The Antonov An-124 is renowned for being the biggest production cargo aircraft of all time. Despite being 35 years old, it’s still highly sought-after in the transport sector. No other aircraft can transport more cargo than this Russian giant. During the Cold War, it was an essential means of national transport and a prestige object for the Soviet Union. Today, it is used all over the world and is the queen of international air transport.
In a recent documentary, we get an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the An-124’s latest mission – transporting a 61-ton generator 11,000 kilometers from England to South Korea.
The job seems simple enough, but as we learn, every job has its quirks. The load manager and his team must position the ramp and the internal track system of the cargo freighter precisely; otherwise, it would not be possible to load the generator safely.
The crew is under intense time pressure. The customer is paying about three hundred thousand Euros for the charter flight, and every minute of delay costs more. Before the generator can be loaded, it must pass through special security screenings.
During the journey to Seoul, the An-124 must make three stops to fuel up and inspect the status of the cargo. The aircraft itself must also undergo thorough checks after each landing, with any repairs made directly at the gate.
However, as the Antonov team prepares for their destination, they have no idea that inadequate equipment and unprepared workers await them. The documentary takes a suspenseful turn as we follow the team and behold how this transport could very well end in disaster.
If you are fascinated by aviation, logistics, or engineering, then you must watch this incredible documentary that shed lights on the world’s most massive production cargo aircraft: The Antonov An-124.