Antonov AN-225 Loses Its Throne?

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Antonov AN-225 Loses Its Throne?

In Career, Concrete, Concrete, Construction Management, News, Soils, Surveying & Materials Testing | on May, 31, 2017 | by | 0 Comments

If you have had an interesting career such as myself, you may have had the chance to perform calculations to support the landing and takeoff of an AN-225.  The AN-225 is the largest flying aircraft in the world still, but its reign appears to be coming to an end.  Today, Paul Allen rolled out what an aircraft that would dwarf the AN-225.

With a wingspan coming in at 385 feet long, 50 foot tall tail, and a 238 foot fuselage, the Stratolaunch dwarfs the AN-225 and it’s design to launch rockets from.  Notice, its stated as “rockets”, not rocket.  Yes, the designers of this behemoth plan to launch up to 3 payloads into space from this monstrous platform.  While the AN-225 clearly beats the Stratolaunch with its 1.4M lbs vs. Stratolaunch’s 1.3M lbs, it’s still darn impressive to say the least.

I am sure that there are many months of construction needed to even begin taxiing tests considering the wheel path by all appearances rides on the shoulders at the moment.  I’d be curious to find out just how they will reinforce the touchdown zone to support it.  I couldn’t find my example graphic for a runway design showing how a wheel’s load is dispersed into the pavement, base and subbase, but the general gist still applies.

If you were ever have to do any calculations to determine the number of passes a piece of pavement can sustain, etc, make sure you download a copy of PCASE, Pavement-Transportation Computer Assisted Structural Engineering, software.  I learned how to use this software before I learned how to manually compute my DCP data and use a french curve.  It’s probably one of my most favorite tools to have on hand when I am deployed or in a contingency situation.  You can get it by clicking here and downloading it from the source, US Army Corps of Engineers.