Submitted by Charlton Stanley (aka Otteray Scribe), guest blogger
The news has been so dreary and downbeat lately, I thought I would post something lighter to make people smile for a moment.
Everything about the Antonov An-225 is big. The name Mriya (Мрія), means “Dream.” The NATO identification code for it is “Cossack.” NATO codes names are given according to role. For instance, cargo aircraft will be identified with a word beginning with “C.” Fighters are “F” such as “Flanker.” Bombers with a “B” (Bear), helicopters an “H” and so forth. The An-225 was not originally designed as a military aircraft, but as a carrier for the Soviet spaceplane, the “Buran.”
Oleg Antonov always thought in terms of big. His airplanes are big, sturdy and utilitarian. Their legendary An-2 Colt is the biggest single engine airplane, and looks as if it could be repaired by a tractor mechanic….using tractor parts.
When the Soviet Union broke up, the Antonov manufacturing operation became the Antonov State Company, and is located near Kiev, Ukraine. The breakup allowed companies such as Antonov to pursue commercial interests worldwide. That was good for aviation and good for customers who need to move large improbable object to the other side of the world, and do it fast.
The story of Antonov’s airplanes is long and marked by some great airplanes. Make that “great big airplanes.” The An-225 is based on the An-124 design, which is a big airplane to start with.
Follow me over the flip and get a peek at the world’s largest airplane.
This is Manchester Airfield (EGCC) on June 26, 2013. Only one of this aircraft has been completed. There is a second about 75% complete, but it will take several hundred million dollars to finish. This plane has carried cargo as diverse as a locomotive, an enormous 189 ton generator, and military supplies to coalition troops in the middle east. One has to be a serious shipper to hire this plane and crew. It cost €266,000 ($356,054) to ship a a chimney duct from Denmark to Kazakhstan in 2008.
The Wright brother’s entire first flight could have taken place inside the cargo bay.
Best viewed full screen in 1080 HD.