An-225 Mriya: Antonov’s Lonely Giant

Originally designed to support the ambitious Soviet space programme, in the last two decades the unique heavylift An-225 has carried a wide variety of oversize and super-heavy commercial cargoes worldwide. Alexander Mladenov and Krassimir Grozev examine the giant freighter’s development and diverse career

Today the six-engined, twin-finned monster with a maximum take-off weight of 629 tons is operated by Ukraine’s Antonov Airlines Designed and built in the 1980s, the An- 225 was launched into the commercial world in January 2002 in order to offer unique transportation capabilities by virtue of its extra-large cargo hold and the external load carriage provision. Since then it has had mixed fortunes.

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