Antonov An-225 Mriya,
(translates to "Dream"), built in the Ukraine, has been given
the NATO reporting name of "Cossack". It is a stretched derivative
of the An-124 "Condor" built for the special purpose of carrying
massive "piggyback" cargoes. This huge machine carries incredible
payloads of up to 250 tons, offering unrivaled ability to move
very large items of freight over respectable distances. But the
An-225 has not so far been used to its full potential.
An-225 restores the distinction of being the world's largest aircraft
to the Antonov Design Bureau, although the market for such a super
heavy carrier remains open to debate at present.
on the huge An-124,
itself larger than the U.S. C-5 Galaxy, but with a 50% improvement
in payload, the An-225 is simply the largest aircraft ever built,
and flown more than once. The An-225 added 50 feet to stretch
the fuselage, 6 engines instead of 4, and 7 pairs of wheels per
side instead of 5. It also utilized a newly designed wing root
assembly to support a 50 foot increase in wing length. This flying
enigma was developed to replace 2 Myasischev VM-T Atlantis, converted
"Bison" bombers, used to carry outsized loads associated with
the Soviet space program's Energia rockets.
sole An-225 first flew
on December 21st, 1988 and made an unprecedented appearance with
the Buran space shuttle on its back on May 13th, 1989 at the Paris
Air Show. The An-225 appeared at a time when Soviet aviation was
at it's peak, and new designs were stunning Western analysts at
every air show.
Antonov update program involves the addition of modern navigation
and communication avionics, a collision avoidance system, and
modifications to reduce the noise signature of the aircraft. First
flight of the modified An-225 was on 7 May 2001. If the An-225
proves commercially successful, Antonov may update the other An-225
earlier Antonov designs, the An-225 has no rear cargo doors, relying
on a hinged nose instead. As well as being the main cargo loading
area, the nose contains weather radar and downward-looking terrain
avoidance and ground mapping radar. The nose wheel assembly also
"kneels". As it retracts on the ground, it enables greater access
to the cargo bay for extremely long freight modules. The 7 pairs
of main bogies, on each side are needed to support the massive
weight of the aircraft and it's cargo. This unique design has
the added feature of rear wheel steering in the aft 4 wheel assemblies.
But, with the breakup of the USSR, the crumbling of the Russian
space program meant that it is an aircraft without a job. Most
of the colossal Mriya's career has been spent in storage and it
has been cannibalized for parts. Plans to make it a launcher for
Britain's HOTOL spacecraft have failed to materialize. A second
example of the An-225 remains uncompleted and unwanted. However,
as the An-124 has proven profitable in the commercial heavy-lift
market, the An-225 is now being offered for the same work. The
Antonov bureau has refurbished one of the An-225s for commercial
operations, including transport of bulky cargoes and outsized
cloud forms across the wing of the An-225 under humid, low-pressure
Empty - 770,000 lbs. Max Load - 1,320,000 lbs.
Heavy transport for outsized and very heavy cargo. A crew of
up to12 are involved in carrying the Energia Rocket. If used
to carry troops, it could accommodate over 600.
- 290 ft.
- 276 ft.
- 60 ft.
Area - 9,738 sq. ft.
even comes close to the An-225. Even the An-124 can only carry
60% of it's payload. The Mriya's payload weight is actually equivalent
to the weight of one and a half empty C-5 Galaxies.
distance is dictated by the size of the ship. The larger the aircraft,
the longer it usually needs to get airborne. Even with it massive
wing and 6 engines, the Mriya still takes off in a long distance,
but not much more than it's brother or the C-5.
March 22nd, 1989, the An-225 established 106 payload records.
An-225 is nearly twice the size of the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy.
it record-breaking flights, the An-225 took off at an all-up
weight of 1,118040 pounds, with a 156 ton payload.
flight control system uses a fly-by-wire system like the Su-27.