Ruslan Will Bear Two

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IL Serge Pod #26.11.2001 20:47

Serge Pod


Ruslan Will Bear Two

There are great changes in the marketplace of aerial transportation. And one of the largest cargo airplanes in the world - the An-124-100 Ruslan - has found itself in the focus of the attention.

The Ukrainian and Russian users of the aerial trucks finally have understood that it is somewhat better to be friends than to clash. The Volga-Dniepr airline, which is the primary owner of the Ruslans, has agreed with Kiev`s Antonov ANTK and the Progress design bureau on the joint upgrade of the ultra powerful aircraft.

Europe's threat to close its air space for airplanes which didn`t comply with international ecological and noise norms pushed the sides into coming together. If at the present time the Ruslans still comply with these requirements, then beginning in 2006, when chapter 4 of the ICAO Convention enters into force, one of the most lucrative markets may by lost completely. As they reported to the Vremya MN newspaper at the Volga-Dniepr company, so that this doesn`t happen, for all airplanes belonging to the company and to the Antonov Airlines firm - the transportation subdivision of the Antonov ANTK - the engines and avionics will be upgraded and the crew life support systems improved. They are counting on their own and not on imported technologies. Which, though, is fully explicable.

So, if the revision of the Zaporozhye D-18T engines installed on the An-124-100 is estimated at 900,000 dollars, then the installation of Western produced motors would be 6 - 7 time more expensive. They will fit the airplanes with modern terrain avoidance systems, digital flight recorders, and new alarm signal sensors in case of flight incidents. For this pleasure, more than 100 million dollars will have to be laid out for the Russian and Ukrainian project participants. For comparison, if a Western version were adopted, the installation of Rolls-Royce or General Motors power plants would cost the Volga-Dniepr company alone 300 million dollars. For the purpose of coordinating the efforts, a decision was adopted regarding the opening of an Antonov ANTK representative`s office at the head office of the Russian airline in Ulyanovsk.

The complexity of the forthcoming task fully enable the stimulation of the process for the unification of the two leading owners of Ruslans. We are reminded that negotiations regarding the merger of the Volga-Dniepr company with the Antonov people began as early as last year. As they reported to the Vremya MN newspaper at the Antonov ANTK, right now it has become obvious that without determined efforts in this direction not one of the questions about the An-124-100 can be resolved successfully in the required period.

Source: 22.11.01, Vremya MN, Sergey Putilov

AVIA.RU - Информационное агентство "Российская авиация и космонавтика"
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