Antonov 225 ‘Mriya’ holds the record as the biggest airplane in the world

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The Antonov An-255 Mriya is basically a tactical airlift cargo aircraft that was designed by Antonov Design Bureau back in the 1980s. It is not just the biggest, but also the heaviest aircraft. The design of the aircraft was specifically built to transport the Buran orbiter which was an enlargement of the successful An-12 Ruslan. The name of the aircraft, “Mriya” means “dream” in Ukranian. In 1988, the An-255 was completed and the second was only partially completed. The one that was completed is used commercially to transport oversized payloads. Since it was modeled on the former An-124, the 225 is built with fuselage barrel additions as well as the astern of the wings.

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There are two Ivchenko Progress D-18T turbofan engines installed to the fresh wing roots and a higher capacity landing gear system with 32 wheels. The ramp and cargo door were removed in order to minimize the weight while the empennage was modified into a twin tail with a horizontal stabilizer that was oversized. The twin tail has an important role since it enables the aircraft to transport large external loads that will not disrupt the aerodynamics of a regular tail. The An-225 was not intended for strategic airlifting and not suitable for short-field operations. The initial gross weight of the aircraft is 600 tons but with the addition of the reinforced flooring, the maximum gross weight reached up to 640 tons.

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