Antonov An-124 at BFI

Volga-Dnepr AN-124 BFI

Boeing Field is a good place to spy interesting aircraft, mainly of the Boeing variety. Everything from Military 707 variants to the newest 787 graces this airport.

But so do many aircraft that aren’t connected with Boeing and many unusual charters and business aircraft stop in. This Volga-Dnepr Antonov An-124 was the undoubted star of the show this month at BFI, after coming in from Minsk on a heavy cargo charter. Less than 12 hours later, it headed out to Edmonton.

This was the second time this year that an An-124 has made an appearance at Boeing field, the first being a brief fuel stop by a Polet Flight An-124 back in March.

Other than the related An-225 Mriya, the An-124 is the largest civil cargo aircraft ever made, and Volga-Dnepr operates ten of them for various heavy lift duties. The Russian airline commenced cargo operations in 1991, hence the “20 years” special branding on the tail. Volga-Dnepr also flies Ilyushin IL-76s (the updated IL-76 TD90) and runs a small passenger service out of Moscow. It is also the parent company of Air Bridge Cargo, which uses 747 freighters.

This aircraft, RA-82043, is one of the earliest An-124’s, delivered in 1990 under the original registration CCCP-82043.

Photographer: Alex Kwanten

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