(BILLINGS) Keep an eye on the skies over Billings and you may catch a glimpse of the largest cargo plane in the world.
On Monday, crews loaded manufactured Bridger Steel, known around Billings for its high-end construction, into the massive Russian plane that will take the steel to help in the recovery efforts after the recent typhoon in Saipan.
The first of three flights landed in Billings on Saturday.
Mick McCarthy with Billings airport operations said there are still two more flights coming to Billings so you still have a chance to see one of these “big boys” land or take off.
McCarthy said he’s had a lot of questions from the public about the massive plane and why it’s landing in Billings.
“I mean, it’s something that you don’t see very often. People have called here from other states and seen it on flight plans wanting to know why it’s here. So there’s a bunch of materials going to build shelters, some cable for structure recertification, some computers, hygiene, and material,” he said.
McCarthy says he’s seen this same caliber of the plane come to Billings one other time about eight years ago also helping to haul relief aid overseas.
- Reported by Andrea Lutz
(FEBRUARY 2, 2018) One of the largest cargo planes in the world landed in Great Falls on Thursday night.
The Russian Antonov AN-124 plane landed earlier in the day, and took off at about 10 p.m. headed for San Juan, Puerto Rico.
While on the ground in Great Falls, parts for a helicopter were loaded into the back.
MTN News is told it’s one of the few planes that can handle the cargo.
Dwight Holman told KRTV that the plane is contracted to ship the Sikorsky 64 Skycrane to Puerto Rico to help rebuild their electrical grid.
The plane’s last stop was in Seattle.
It’s now on a non-stop flight from Great Falls to San Juan.
AirCharterServicesUSA.com says of the plane:
The cargo transport behemoth, which has the NATO reporting name “Condor”, was designed in the 1980s in the Ukrainian SSR, part of the Soviet Union (USSR). At the time it was the world’s heaviest gross weight production cargo airplane, a position the An-124 kept for decades until the arrival of the Boeing 747-8F in 2010. The An-124 remains the largest military transport aircraft in the world.