The AN-225 is an absolute behemoth, the largest and heaviest commercial cargo aircraft in the world. It has a payload of 275.6 tons. The one-and-only model is owned and operated by Antonov Airlines, based in Kyiv, Ukraine.
The Mriya, which means dream in Ukrainian, is so big and expensive to operate that it’s only used for special jobs like carrying huge electrical transformers and mobile power generators. It was originally built in the 1980s to transport rockets and space shuttles for the Soviet space program.
Human airplane pulls are great charity fundraisers, but moving a Boeing 757 passenger plane is a walk in the park compared to the AN-225. Inquiring minds want to know: How many people does it take to move this megaplane and how quickly can they do it?
Eight — if they are beefy Ukrainian strongmen. The team moved the AN-225 14.1 feet in 73 seconds on Sept. 3, setting a national record. The plane, including fuel, weighed 361.6 tons.
The AN-225’s nose gear allows it to “kneel” so it can load and unload more easily. The twin tail, with an oversized, swept-back horizontal stabilizer, enables the airplane to carry large, heavy external loads, which would normally disturb the airflow around a conventional tail.
The Mriya headlined Ukraine’s 30th Independence Day air show celebrations earlier in the week.
Antonov Airlines is a division of Antonov Co., a Ukrainian state-owned enterprise, which designs, develops, produces and maintains the AN aircraft.