The Antonov An-124 "Ruslan" is a mighty jet engined transporter rivalin only the Antonov An-125 in size. The An-125 is available for download from fsaerospace.com here (it is this site's most popular free download). The An-124 is a classic behemoth originating from development efforts by the Soviet Union beginning as early as the mid-1980s. The aircraft is currently serviced by, among other companies, Russian cargo company Volga-Dnepr which has been contracting with Boeing for delivery of outsize aircraft components to Boeing's Everett plant. The An-124 is not in production as of the time of this writing, but rumors persist that production of new aircraft is to resume in late 2008 (which, as of this writing, is outdated). Physically, the An-124 is similar to the American Lockheed C-5 Galaxy, albeit 25% larger with respect to payload, and instead of the Galaxy's T-tail, the An-124 uses a conventional empannage similar to the Boeing 747. Since the type was initially designed for only occasional military use, original An-124s were built with a projected service life of 7,500 flight hours with possibility for extension. However many airframes have flown more than 15,000 flight hours. In response to complaints by commercial users, that aircraft built after 2000 (the An-124-100) have an improved service life of 24,000 hours, older airframes are being upgraded to this standard. The works on its extension up to 40,000 flight hours are being performed. The Kyiv Aviation Plant AVIANT offers upgrades to the АN-124-100М-150 version. In May 2008, at the Berlin Air Show, it was reported that the governments of Russia and Ukraine were closing in on final details to restart production of the An-124. The new variant, to be known as the An-124-150, will feature several new features including a maximum lift capacity of 150 tonnes. This Microsoft Flight Simulator X version of the An-124 is very nice to fly but difficult to control until the aircraft is well into the air. Outside graphics are well done with several moving parts. To view a good summary of the An-124 including real world pictures, check out the related Wikipedia entry.
Author: Douglas E. Trapp | Size: 18.5MB | Added: 2009-01-13 | Downloaded 40895 times