11. March 2021

Crane loading in Antonov AN-124-100

The An-124 can also operate on unprepared slopes and hard-frozen snow thanks to its shoulder-wing design and the robust landing gear. Loading can take place both via the fold-up fuselage bow and via the stern ramp in the full cross-section of the cargo space. A particular advantage of the An-124 as a civilian freighter is the possibility of very simple loading and unloading, even at airports with poor infrastructure. This is possible because the bow can be opened hydraulically and lowered by retracting the nose gear, which means that it can be loaded directly from the ground via a flat ramp. To take this additional load, it has a double nose wheel. Vehicles such as cars, trucks or large loads on flatbed trailers, but also armored tracked vehicles can drive directly from the ground into the hold. It owes this to its original design as a military transporter.