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Recent AN225 fligts

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Recent AN225 fligts

Old 26th Apr 2020, 20:33
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Recent AN225 fligts

Seems that good old An225 is back into operation as of late, doing actually quite a few flights to delivers medial equipment (I guess mostly PPE) all over the place.

Although I am very happy to see her flying I'm a bit baffled by the economics of it. Yes, there is a huge hold to fill and this type of freight is probably fairly light, so it is probably a good choice of equipment. Yet my understanding is that the An225 is a very expensive freighter that is (was) only considered for outsized cargo, i.e. when you really did not have any other choice. Given the current circumstances, I'd think that there is a lot of cheap alternative on the market (including passenger aircraft that could be easily converted for such a light load) so I don't quite understand how this works out on the money side. Is the Ukrainian government (or some other organisation) subsidising these flights ? Or did I miss something in the equation (quite possible ) ?
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Old 26th Apr 2020, 20:53
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There's pretty much no spare freight capacity at all anywhere in the world at the moment, I noticed a Belarus reg'd IL62 operating into Doncaster the other day - one of the last civilian type operating in the world I think!

Aircraft need to move sheer volumes of freight at the moment rather than weight. If you think about strapping a load of PPE to airliner seats, you can't really fit that much in the cabin of them compared to a dedicated freighter.

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Old 26th Apr 2020, 20:59
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Originally Posted by 750XL View Post
There's pretty much no spare freight capacity at all anywhere in the world at the moment, I noticed a Belarus reg'd IL62 operating into Doncaster the other day - one of the last civilian type operating in the world I think!
Interesting - wasn't aware.

I guess Airbus could get good use of their Guppy then...
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Old 26th Apr 2020, 22:21
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Originally Posted by atakacs View Post
Interesting - wasn't aware.

I guess Airbus could get good use of their Guppy then...
Boeing have already used their Dreamlifter to get medical supplies to the States, so I
imagine the Guppy could easily get amongst it!
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Old 27th Apr 2020, 09:15
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Pedantic I know, but the Airbus ‘STA’ aircraft are not Guppies - they’re Belugas. The Guppy aircraft was based on the Boring 337 Stratocruisers and haven’t flown for decades. Beluga is based on the A300/A330 aircraft.

In this instance I doubt their “volume” would be much use as their bulbous bodies allow for additional volume “up top” and “out-wide” but the floor itself is only standard airliner size. You can’t stack a pallet on another pallet so little benefit.

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Old 27th Apr 2020, 09:53
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Guppies they are !

Well, I guess you could stack quite few face marks in there - pretty light stuff
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Old 27th Apr 2020, 13:01
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The Antonov 225 has been chartered by the German military to make three trips from China to Leipzig, each flight carrying 8.5 million face masks, the first of those arrived on Sunday according to www.tagesschau.de. I suspect that whatever to cost, given that German states are now mandating the wearing of masks on public transport and in shops, the government decided that they'd better make them available, even though presently homemade masks, cobbled together from scarves, bandannas or whatever else are currently acceptable.
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Old 27th Apr 2020, 13:35
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Thanks for those Infos.

I fully understand the need for rapid import of those face masks but I was just wondering about the economics of chartering the 225 for that purpose in what I would have thought to be a bear market for air cargo. I would think that two rotations of a Lufthansa cargo MD11 would be more economical - but I'm clearly not in the know.
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Old 27th Apr 2020, 14:58
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Originally Posted by Duchess_Driver View Post
Pedantic I know, but the Airbus ‘STA’ aircraft are not Guppies - they’re Belugas. The Guppy aircraft was based on the Boring 337 Stratocruisers and haven’t flown for decades. Beluga is based on the A300/A330 aircraft.

In this instance I doubt their “volume” would be much use as their bulbous bodies allow for additional volume “up top” and “out-wide” but the floor itself is only standard airliner size. You can’t stack a pallet on another pallet so little benefit.
There's at least one still flying, it flew last month:

https://www.flightradar24.com/data/a...941na#2449a2dc

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Old 27th Apr 2020, 16:05
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Originally Posted by atakacs View Post
Thanks for those Infos.

I fully understand the need for rapid import of those face masks but I was just wondering about the economics of chartering the 225 for that purpose in what I would have thought to be a bear market for air cargo. I would think that two rotations of a Lufthansa cargo MD11 would be more economical - but I'm clearly not in the know.
Both LH Cargo and Aerologic appear extremely busy presently, last week LH Cargo were operating at least 2, sometimes 3 MD11 freighters per day between Toronto and Frankfurt, Aerologic also appear very busy. DHL are using the likes of Cargojet and Amerijet across the Atlantic, and everything points to there being very little slack in the pure cargo system at the moment.

Of course boxes could be "hand balled" into the cabin of PAX aircraft but I can't imagine just how labour intensive it must be to load and unload cargo shipped this way, and of course time is money on various levels, whether it be aircraft down time, crew or ground handling.
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Old 27th Apr 2020, 16:48
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Originally Posted by ATNotts View Post
Both LH Cargo and Aerologic appear extremely busy presently, last week LH Cargo were operating at least 2, sometimes 3 MD11 freighters per day between Toronto and Frankfurt, Aerologic also appear very busy. DHL are using the likes of Cargojet and Amerijet across the Atlantic, and everything points to there being very little slack in the pure cargo system at the moment.
Again I had no idea. Given the massive slump in business activity, one might wonder what they are hauling with such haste... can't be only PPE...
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Old 27th Apr 2020, 18:19
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Given the massive slump in business activity, one might wonder what they are hauling with such haste... can't be only PPE...
Regardless of the number of “dedicated” freighters in operation, a significant amount of capacity has been removed by the reduction of “hold cargo” on normal passenger flights.

As the normal amount of pax flights is reduced but people still need to eat/drink/do their daily stuff the more dedicated freighters will be chartered to haul the necessities (or fill the shortfall).

In some sectors - on-line retail, for example - there has been an increase in business volumes as people find alternative ways to survive. One U.K. delivery company would normally have circa 400,000 parcels through their system per night at this time of year. Last week on an average night they had 1.2 million.


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Old 27th Apr 2020, 18:28
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Originally Posted by Duchess_Driver View Post
Regardless of the number of “dedicated” freighters in operation, a significant amount of capacity has been removed by the reduction of “hold cargo” on normal passenger flights.
That's a fair point - any idea what the "usual" split it between "pure cargo" and "mixed cargo" ?
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Old 27th Apr 2020, 19:18
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Originally Posted by atakacs View Post
That's a fair point - any idea what the "usual" split it between "pure cargo" and "mixed cargo" ?
Over the Atlantic, 25/75
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Old 7th May 2020, 10:52
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The IL62 is a company called Rada, they have been very active well before the corona virus and lack of capacity, I used to see them often in Al Ain OMAL, where I was based.
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Old 7th May 2020, 16:49
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Originally Posted by stanleysteamer View Post
The IL62 is a company called Rada, they have been very active well before the corona virus and lack of capacity, I used to see them often in Al Ain OMAL, where I was based.
I wonder is there a point to fly this (admittedly nice) antique aircraft... when you have the very last fly-worthy of given type things can get complicated. I'm surprised they are allowed in European airspace (they were in Basel a few months ago - not implying it is in any way an unsafe operation, just that it must be quite complicated to maintain all authorisations, etc).
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Old 7th May 2020, 16:51
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Originally Posted by Duchess_Driver View Post
Pedantic I know, but the Airbus ‘STA’ aircraft are not Guppies - they’re Belugas. The Guppy aircraft was based on the Boring 337 Stratocruisers and haven’t flown for decades. Beluga is based on the A300/A330 aircraft.
And it is pretty busy these days.


recent flights


Wonder what the Ankara trip was about...
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Old 14th May 2020, 18:07
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Originally Posted by ATNotts View Post
Of course boxes could be "hand balled" into the cabin of PAX aircraft but I can't imagine just how labour intensive it must be to load and unload cargo shipped this way, and of course time is money on various levels, whether it be aircraft down time, crew or ground handling.
well seems Swiss disagrees (or is very desperate)...
I wonder how long it took to load that plane...?!


Last edited by atakacs; 14th May 2020 at 22:12.
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Old 15th May 2020, 07:55
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Originally Posted by atakacs View Post
well seems Swiss disagrees (or is very desperate)...
I wonder how long it took to load that plane...?!
The article says half an hour.
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Old 15th May 2020, 14:50
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Indeed

I would be very surprised if it did. You'd really need a large, well organised and trained team to achieve that. Imagine simply moving the boxes in, securing them... 233 seats (in 3 different configs, I'd guess they used most if not all of them). Anything is possible but that would be quite a feat, especially in a one off situation.

Last edited by atakacs; 16th May 2020 at 08:34.
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