Incredible Flight on Antonov AN-124 Cargo Transporter
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Incredible Flight on Antonov AN-124 Cargo Transporter

February 18, 2020


– Massive, massive, Antonov 124 Ruslan. (dramatic music) So we’re going to go inside the Antonov. It looks like it’s ready
to take the cargo soon. Let’s go upper deck and
take a look at the cockpit. Quite a challenge to come
up those set of stairs. I’ve never seen a huge cockpit
like this, unbelievable. – Volga 2612 from East Midlands to Toulouse. – It’s like a passenger cabin inside a cargo plane Antonov 124. Who use ear plugs if you’re
an AvgGeek on the Antonov? – [Tower] Volga 2612, Runway
Two Seven, clear to take off. – Now off on entry 27, happy flying. (intercom chatter in Russian) (engines roar) – I think my AvGeek really came out today. (dramatic music) Massive, massive Antonov 124
Ruslan freighter just arrived. 400 tonne of freighter behind me, and today I’m very lucky to document the whole loading experience, and then going to fly on this Antonov 124. (dramatic music) So we’re going to go inside
the Antonov, follow me. (engines whir) It’s actually empty. It looks like it’s ready
to take the cargo soon. Design of the plane is
being self-sufficient when the plane arrive at any destination, doesn’t need additional infrastructures. They have all these plywood here, and you can see all these tubes used for loading, offloading. And I can see some tyres. Check out how many spare tyres, one, two, three, four, five, six. Everything is carried in
the plane just in case they need additional
support, everything is here. It’s unbelievable, isn’t it? Vladimir here just joined me. He’s the head of the load planning here. He’s going to explain to us
what exactly is happening. How many crew here usually
doing the loading and unloading? – [Vladimir] We have a
six-people flight crew, and we have a seven-people technical crew. All these guys are licenced engineers. This crew is capable to repair aircraft, find problems and rectify them
in any airport of the world. – And then you can load from the front or you can also load from the back. – Yeah, from the back we
load with a crane system and we can drive large
vehicle from the rear. – [Sam] Ah, you can drive big
cars, big vehicles inside. – Outside of the lorries.
– Right. – Now we open front ramp, and aircraft will be shortened of three degrees to the tarmac. – [Sam] Oh, so this
whole thing can go flat? – [Vladimir] It will be flat, yeah. And then, at front of aircraft, we will be use extension ramp. (energetic rock music) And at the moment our
loadmaster, Konstantin, instal an extension ramp,
levelling it using laser, because we have to instal extension ramp in aircraft floor in
absolutely one surface, without any bend. Normally, these feet
of great pieces of ramp should stay on the ground, on the tarmac, but for load special things we instal them on the ramp supports. And then extension ramp will be built at front of aircraft, the same angle. (energetic rock music) – So while they’re setting
up to load the cargo let’s go upper deck to
take a look at the cockpit. I never climbed to a cockpit like this. This is quite a challenge
to come up a set of stairs just to get up, Upper Deck here. Ha, oof! Unbelievable, unbelievable cockpit. Six men operating this Antonov 124. It’s a huge office. I’ve never seen a huge cockpit like this Unbelievable. (dramatic music) – This aircraft was designed in 1970s, and this aircraft still modern aircraft. Even that time, they designed control
for aircraft fly-by-wire. – [Sam] Wow, in the
design 1970s, fly-by-wire. – Yeah, but it’s absolutely reliable. Very good aircraft control system. And, of course, our airline
working on modernise aircraft. And you see here, new
multifunctional display to help pilots to control aircraft. To see navigation we instal new radar. It’s better quality and more suitable for international flight. And you see when they sit in here you are at the altitude of 10 metres. – Yeah, one of the highest
cockpits in the plane, I guess. (sombre music) – Navigator workstation. We have here navigation computer, navigational equipment,
multifunctional display, long-range navigation system. Another navigation computer using GPS. And it use GPS and Russian
navigation system as well. This is chief flight engineer. His responsibility is engine
systems, hydraulic systems, air conditioner system, fire system. He has his own computer,
allowing him to control almost everything on this aircraft. This position is flight engineer of electric system. His responsibility is
energy, electric, batteries. And these flight engineer actually normally change their positions. One flight one chief
engineer, and another flight another chief engineer, actually, it’s a very good specialist. It’s a workstation for radio operator. His responsibility is to
communicate with the ground with the air traffic controller. To keep frequencies requires he has all the required radio equipment
on his or her position. – Oh-ho! Behind the cockpit here I can
see this is our crew rest. I can see very cosy here,
you can sit down, right? Yeah. – Yes, and we have a compartment. Two crew compartments
for the rest of the crew. And sometimes we have on aircraft one-half crew to extend working hours. And people can really have good rest here, and drink tea, coffee, prepare some food. – It’s like train seats, isn’t it? – Yeah, and do you see
it’s a seat number three? – Uh-huh. Oh!
– Watch. – [Sam] You have more seats up there! Ah, so one person can sit here. – Yes, yes, you can sleep here. – Yeah, so you can have six beds really. Very cool, very cosy. I also like the colours, I like the flowers actually, obviously. My mother is a fan of these. (laughs) – But actually, now we are entering to the forward technical compartment. And in this compartment
located many, many systems. Fuel support, electric
system, inertial system And as well we have here fire system. Belongs with fire gas for emergency. This equipment is actually a reducer that is retracting flaps when we fly to make aircraft in landing
or takeoff configuration. – It’s really eye-opening
to see the crew rest right behind cockpit,
such a big crew rest. Avionics at the back, and
incredible, just incredible, built in the ’70s like this. And one more interesting
thing, look at the plane. You can see through from
the front to the back. There’s not many planes that can do that, and this is quite a unique feature. It’s unbelievably complex operation. Now you see behind me
the crane has arrived. The crane will be helping
to bring the cargo to get loaded into the front door. (energetic rock music) So the crane now has
started to load the cargo. Shortly we’ll load into the aircraft, but we’re not allowed to see the cargo. We’re not allowed,
actually, to film the cargo. It’s very sensitive item. Typically on the An-124
it carry oversize cargo such as generators,
such as aircraft engine, satellites, mobile hospital
for humanitarian purposes. Also the oversize haul cargo. So I just found out today the Antonov is taking 21 tonnes of fuel
for the flight to Toulouse. (energetic rock music) – Just looking around the aeroplane and checking condition of engines. Surface of landing gears. (speaking Russian) – Today we are preparing for flight. Volga 2612 from East Midlands to Toulouse. – Cruising level, it
will be two niner zero. And speed, approximately 700 kilometres per hour. Today we expect full powers for takeoff. – Is this an easy aeroplane to fly or it’s very difficult to fly Antonov 124? – For me it’s easier type of aircraft. – Compared with Boeing.
– Compared with Boeing! – Compared with Boeing, yeah.
(Sam laughs) (crew speaking Russian) – When the startup procedure is completed, the sign will be in green. Nose gear is on the locked in the ground position. – Green light.
– Green light will be. (energetic rock music) – This is the tow bar for the Antonov 124, and later we’ll be using this
to push back the aircraft. – Oh look, I’ve been
told this equipment here, this is the world’s biggest
tow bar for any aircraft. (energetic rock music) We’re going to take off soon, but however, the back door remain open because they’re going to put a tow bar. Once the plane’s towed and pushed back they going to put a tow bar back in. And now I’m actually going
to sit in a hidden place, which is the cabin crew rest, which is actually here, above me there. So it’s 10-meter high where it is. A complete separate
compartment to the cockpit. This is the aft cabin crew rest. Wow, this is hidden, look at this! It’s like a passenger
cabin inside a cargo plane Antonov 124, this is quite cosy here. (energetic rock music) And then this is actually
a loadmaster station. You can actually listen, too, but only if you understand Russian. You can listen to the
communications in between. And actually I found many,
many interesting things. This one here is for shoeshine, so you can sit here and do your shoes. Get rid of all your dust
on your shoes, very cool. And this is for your jacket, get rid of all your stuff on the jacket. So while you’re sitting down,
this is the entertainment. Shoeshine or jacket
shine, which one you like? – [Tower] Volga 2612,
stand one zero seven, push approved to face east. – [Crewman] Pushback
has now been approved, facing east, Volga 2612. (engines whine) Volga 2612 request startup. – [Tower] Volga 2612, start approved and I have your clearance
when you’re ready to copy. – [Crewman] Startup approved, and we are ready to copy
clearance, Volga 2612. – [Tower] Volga 2612 cleared to Toulouse, that was a three November departure, squawk zero five seven seven. – [Crewman] Volga 2612 request taxi. – [Tower] Volga 2612, minimum power. Leave Gate One via
Foxtrot, taxi initially. Hold at point Alpha Seven
for Runway Two Seven. Tune into nine nine four hertz Brussels. (engines whine) – I was keeping these earplugs, but who use earplugs if you’re
an AvGeek on the Antonov? The noiser, the better. These guys were loading the plane. Now they’re going back,
changing their shorts. It’s like coming back home. This is like their second home in the sky. – [Tower] Volga 2612,
behind the landing inbound one four five via Alpha One. Line up and wait, Runway Two Seven behind. Volga 2612 in to report
ready for departure. – [Crewman] Calling in
ready for departure, Volga 2612. (engines hum) (engine pitch increases) – This is a very typical
Antonov move on the runway. Start to rev up the engine slowly, slowly accelerating about four minutes, then we will go. And it’s raining as
hell outside right now. You can’t see anything
here, you can only hear the engine and the
vibration and the noise. – [Tower] Volga 2612, Runway Two Seven, clear to take off, wind one
eight two degrees, four knots. (engine pitch increases) – Here we go! – [Tower] Now up on Entry
Two Seven, happy flying. (intercom chatter in Russian) (engines roar) (energetic rock music) – Crew is very tired
because they’ve been working since 7 a.m., like eight hours of work. Now, you know, it’s very warm in the cabin and it’s better to take a nap. So it’s really, really a weird experience during the trip here
that there’s no window, you can’t see, but you feel the boom and sometimes there’s a
bit of shaking, turbulence, up and down, a little bit vibration. You can think about it
as a Jumbo upper deck, a 747, pretty similar, this is quite cosy. Or you can think about
even you’re in a spaceship, something, a military aeroplane. I think my AvGeek really came out today. You can see I’m so much more excited when I’m seeing the plane
and flying the plane. I’ve been up since 5 a.m. this morning, but now it’s about 5 p.m., 12 hours later. (engines hum) (energetic rock music) We got mac and cheese, sausage casserole, Cajun beef. This is the main course,
heated up in the oven. The food tastes pretty good
on Volga-Dnepr Airline. – [Tower] Volga 2612, bonsoir. Continue descent, flight
level one four zero, proceeding to north one eight two. Expect level of entering
ILS one four eight. – [Crewman] Expecting ILS
approach one four eight, descent at level one four zero, Volga 2612. – It’s coming down. (engines roar) (rumbling) We just landed, that
landing was so smooth. Although we’re in a tube, we
can’t see it, but I love it. It was feeling like raw aviation. This plane, designed in 1970s when pollution was not a problem, fuel barrels not a problem,
noise is not a problem. It’s just raw aviation,
incredible experience, I certainly just really, really enjoyed. This made my day, or this made my year. Thumbs up. Vladimir, thank you for giving me the Antonov 124 experience. I hope you guys keep
transporting heavy-lift cargo and keep flying the
Antonov Ruslan in the sky. – Yeah, thank you very
much for your best wishes. Is our thank you. (engines whine) – We just arrived at Toulouse, but the crew have to stay behind because they got to spend
hours offloading again. So my hat’s off to the crew for their dedication and hard work. If you asked me what’s
flying on Antonov 124 like, I’m going to tell you there’s
nothing quite like it. It’s incredible. It reminds me why I love
about aviation so much. It’s a great experience. (whoosh) (ding)
(pop)

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  1. Question: why is the plane that is landing in the 1:10 minute (AH-124-100) not the same as the one that took off or the one that appears in the minute 1:12 (AN-12-100)? Is it only due to a video editing issue?

  2. Africa where are you!!!!
    Wake up mother Africa!!
    We are still behind in technology and science and engineering, and more importantly, all the necessary innovation which other countries have developed.
    We are still lagging behind things that should have made us economically strong.
    This is amazing!!

  3. Haha. I know why the pilot says it's easier. The work done is monitored by the crew in the back. Unlike boeing and airbus aircrafts where you need to monitor the systems

  4. Lol how much space does this plane have. It looks like a theater. If given the chance I would rather fly in this plane rather than a Boeing or airbus commercial plane from United or some other shit company

  5. That windshield wiper is a realistic depiction of the frames per second I get on my computer when I try to run Flight Sim X lol.

  6. How many crewmembers? 10 pilots, 5 engineers, 1 navigator, 100 load masters, 1000 attendants lol…. All joking aside, yes it was a joke but as always the experts will come out to educate us lol….Its certainly is a beautiful aircraft, heavy lifter baby!

  7. you should meet the Antonov AN-225 – the mother of all planes
    it is the largest plane in the world that still flying which it needs 6 engines.

  8. Sam, this is your best video yet! You've taught me so much about my mother country planes !! Oh and slick jacket Sam, I really like it !

  9. Much respect to the Russians. Great plane, great crew. They provided much needed assistance to Saipan after Supertyphoon Yutu devastated that island in 2018. Saw them in Guam which is 100 miles from Saipan.

  10. I had the opportunity to fly AN-124 and Il-76 as well as AN-26 years ago. Won't forget it in life! Great planes, and as you said, @SamChui: Raw aviation! Keep on reporting!

  11. Incredible experience !! And this song is amazing.. but can you link the title and / or artist who created it please ?

  12. Is this as same as Antonov 225,what's the difference?.Ithink antonov 225 larger than this?
    How amazing and genius pilots they are 🤩🤩

  13. I just parked between 2 of those parked near the FEDEX ramp at KLCK in Columbus, OH. Apparently they’re here flying new GE engines for Boeing that were built in Cincinnati.

  14. SAM…. you lucky lucky man, what a fantastic video……Your next one should be MIRYA . Truly amazing that they allowed you to film inside this aircraft,,,certainly this one is to treasure sir
    Regards IAN

  15. Majestic beauty!!! I saw this once in 2013 flying over my school… when we were posted in Karachi,,,, it was so mesmerizing
    !!!!

  16. Great non capitalistic country could create those technologies in past, but west world destroyed this alternative way of developing society. And it’s so sad. Humanity have no future with capitalism.

  17. Fun fact. The AN-225 Was not the only one built. They built a second one but it was never finished. It's sitting in a hangar in pieces.

  18. a whole army in the cockpit to fly a plane. 😂 We just have to love those russians. Thanks for the documentary. And respect for the brave crew. Greetings Airbus CMD

  19. What an absolutely incredible and complex operation! The engineering is magnificent either way, so there is no need for people to argue whether it’s Soviet, Russian or Ukrainian!

  20. They were about to touch down and he suddenly looked towards the middle console to see orange lights going green. Had they not put down landing gear? Do you know what happened there?

  21. Thank you so much for this video. I use to watch this plane land and take off at Boeing in Everett and always wondered about it's internals and why it sat so long on the runway for take off. Great video and I look forward to seeing your next one.

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