Russia has taken another step towards developing its own successor to the AN-124. Specialists of the Central Aerohydrodynamics Institute (Tsagi) in Moscow have now presented an aerodynamic model of the "Slon" (elephant), a high capacity freighter whose properties are currently being tested in the wind tunnel.
After further developments over the next few years, "Slon" is expected to replace – and surpass - the Soviet-built heavyweight long haul freighter AN-124 Ruslan: The new aircraft is designed for the transport of heavy and cumbersome cargo (with maximum load capacity of 180 t, that is, 60 t more than the AN-124).
It will have a range of about 7,000 km and a speed of 850 km/h. Runways will have to be 3 km long to accommodate this gigantic freighter. (ah)