Olympic flame flies with Ruslan freighter
An AN-124-100 Ruslan cargo aircraft lifted Russia's 2014 Winter Olympic torch high into the sky above the city of Ulyanovsk on the first day after Christmas. As part of the official torch relay programme, the Olympic flame was encased in a secured lantern and placed in the aircraft. While onboard, it was accompanied by an entourage of flame guardians together with a series of Volkswagen Amarok trucks that had been driven into the spacious hold of the world's largest serial airlifter.
The giant Antonov AN-124 Ruslan freighter has been rightfully deemed a symbol of Ulyanovsk, where it first went into serial production in 1986. The flight was operated just two days after the AN-124-100 celebrated the 31st anniversary of its maiden flight. The XXII Olympic Winter Games will be celebrated in Sochi (Russia) and are due to start on 7 February.