For the first time, the Russian Air Force has conducted a mass launch of 6 AN-124 (Nato reporting name Condor) cargo aircraft, practicing the combat capability of safely and swiftly launching a large number of heavy aircraft.
Air Force officials said the total force launch effort was an opportunity for personnel to train together on a larger scale than normal.
The purpose of the training flights was to improve the skills of young crews of Antonov AN-124 transport aircraft, according to a recent service news release.
“The flights were carried out at an altitude of over 4 thousand meters, the total length of the route was more than 600 km, the average aircraft speed was 500 km/h,” the Air Force said in a release on Friday.
The AN-124 Condor is one of the largest aircraft in the world, specifically designed for carrying heavy or bulky loads by the Ukrainian Antonov company.
AN-124 can carry more cargo farther distances than any other aircraft. The heavy strategic military transport airplane is capable of carrying up to 150 tons of cargo. It can also carry 88 passengers in an upper deck behind the wing center section. The cargo compartment of An-124 is 36×6.4×4.4 m (118×21×14 ft), ca. 20% larger than the main cargo compartment of the C-5 Galaxy, which is 36.91×5.79×4.09 m (121.1×19.0×13.4 ft).