"Antonov 3845 heavy..turn right heading 1-9-0... runway 18L, cleared for take off."
"Envoy 3748 use caution for the Antonov checking his engines before the take off roll."
"Copy that. I haven't seen one of those since Iraq!"
...Four minutes of stabilizing the engines later...
"Antonov 3845 heavy..we are ready."
The crew of Honolulu-bound ADB3845 Heavy release the brakes and advance the four Progress D-18T turbofans to take off thrust, leaving a massive trail of thick exhaust behind it. This iconic Soviet-era relic, one of the largest flying aircraft in the world, never fails to grab the attention of anyone in the area regardless of their interest level in aviation.
This particular airframe was delivered to Aeroflot - Soviet Airlines in 1987 as CCCP-82007. Now operated by manufacturer Antonov's cargo divison, logically named Antonov Airlines, their fleet of seven An-124s can be found all around the globe as a valuable tool for hauling oversized or extra heavy loads of cargo.
Always a pleasure to see this bird!
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