Description of ANTONOV 124
Do you need to rent a cargo plane capable of carrying very heavy loads? Introducing the Antonov 124.
The Antonov 124 or An-124 can carry 150 tons of various loads in its hold, such as military vehicles, boats or satellites.
This cargo plane is the second-largest mass-produced aircraft in the world, the first being the Airbus A380. The Antonov An-225 is the world’s largest cargo aircraft, but it is not produced in series. It is also close to the C-5 Galaxy.
Manufactured in Ukraine and Russia, the Antonov 124 entered service in 1986 to carry military vehicles. The first aircraft was named Ruslan, in homage to a Russian folk hero, but NATO nicknamed it “Condor”.
A total of 52 planes were produced until 1995; 5 were lost in service.
In the 1990s, the An-124 quickly broke load records against its competitors. It was used during round-the-world tours and in the aftermath of Hurricane Dean, which devastated Martinique in 2007 and required the transport of huge amounts of rebuilding supplies. It was also deployed during the wars in Chechnya. During the same period, it was used to evacuate refugees from Kuwait and Iraq, and later to transport UN equipment to Central Africa.
Under the Salis contract, several NATO member countries, including France, can rent An-124s to carry out logistical transport missions. France was a major user, with an invoice of nearly 30 million euros per year, for 1995 flight hours.
More recently, an An-124 from Volga-Dnepr Airlines brought masks and medical equipment from China to Russia during the fight against Covid-19.
You may recognise the Antonov 124 from the movie Fast and Furious 6 and the James Bond movie Die Another Day.