The world record holding Antonov An-225 is a Ukrainian built cargo aircraft, which first flew on 21 December 1988. It was designed to transport the Buran orbiters, the Soviet Union’s version of the Space Shuttle.
Powered by six Progress D-18T turbofans, it is the heaviest aircraft ever built, with a maximum take-off weight of 640 tonnes. It also has the largest wingspan in operational service.
Antonov An-225 Mriya Video
Following on from the last video about the Handley Page Dart Herald, this time we head over to Ukraine for a look at the Antonov An-225 Mriya. This video is produced by the excellent Mustard channel on YouTube and runs for 10 minutes.
The video gives a great overview of the history of the aircraft, along with plenty of great footage. That is pretty much why I recommended it, as you can well imagine!
The aircraft holds several world records, such as that for an airlifted single item payload of 189,980 kilos, or 418,830 pounds for the Americans. It can fly up to 15,400 kilometres (9,600 miles) with full fuel, and 4,000km (2,500 miles) with a 200 tonne payload.
Since it’s so large, it attracts crowds when it heads to places it isn’t usually seen. For those wanting some of its time, it will set you back a cool US$30,000 an hour, but if you have something very large to transport, it is the only game in town.
It is great that Ukraine found another use for the An-225 after the collapse of the Soviet Union. It would have been pretty sad had it been mothballed and left to rot like the Buran shuttle programme. Mriya, by the way, apparently means dream or inspiration, which is probably quite fitting for a space shuttle carrier aircraft.
Have you ever been on board the Antonov An-225 or seen it at an airport somewhere? What was it like? I hope you enjoyed the video and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
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Featured image by RexPol via Wikimedia Commons.