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CLARA MOSCHINI

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Planes. Russia does not exclude returning to produce the An-124 Ruslan

But it will be a new aircraft, renamed before being reintroduced

The Antonov An-124 Ruslan aircraft could be re-launched under a new name. The question has been resumed officially. Yuri Sitnik talks about it in this letter of the presidential press for the development of aviation. "The engineers are planning to modernize the avionics, the design of the cockpit and also to change the engines of the aircraft", he said. Therefore according to the international rules "with substantial changes the aircraft will be renamed before being reintroduced on the market". It will therefore be Sitnik declared it of a new airplanebased on the An-124.

This statement comes after that one by Vladimir Benediktov, commander for the Russian Air Force's logistics, which in recent days had announced newness about the re-production of the model.

The Ruslan is a four-engine turbofan from high-wing strategic transport made and developed in the Soviet Union in the '80s. Used since 1987, it is still today in financial service in the Russian Air Force, and in civil with some cargo airlines. It is the largest cargo plane factory made (bigger than the equivalent Lockheed C-5 Galaxy of the US Air Force).

Ruslan to recall the protagonist of the story in verses Ruslan and Ljudmila by Aleksandr Puškin. In the fairy tale Ruslan is an unbeatable prince and knight. The An-225 Mriya, by far the largest and most powerful cargo plane in the world, is an extended version of the Ruslan built for the Buran project, and is currently being used to transport special goods from Antonov Airlines.

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