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.