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Watch: Antonov An-124 arrives in and leaves Sydney

written by Adam Thorn | October 13, 2020

An Antonov An-124 arrived in Sydney on Monday to deliver the first of two Erickson S-64 Air-Crane firefighting helicopters.

The Volga-Dnepr Airlines Antonov An-124, RA-82042 msn 9773054055093, departed Kuala Lumpur at 8:21pm on 11 October as flight VI3848 and landed at Sydney on 12 October at 7:58am.


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An impressive Antonov strategic airlifter has touched down in Sydney this morning, carrying on board the first of two Air Crane helicopters that will be used this fire season, to support our firefighters on the ground. Now unloaded and once assembled, the aircraft named “Gypsy Lady” will undergo a series of tests and clearances and be ready for use when needed. Did you know – the Air Crane can refill its more than 7,000 litre tank in less than 60 seconds! #NSWRFS #AirCrane

A post shared by NSW Rural Fire Service (@nswrfs) on


Australian Aviation’s Anna Grbas was at Sydney Airport to capture the moment it left later that day at 11:06pm, bound for Honolulu.

The Air Crane, N189AC, is nicknamed “Gypsy Lady” and can refill its 7,000-litre tank in less than 60 seconds. It will undergo a series of tests and clearances before it is ready to be deployed by the NSW Rural Fire Service.

Incredibly, the flight marks the second time in the space of a week that the enormous Soviet-era jet has landed in Australia.

Last week, Australian Aviation reported that another An-124 landed at Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport on 5 October before leaving later that week on 9 October at 5:50am.

YouTuber Zach Clark took footage of it touching down in Queensland, while Australian Aviation photographer Lenn Bayliss was on hand to capture the moment it departed.

The Antonov An-124-100, UR-82073 msn 9773054359139, departed Surabaya airport in Java at 5:25am on 5 October as flight ADB3514 and landed in Darwin at 10:49am. Shortly after, it left to continue on towards Toowoomba, where it landed at 12:30pm. It left four days later, on 9 October, at 5:50am.

The iconic four-engine plane, one of the world’s heaviest, was created by Antonov Design Bureau in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in the Soviet Union. It is thought to have a maximum take-off weight of 402 tonnes and a gigantic wingspan of 73 metres.

In June, Australian Aviation reported how an Antonov An-124 Ruslan landed at Auckland Airport to deliver four new engines for Air New Zealand’s 787 Dreamliner fleet.

According to reports, two of the engines were new leases from Rolls-Royce, while the other had undergone maintenance work in Singapore. The plane belonged to Russian charter company Volga-Dnepr Airlines.

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Comments (7)

  • Ian


    so stupid SYD 11pm curfew didn’t come into play ?

  • DS


    Only one Air-Crane was delivered the other is heading home

  • Doc


    Curfew ??

  • David WW Olley


    These Antonov aircraft has made frequent visits to Port Moresby, and so much so that their arrival now is a bit of a “Yawn”. But the Aussies get all excited about it now when one drops into Toowoomba and Sydney. Big deal!

  • Richard Staples


    Why not ferry it from KL? Why use an aircraft capable of carrying 10 times the weight of the helicopter to carry it? (Or even more radical, why not put it on a ship?)

  • Fred


    Few plebs on this article. Such a shame Aussies have no ability for wonder. Thanks heaps to the Journos that posted it.

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