Thursday, March 08, 2007

Antonov's Heavy Hauling AN-70

One of the primary problems facing Labrador is moving goods in and out of the area. Clearly when talking about products available, there is an embarrassing amount of good traded at regional trade ports not that far away. The issue is no one is offering the bulk carriage ability to fetch these goods, and more importantly, deliver them to outlying Labrador and Quebec North shore communities. There are some important factors to consider. You need an aircraft which can carry a heavy load. You'd be very luck to find one which could take a heavy but reduced load to the smallest fields in Labrador. You are now entering the special world of military air freighters. These can be alarmingly costly aircraft. Hence this dictates not operating a large number of them. You would benefit most by having a small troop of them. These would from time to time service our small communities as needed. However, they could also earn their keep operating on certain trade port routes, handling commercial loads.

Powered by four amazingly powerful 14,000 hp turboprops driving D-27 contra-rotating props. The AN-70 can leap from a 600 meter strip with an unheard of 20 ton payload.All hats off to Antonov for yet another engineering feat And best of all, when given a nice big strip like Goose Bay, the AN-70 can carry a 47 ton payload a full 3000 KM. This puts many North American Trade ports suddenly on Labrador's doorsteps. They'd naturally be quite attractive to serving Labrador's burgeoning Natural Resources Industry. Al tough that would rate further down on it's priority of service charter, especially in light of not wanting to damage such valuable porters.

These AN-70's have all necessary gear to handle the job built right into them. In addition to the big yawning tail ramp, they have no less the four overhead hoist rails with a 12 ton lift capacity. And for mulish cargoes, there are front and back horizontal 1.5 ton winches to convince the load otherwise. Indeed I believe you can easy get most forms of transportion on board.
Currently there is a shortage of haulers in the AN-70's class, with only the long toothed and elderly C-130J it's only real analogue. Comparatively, there is no comparison. Antonov wins on oh so many fronts as to almost be laughable. What is not laughable is the seemingly internal Russian Air Force complaints that seem to be a planted story to sell Illushin products. But the brutish Turboprop Antonov still whips the competitor's IL-76 jet aircraft . To be quite honest, Germany has the right idea with the seemingly stillborn AN-7X project. The vaunted EAD's A400 beast is walking the cash tightrope thanks to the Airbus fascination with the A380. Both it and the C-17A are wildly more expensive. In fact for the price the RCAF paid for four lousy C-17A's, they could have purchased 30 AN-70's! When I see rampantly overpriced deals like that, I honestly feel like I've been robbed. Especially given the availiability of the marvelous AN-70.

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