Meet the world’s largest aircraft: The Antonov An-225 Mriya

The Antonov An-225 Mriya (which means “Dream” in Ukrainian) is the heaviest airlift cargo aircraft to have ever taken off in the sky. It is powered by six turbofan engines and is the longest and heaviest airplane ever built, with a maximum takeoff weight of 640 tonnes. An-225 was designed, due to the necessity to create the air transport system for the Soviet reusable Space Shuttle Buran. This is the only aircraft in the world.

The An-225 has since become the workhorse of the Antonov Airlines fleet, transporting objects once thought impossible to move by air, such as locomotives and 150-tonne generators. It has become an asset to international relief organizations for its ability to quickly transport huge quantities of emergency supplies during disaster relief operations.

Due to high air transportation costs demanded by the Antonov An-225, the orders appear only for very long or ultra-heavy load, when carrying by ground transport is impossible. Flights are random and occur from 2-3 times a month up to 1-2 times a year. Sometimes the construction of a second An-225 is discussed, but for the previously discussed reasons, corresponding order and financing are required. About $ 90 million is necessary to complete the construction of the aircraft. Taking into account the aircraft testing costs, this sum increases up to $ 120 million.

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