The Antonov An-225 Mriya
Some flying machines go on to be classics against all the odds. Who would have expected that an aircraft where only one single example was ever built would cause aviation enthusiasts to gather by the thousands wherever it flew, to simply watch it land and take off? This Flight Adventure examines the gargantuan Antonov An-225 Mriya.
Ukraine-based Antonov Design Bureau (ADB) has designed and built a vast range of aircraft since 1946. During the early 1980s, while still under Soviet rule, it was tasked with producing a heavy-lift aircraft for the military. The resulting An-124 Ruslan had a maximum gross take-off weight of around 400 tonnes. Even while this model was being built, Antonov was also requested to design an aircraft that would also be capable of carrying the Soviet equivalent of the US Space Shuttle – the Buran orbiter.<