Soviet Plane Is the World’s Largest Aircraft
Watch a video of it land and take off at the bottom
The “Spruce Goose” has nothing on the Antonov An-225 Mriya. Unlike the famous Howard Hughes prototype, this mammoth of a plane actually takes off—well, barely. Initially developed to transport space shuttles, the Antonov An-225 is the world’s longest (at 275 feet) and heaviest (600 tons) aircraft ever built—as well as having the longest wingspan of all time, measuring 290 feet from wingtip to wingtip. It’s powered by six turbo engines and equipped with a 32-wheel landing gear system.
Despite the monumental feat of engineering, only one model was ever built; the Soviet Union fell shortly after its completion in 1988. These days, the Antonov An-225 flies only once or twice a year, carrying heavy air cargo like generators or wind turbine blades. It’s often used to carry aid in response to natural disasters, too. The Mriya’s most recent job was delivering a 117-ton generator to Perth, Australia. Take a visual tour of the plane below. Watch the plane take off from Perth in a video at the bottom.The Antonov An-225 Mriya landing at Perth International airport on May 15, 2016 in Perth, Australia. (Paul Kane/Getty Images) A detail shot of the Antonov An-225 nose (Noah Seelam/AFP/Getty Images) A detail shot of the Antonov An-225 landing system (Noah Seelam/AFP/Getty Images) The flight deck of the Antonov An-225 Mriya (Dream) super heavy cargo aircraft, jointly rebuilt by Antonov aviation design bureau and Ukraine’s Motor-Sych, is seen at the Antonov flight and test base at Gostomel airport near Kiev, Ukraine, on May 19, 2011. The world’s largest plane was grounded for seven years for improvements to correspond to international safety standards. (Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty Images) The Antonov An-225 is pictured after landing at the Oslo Airport, on June 19, 2014, as it carries Norwegian military material from Afghanistan. As a member of NATO, Norway has soldiers in Afghanistan. (Heiko Junge/AFP/Getty Images)
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