THE “MAJESTIC” ANTONOV An -225 MIRIYA, THE WORLD’S LARGEST CARGO AIRCRAFT ABOUT TO LAND
With the gruesome effect of COVID-19 still ravaging the entire world, all the cargo airlines of substance and heavy air lifters of various sorts that are airworthy, are either already parked somewhere in China waiting to be loaded and airlift medical supplies or airborne heading to China or returning from China with tons of Personal Protective Equipment, PPE, and other medical supplies to all the continents of the world in the fight against the killer Coronavirus.
While most of the nations of the world are still groaning under the heinous effect of the Coronavirus that has crippled nations’economies and has nearly put the world economy on hold, yet Chinese factories are presently operating in full capacity especially those that manufacture medical masks, hand gloves, various test kits for COVID-19, and other protective kits meant especially for nurses and doctors caring for patients of coronavirus.
As a corollary to the pandemic, virtually all categories of commercial airline operations are in comatose, while major airports in China, such as in Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai are extremely busy receiving hundreds of various dimension of cargo aircraft parked on their tarmacs waiting to be loaded with medical supplies for different destinations earth wide.
A majestic sight to behold is that of a very old but big, strong and reliable cargo aircraft sited in Tianjin, being loaded with medical supplies and PPE for distribution is, the Antonov An-225 Mriya. It’s a Magnificient airlifter designed by the Antonov Design Bureau, in the Ukrainian SSR within the Soviet Union in the mid-1980s
AN-225, the only one of its kind that is still operating, air freight 7 million packs of face masks and over 100,000 protective suits purchased by KGHM and Lotos to Poland.
According to Wikipedia, the Antonov An-225 Mriya, is powered by six turbofan engines and is the heaviest aircraft ever built, with a maximum takeoff weight of 640 tonnes.
Other features of the legendary airlifter according to Antonov Airlines, the operator of, An-225, the big jet has an internal cargo volume of 1,200 cubic meters or 42,377 cubic feet. The An-225 is also said to be capable of lifting a maximum 551,155 pounds, or 275 tons of cargo.
Some other countries and some passenger airlines have succeeded in making brisk readjustments of their aircraft cabin from that of the passenger to cargo. Hence, simply using passenger aircraft to airlift medical supplies by laying boxes on passenger seats
Most nations even among the G-20 have also deployed larger cargo aircraft for the supply of medicament in fighting the Coronavirus scourge. Just last month, March 2020, the US dispatched its C-17 heavy air cargo lifter to Italy and flew half a million test swabs back to the United States. Also, a Spanish Air Force A-400M Grizzly airlifted, face masks from France to Spain, while Indonesia used its American-made C-130 transports to airlift medical equipment from China and ferry it back to Jakarta.
Evidence of how air cargo operation is booming in China can be seen in how its major airports are now becoming distribution centres of various medical supplies for the mitigation and treatment of the Coronavirus.
For example in Shanghai, Pudong Airport, Since the beginning of April 2020, the airport has recorded an average of 200 cargo flights every day to date. This has provoked an astronomical rise in chartered operations. As a result, the Civil Aviation Administration Of China, CAAC, has relaxed its conditionalities for cargo operation, as a strategic way to encourage its registered operators to prosper from the thriving international cargo business the COVID-19 pandemic has created for China nay air cargo savvy airlines.
Statistics from Civil Aviation Administration Of China, CAAC, revealed that from 1st April to Mid April 2020, 1,690 regular cargo flights landed in China, of which 65.6% were passenger aircraft modified for air freighting of cargo. A comparative analysis by the CAAC shows an increase of 66.7% in air cargo traffic compared to what obtained in winter of 2019 before the outbreak of COVID-19.
Furthermore, statistics from CAAC revealed that in March 2020, 1,919 chartered flights were recorded, which was a 43.5% increase than what obtained in the same month in 2019. Also as at mid of April 2020, CAAC had approved 655 chartered operators, which it says represents a 61.2% increase in the same period in 2019.
Without equivocation, it is glaring that China economy is receiving a shot in the arm occasioned by the distress triggered by COVID-19 pandemic and the compelling reason to seek for succour which ostensibly, China to a larger extent, has been providing in resuscitating fast, its trade and industryShare