Antonov An-225 Mriya

The An-225 Mriya (Ukranian: „dream“) is with a length of 84 meters and a wingspan of 88.4 meters the largest ever built airplane. The aircraft, which can transport up to 250 tons of cargo, is a further development of the An-124 Ruslan. Contrary to its ‘”little” sister, it does not have a cargo ramp in the back as is driven by an amount of 6 ZMKB-Progess engines. On the ground, the aircraft stands on 32 tires.

The An-225 was built in 1988 for transporting the planned Russian space shuttle “Buran”. The commission was in 1989. The Russian shuttle program was cancelled in 1994 and the only ever-built Mriya was retired and stored. It wasn't until 2001 that it was made airworthy again. Since then, the An-225 has been flying special charters for extra large cargo. A second aircraft is currently being built. The future of the cargo market will decide whether even more of these monster aircraft will be manufactured.

© LK

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© Lukas Kirchner 2005