Weight & dimensions
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The Antonov An-225 Mriya (Ukrainian: Антонов Ан-225 Мрія, lit. ’dream’ or ‘inspiration’; NATO reporting name: Cossack) is a strategic airlift cargo aircraft that was designed by the Antonov Design Bureau in the Ukrainian SSR within the Soviet Union during the 1980s. This remarkable aircraft has developed a cult following around the globe, with thousands thronging airports where it is expected. Two AN-225s were proposed, but only one aircraft was finished, with the other remaining in a 4060 to 70% completed stage to date.
The An-225 was developed to haul the Soviet Buran space shuttle, and it has the biggest payload capacity of any civilian and military airplane in existence. After sitting abandoned for eight years after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Mriya was re-engined and repurposed for commercial cargo operations. It also participated in worldwide relief efforts conveying medical supplies from China across the globe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The airlifter holds the absolute world record for an airlifted single-item payload of 189,980kg (418,830lb), and an airlifted total payload of 253,820kg (559,580lb). It has also transported a payload of 247,000kg (545,000lb) on a commercial flight.
Sadly, on 27th February 2022, the An-225 was destroyed by invading Russian forces in its hangar at Antonov Airport, Hostomel in Ukraine, in what many consider an act of aviation terrorism.
The An-225 was one of the largest aircraft ever made.