Ukrainian “Mriya” (AN-225) as the World’s Best in 250 Categories
Ukrainian “Mriya” has finished the record project by the number of flights. “Antonov Avialines” has delivered the bulk generators from Chile to Bolivia via 12 consecutive flights. This is the record number in the history of the commercial exploitation of this plane on the market. The plane has transported 12 generators for the thermal power plant as per the order by Hansa Meyer Global Transport GmbH & Co. The weight delivered was about 160 tons per flight. All the safety measures and flight recommendations as well as the crew training were taken care of before the flight.
Not the First Record
On May 15 th , 2016, Ukrainian plane “Mriya” has landed in the Australian city Pert. This was the first commercial flight of the Ukrainian giant to Australia. The plane has brought a generator with the weight of 130 tons, and this is the only plane in the world that can carry such big cargos.
More than 20 thousand people came to watch the landing of the biggest plane in the world, as if it was a rock star’s concert! The airport had posted an announcement of the event beforehand, and because of the big number of people willing to see the plane, there were traffic jams around the airport.
Firstly, the plane went from Kyiv to Prague, where the generator was loaded on-board, then it departed to Australia with 3 technical stops in Turkmenistan, India, and Malaysia. “Mriya” was in the airport for more than 2 days, since only the unloading took more than 12 hours using the specially developed system of cables, blocks, and several lifting cranes.
The Long Way of the “Mriya”
The plane was projected and built on Kyiv mechanic plant under the rule of aircraft designer Victor Tolmachov. The first flight was on December, 21 st , 1988.
AN-225 was created to solve the narrow circle of the unique transport tasks of that time. There was a need for the transport system for the spaceship “Buran.” “Mriya” was supposed to transfer the components of “Buran” from the place of production to the place of launching.
In addition to that, “Mriya” was supposed to be used as the first stage of the system of the air start for the spaceship, and this required the plane’s capability to carry 250 tons. As the blocks of the rocket-carrier and “Buran” itself had sizes that were bigger than the cargo department of AN-225, there were special fastenings for the external loads developed.
However, an interesting thing is that even though the plane was being developed to transport the components of “Buran,” by the time AN-225 was built, another plane “Atlant” has carried out the most of those components.
So, “Mriya” has made 14 flights with “Buran” with the total time 28 hours and 27 minutes.
After the collapse of the USSR, it was a hard time for “Mriya.” The only flying plane has finished operation in 1994, and the equipment and components from it were used for the usage in other planes.
However, by the 2000’s, the need for “Mriya” became obvious, and the plane was renewed with the help of the common efforts of Ukrainian companies. Also, a few transformations were made in order for the plane to meet the standards of the planes for the civil aviation.
The Huge Opportunities
AN-225 is a turbo-reactive plane equipped with 6 aviation engines D-18T produced by the Zaporizhia’s enterprise “Motor Sich” with the cooperation with the construction bureau “Progres” origination from the same city.
The plane is unique by the size of its cargo cabin having the length 43 meters, width 6.4 meters, and the height 4.4 meters. The cargo cabin of the plane is hermetic making its transporting opportunities significantly bigger. There is also a cabin for 6 crew members and 88 people accompanying the cargo.
The wingspan of “Mriya” is 88 meters, the length is 84 meters, and the height is 18.2 meters (the height of a regular 6-story building). The weight of the empty plane is 250,000 kg. Even though the size is huge, the cruising speed of the plane is the same as the Boeing’s: 850 kilometers per hour. For the “Mriya” to take off, the length of the runway should be not less than 3 kilometers.
The Big Set of Records So Far
“Mriya” is the weightiest plane that has ever taken off. The only plane that exceeded AN-225 by the wingspan was Hughes H-4 Hercules, but it took off only once in 1947.
AN-225 has set a lot of world records thanks to the flight weight capabilities and load carrying capacities. On March 22 nd , 1989, “Mriya” has made a flight with 156.3 tons of cargo. This event has broken 110 world aviation records at the same time, and this combo became a record itself.
In August 2004, the Ukrainian giant has made a new achievement. It carried 250 tons of special equipment from Prague to Tashkent with the technical landing in Samara as per the order by Zeromax GmbH Company.
Furthermore, on June 10 th , 2010, the plane carried the lengthiest cargo in the history of the airplane transportation. It carried two blades of a windmill with each being 42.1 meters long.
Overall, “Mriya” has achieved around 250 world records.