The Antonov AN – 225 Mriya – world’s largest cargo aircraft made it first landing at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad, India. Check out this video to really understand how big this aircraft is. Mriya means “dream” in Ukranian
Antonov AN-225 is the largest and the heaviest aircraft ever built! The aircraft is powered by six turbofan engines. The maximum takeoff weight is said to be around 640 tonnes. The aircraft is specially designed to undertake airlifting loads between 180 to 230 tonnes by the transcontinental route. The aircraft had a stopover at Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport on its way to Australia from Turkmenistan.
This magnificent aircraft holds around 240 world records and is operated by a six men crew. The aircraft is 84 metres long, 18.1 meters high and wing span of 88.4 metres. The fuel capacity is about 300,000 kgs. The aircraft’s maximum speed is 850 km per hour with a 15,400 km range. The cruising altitude is around 11,000 metres.
There were several factors like runway length, technical facilities, air traffic density and proximity of the transcontinental air route that needs to be considered for a halt and the Hyderabad airport was chosen based on its capabilities. There are only a few airports worldwide that can handle this aircrafts landing as the wing span is wider than the Airbus A380 double decker aircraft, the world’s largest passenger carrier.
Here is another interesting fact about this plane. This plane was designed to transport the Buran Space plane. It was an enlargement of Antonov AN- 124. The Antonov was built and completed in the year 1988. After fulfilling the Soviet military needs it was re-furbished and introduced as a commercial plane.