An-225 “Mriya” made in Ukraine is the biggest plane in the world. And there is only one plane like this. You are about to see how “Mriya” flies over the airfield Antonov in Gostomel together with an aerobatic display team “Rus” and read some facts about the plane.
The Antonov An-225 Mriya is a strategic airlift cargo aircraft designed by the Antonov Design Bureau in the 1980s. It is the world’s heaviest aircraft. The design, built in order to transport the Buran orbiter, was an enlargement of the successful Antonov An-124. The An-225’s name, Mriya means “Dream” (Inspiration) in Ukrainian.
Length: 84 m (275 ft 7 in)
Wingspan: 88.4 m (290 ft 0 in)
Height: 18.1 m (59 ft 5 in)
Wing area: 905 m2 (9,740 sq ft)
Aspect ratio: 8.6
Empty weight: 285,000 kg (628,317 lb)
Max takeoff weight: 640,000 kg (1,410,958 lb)
Fuel capacity: 300000 kg
Cargo hold – volume 1,300m3, length 43.35m, width 6.4m, height 4.4m
The An-225 was employed as the prime method of transporting the Buran Shuttle. So its lifting capacity had to be not less than 250 tons.
“Mriya” performed its first flight on the 21st of December, 1988.
“Mriya” was not created for breaking records but it did break 110 world records.
The first commercial flight was performed by the An-225 in May, 1990. The tractor T-800 with weight more than 100 tons was delivered from Chelyabinsk to Yakutia.
After the collapse of the USSR the only plane stopped flying in 1994, some parts were disassembled to be used on other planes. However by the 2000s it was restored by efforts of some Ukrainian companies. The airliner was amended a bit to meet the standars of the planes for the civil aviation.
7th of May, 2001 could be called the second birthday of the largest plane. Upon the multiple trials the plane flew in the air to perform a fifteen minutes flight.
The plant “Antonov” plans to finish building of the second An-225 if they have financial support. It’s ready for 70%: the centre wing-section, fuselage and a wing remained since the Soviet times. So if they have a customer they will finish it. They still need $150 million to realize this plan.
The An-225 is performing with the aerobatic team “Rus” from Vyazma.
Why is this plane considered to be an achievement of Ukraine? Yes, it was designed in the USSR but by the Ukrainian designers. Besides it was assembled in Ukraine and, after the collapse of the USSR, it was restored again in the Ukrainian shops.