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BOOKREVIEW more news at www.heavyliftpfi.com There follow separate


Antonov Airlines moved a Tupolev TU204 prototype fuselage to Novosibirsk in 1988.


chapters on specific aircraft models and on Kiev Airport, Antonov’s home hub. Of particular interest to HLPFI readers will be the chapter on the huge AN-225 Mriya – the world’s largest freighter, capable of lifting 250 tonnes. The AN-225 “was born


behind the impermeable curtain of privacy of Soviet space programmes, but became a world sensation before it took off”, Sovenko writes. The impetus for the development of the AN-225 came about in the 1970s as the USSR intensified its efforts to create a reusable space transport system. Antonov’s answer was the


Wings Above the Planet: The History of Antonov Airlines by Andrii Sovenko


An engaging history of Antonov Airlines


As Antonov Airlines celebrates its 30th anniversary, a new book charting developments from the carrier’s pre-history to the present day has been published, writes Megan Ramsay.


‘W


ings Above the Planet: The History of Antonov Airlines’


is a clever synthesis of a variety of source material that keeps the reader utterly engaged. A mix of interviews, archive


publications, technical data and personal reminiscences from key figures in the development of Antonov Airlines complements the narrative that threads its way from 1969 – when the Antonov Design Bureau and the Ukrainian Ministry of the Aviation Industry both formalised their focus on developing special cargo transportation for the military – to 2015. The founding of Antonov


Airlines followed in 1989 and the carrier has since pioneered the air transportation of outsize and heavy cargo around the world.


26 May/June 2019 A consummate storyteller,


author Andrii Sovenko notes: “It is hard to believe now, but the book was conceived almost 20 years ago when the airline


company had successfully passed through the first decade of its operation on the world stage, and there appeared an idea to somehow document the company’ accomplishments in breaking this truly new ground.”


Mini-histories Each of the first 13 chapters of ‘Wings Above the Planet’ is a self- contained mini-history of a particular period in the airline’s development. Highlights include its partnership with Britain’s Air Foyle and subsequently with Russian all-


AN-225 Mriya, which was intended not only to move aerospace components from place to place, but also as “a flying cosmodrome” for the horizontal launch of the Buran rocket. Several pictures show the Buran ‘piggybacking’ on the AN-225.


In pictures Indeed, the photographic content of ‘Wings Above the Planet’ makes an impressive visual study of the company through the years. Over 450 images show a range of subjects, from various aspects of the aircraft


themselves to pilots, crew,


company executives, airfields – and, of course, examples of the types of cargo that have flown on Antonov aircraft. From tanks to


transformers, satellites to other aircraft, and even ostriches, Antonov Airlines’


freighters have moved all manner of cargo: 757,156 tonnes of it on 14,029 freight flights between 1989 and 2015, in fact. Nor is the story over.


Demand for air transportation, including those heavy or outsize


cargo carrier Volga-Dnepr Airlines, as well case studies of individual flights or cargoes that made the news, such as record- breaking heavy lift shipments.


items that require larger aircraft able to accommodate them, is growing – “And Antonov Airlines is sure to deliver,” Sovenko says. HLPFI


www.heavyliftpfi.com


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