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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Antonov in Iowa

In The Cobweb we have a giant Antonov cargo jet landing at a city airport in Iowa. The Antonov is a big plane. I'm wondering if there are really any airports in Iowa that can handle it, and I turn up this picture. OK, so it's not in Iowa, it's in Nebraska, but that's right next door (across the Missouri river) so that counts, right?. Nebraska used to be the home of SAC (the Strategic Air Command), so they would have big fat runways that could probably accommodate a whole fleet of Antonovs. Still, we're in the same neck of the woods and people are shipping big things by air.
    The machine in this picture is a "slip form paver" used for paving concrete roads. It is going to Georgia, the country in central Asia, formerly part of the Soviet Union, not the state of Georgia, currently part of the USA.
    The machine was going to Georgia to work on rebuilding the E60, which is the modern highway which basically follows the route of the old Silk Road, which leads from China to the rest of Asia and Europe.
    Silk Road was also the name of the clandestine website that the Feds busted last year.
    The Cobweb has Federal agents busting a clandestine operation in Iowa, which has hired the Antonov, or at least I think it's going to. I haven't finished the book yet, but that sort of looks like what is going to happen.
    Isn't it great the way all these things connect up?

Note: this plane is the Antonov-124, a large commercial jet air freighter. Several dozen were built and are still flying.. The largest jet aircraft is the Antonov-225, but there is only one of those. The 124 has four engines, the 225 has six.

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