuming of An-124 aircraft production and manufacturing of 80 jets of the type will generate revenues of $12,89 billion, RIA Novosti-Ukraine reports with reference to the prime-minister of Ukraine, Nikolay Azarov.
Earlier Russia and Ukraine signed a number of agreements following the results of the meeting of inter-governmental commission, in particular, an intergovernmental agreement on implementation of measures of State Support for resuming the serial production of An-124 aircraft.
“Ukraine and Russia are resuming the production of An-124 aircraft with Ukrainian-produced engines. The total production output will be 80 aircraft. The total revenues from selling 80 An-124 jets will be around $12.89 billion”, – Azarov said during the meeting of Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers held on Wednesday. Source engineeringrussia.wordpress.com
An-124 very large cargo aircraft design
The design of the AN-124 began in 1971. The aircraft fuselage has a double-deck layout. The cockpit, the relief crew compartment and the troop cabin with 88 seats are on the upper deck.
The lower deck is the cargo hold. The flight deck has crew stations arranged in pairs for six crew: the pilot and co-pilot, two flight engineers, the navigator, and the communications officer. The loadmaster’s station is located in the lobby deck.
|Antonov AN-124||Boeing 747-8F||C-5 Galaxy||Antonov AN-225|
|Length||226ft 3in||250ft 2in||247ft 1in||275ft 7in|
|Wingspan||240ft 5in||224ft 7in||222ft 9in||290ft 0in|
|Height||68ft 2in||63ft 6in||65ft 1in||59ft 5in|
|Max Take Off Weight||893,000lbs||987,000lbs||840,000lbs||1,410,958lbs|
Antonov An-225 Mriya Strategic airlifter: Details
The An-124 aircraft is fitted with a relatively thick (12%) swept-back super-critical wing to give high aerodynamic efficiency and, consequently, a long flight range.
The construction includes extruded skin panels on the wing, extruded plates for the centre-section wing panels and monolithic wafer plates for the fuselage panels. The aircraft structural members are made of composites that make up 1,500m² of the surface area.
Multi-leg landing gear and loading equipment ensure self-sufficient operation of the aircraft on prepared concrete runways and on unpaved strips.
The landing gear is self-orienting and incorporates a kneeling mechanism, which allows an adjustable fuselage clearance to assist the loading and unloading of self-propelled equipment.
The onboard system of cargo handling equipment makes it possible to load and unload the aircraft without the help of ground facilities. The para-dropping and cargo handling equipment comprises two travelling cranes, two winches, rollgang and tiedown equipment.
Cargo handling equipment Volga-Dnepr Airlines An-124-100 – T24 YouTubeCargo handling equipment Volga-Dnepr Airlines An-124-100 – T24 YouTube
The aircraft is often compared to the US Lockheed Martin C-5 Galaxy. The An-124 has a transportation capability 25% higher than that of the C-5A and 10% higher than the C-5B.
The two cargo hatches are a distinctive structural feature. The fuselage nose can be hinged upward to open the front cargo hatch and there is a cargo hatch in the rear fuselage.
All systems are quadruple redundant. The onboard equipment provides the capability to execute airlift and para-drop missions by day and at night, in visual flight rules and instrument flight rules (VFR and IFR) weather conditions. There are 34 computers functioning aboard the aircraft, combined into four main systems: navigation, automatic piloting, remote control and monitoring.
airlinereporter.comPeephole from the cockpit to monitor the cargo hold Volga-Dnepr– leorus77.livejournal.com
The integrated flight control and aiming-navigation system comprises an autonomous navigation system, altitude and air-speed indicating system, combat formation flight control equipment, short-range radio navigation and landing system, global positioning system, automatic radio compass, ground surveillance radar, forward-looking weather radar, optical and TV sight, and IFF equipment.
Galley aft of cockpit – airlinereporter.comCrew rest area – airlinereporter.comLadder leading up to front upper deck cockpit area – airlinereporter.com
The pressurized cabin accommodated a flight crew of six, along with accommodations for a relief crew. The aircraft was flown with a quadruplex fly-by-wire flight control system, and featured a triple-redundant inertial navigation system. It did not have a glazed nose. A pressurized passenger section with 88 seats was included behind the wing. Source airvectors.net
Upper deck crew rest area Volga-Dnepr Airlines An-124-100 – T24 YouTubeUpper deck crew rest area Volga-Dnepr Airlines An-124-100 – T24 YouTubeUpper deck galley area Volga-Dnepr Airlines An-124-100 – T24 YouTubeUpper deck crew rest area Volga-Dnepr Airlines An-124-100 – T24 YouTubeRear upper deck hatch with ladder in up position Volga-Dnepr – leorus77.livejournal.com
An-124-210 and An-124-100M
Volga-Dnepr – Gdańsk112 – Jacas YouTube
Antonov, Aviastar and Air Foyle of the UK jointly submitted a proposal to the UK MoD for leasing of new versions, the An-124-210 and An-124-100M. An-124-210 will be equipped with a Rolls-Royce RB211-52H-T engine; An-124-100M with series 3 D-18 engines, produced by Progress Design Bureau in Zaporozhe.
These engines allow an increase in service range of 10% and reduced take-off distance.
Ivchenko-Progress D-18T 3M series engine
Designed to power heavy transport aircraft. Installed on the An-124 and An-124-100 Ruslan aircraft and the An-225 Mriya extra high load capacity transport aircraft. The engine has the Type Certificate. In conformity with existing ICAO Environmental Standards requirements. In commercial production since 1999.
The plane has two separate APU — there will be one “full-time” and the new APU APU TA18-200-124 with a capacity of 60 kW generator.
Basic APU TA18-200 provides an air launch propulsion aircraft engines, power supply AC 115/200 V with power up to 60 kW, as well as to supply air to the air conditioning system and cabin interiors.
Optimizing turbocharger (centrifugal and centripetal turbine compressor), the combustion chamber, gear and mounted units allowed to provide fuel savings of 30% and a significant (2-fold) reduction in engine weight compared with the previously developed counterparts. The use of modular construction allows to effectively diagnose and repair the engine.
APU allows you to run up to the height of the plane’s engines in the 9,000 meters Operating temperature range — ± 60 ° C. Weight (without generator) of 190 kg. Initial assigned resource is 2000/4000 hours / launches. Assigned resource 12/15 thousand hours / launches. Source survincity.com
APU, the photo shows a nozzle and blades Volga-Dnepr – leorus77.livejournal.comAPU exhaust visible on both sides Volga-Dnepr – leorus77.livejournal.com
The engines are provided with 76 714 Imp gallons (348 740 litres) of fuel in ten integral wing tanks. This provides a range of 2 795 miles (4 500 km) when fully loaded. However, range varies considerably according to the load carried. For example, when carrying an 88 184 pound (40 000 kg) payload the range is a much greater 7 456 miles (12 000 km). Source aircraftinformation.info
The An-124-210 is a 120ft (36.5m)-long cargo freighter. The floor width and height of aircraft is 21ft (6.4m) and 14.4ft (4.3m) respectively, with 10.5ft (3.2m) below the crane.
The An-124-100M aircraft has the capacity to travel 4,500km at a height of up to 10,000m carrying a maximum load of 120t. The aircraft is 36m long and 4.4m high. It can operate under 60°C below zero and 45°C above zero.
Front loading ramp An-124-100 Antonov Design Bureau (Aviant, Antonov Airlines) – Vaibhav Shah YouTubeMain landing gear An-124-100 Antonov Design Bureau (Aviant, Antonov Airlines) – Vaibhav Shah YouTubeAPU exhaust one on each side behind rear landing gear An-124-100 Antonov Design Bureau (Aviant, Antonov Airlines) – Vaibhav Shah YouTube
Both versions will be equipped with digital instrumentation and displays from Honeywell of the USA and Aviapribor of Russia, enabling the crew size to be reduced from six to four. Also fitted are a traffic alert collision avoidance system (TCAS 2000), ground proximity warning system and satellite communications system.
Upper deck exit door Volga-Dnepr – leorus77.livejournal.comEmergency escape shaft Volga-Dnepr – leorus77.livejournal.com
Main picture Liam Gusman YouTube
Main material source airforce-technology.com