An Antonov AN-124 parked next to the Future of Flight with a Boeing 747 Dreamlifter in the background - Photo: Future of Flight

An Antonov AN-124 parked next to the Future of Flight with a Boeing 747 Dreamlifter in the background – Photo: Future of Flight

It is hard to deny that Paine Field is freak’n awesome. Not only is this where Boeing builds all their new 747s, 767s, 777s and most of their 787s; it also houses old warbirds and often sees the Boeing 747-400 Dreamlifter and sometimes an Antonov AN-124.

BONUS: Photo tour of the inside of an Antonov AN-124

It is always fun when catching some of these aircraft together. Today, an AN-124 was caught parked next to the Future of Flight (backed in) with a Dreamlifter in the background saying, “why hello.” Both are very cool cargo planes and getting them in the same picture is pretty epic.

Thanks to the Future of Flight for sharing their photo. 

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ULTIMATE LIVERY CHALLENGE #7: How well do you know your airline liveries?
No Fly Zone

Nice to see the AN-124 again! I’ve enjoyed meeting several AN-124 crews at various spots around our world: They are First Class Professionals in every sense and, in 99% of cases, genuinely nice, very friendly folks. First and foremost, they are extremely professional pilots and flight engineers. They may fly a few almost antique heavy lifters, but they do so with a professional grace and expertise that others could/should learn. They are very nice folks, extremely talented professionals and they should be welcomed as such, wherever they land. When flying, and landing, professionals leave the politics at home – or elsewhere.
After spending some time with a crew that I cannot name, the above is obvious: Operating Professionals of the highest order and – truly NICE guys.

No matter where they land to deliver their load, please be nice to these fellows. They are professional of the First Order as well as just plain nice. Nearly all speak English reasonably well and they enjoy meeting other pilots and/or seeing the regional sites. Given their aircraft and mission, extended stays in unusual places are not rare. These guys adapt quickly and, in my single experience, hosting them is an absolute hoot! (No, that does not mean a drunken brawl. In fact, most of their crews usually decline decline alcohol, for a variety of reasons. Lemonade and other beverages are just fine.) If one ever has the opportunity to host one or more of these guys, it should not be missed. These guys often get beat up on in some communities. Please remember that they are professional pilots, not politicians. Their professional skills are at least as good as yours, cover the entire world – ALL of It, and if one listens, one just might learn something. The several crews that drive the tiny AN-124 fleet are probably a high subset of the world’s very best pilots. After a visit with with any of these fellows, anyone will recognize that that they know their business and to the last kg of freight or fuel.

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