Description of ANTONOV AN-225
Want to rent the world’s largest cargo aircraft? You’ve come to the right page, the one of the An-225.
The Antonov An-225 is a Soviet transport aircraft that entered service in 1988. Nicknamed Mriya, the “dream” in Ukrainian, it is a unique model. It is the largest aircraft in the world and the only one equipped with six turbojets.
It is capable of transporting up to 250 tons over 4 000 to 14 000 kilometres, depending on the load. The An-225 can carry all types of cargo but it is often used for military equipment. Its first mission was the transfer of the Russian space shuttle Buran, which it carried by wedging it on its back.
NATO nicknames it “Cossack”.
The An-225 is 88 metres long, 18 metres high and is ranked third in terms of wingspan (89 metres), behind the Stratolaunch and the H-4 Hercules.
A bit of history
The Antonov An-225 was built to replace the An-124 and become the world’s longest and heaviest aircraft in service. The first time it took off, it broke more than a hundred world records, including the maximum take-off weight and the highest altitude reached with a heavy load.
However, the collapse of the USSR in 1991 put a brake on its career until 2001, when it was again operated by the Ukrainian company Antonov Airlines. In 2016, there was talk of restarting production with China, but the project was abandoned. There is therefore only one copy of the An-225.
The creation of an even more efficient aircraft, with two more reactors, was envisaged in the 1990s, but did not materialize.
The An-225 has been used in operations in Mali as well as more recently in the context of the Covid-19 epidemic. It landed at Châlons-Vatry airport to deliver masks from China to France.
It finally appears in some video games such as Battlefield: Bad Compagny 2 or Fire Department 3.