MRIYA (AN-225) — is the biggest plane in the whole world. MRIYA is a Ukrainian language it means – A DREAM and the An-225 a military code-name, Cossack. AN-225 is today the biggest plane with the maximum cargo capability in the World. In addition, The Antonov-225 is the world’s heaviest aircraft. The Antonov’s Development Laboratory builds this single cargo plane in the 1980′s. The aircraft was build to airlift the Energia rocket’s boosters and the Buran space shuttle for the Soviet space program. The Antonov Designer Bureau in Kiev from Ukraine designed it. Its length is 84 m, height – 18 m, total cargo capacity – 250 tons. Currently there is only one operative AN-225, and it belongs to a Ukrainian air company.
In keeping with the Soviet penchant for building the world’s biggest everything, the Antonov-225 is larger than the C-5 Galaxy (the largest aircraft in the U.S. inventory) and the Airbus A380. The dimensions of the An-225 are staggering—nearly a football field from nose to tail and wingtip to wingtip. With a maximum takeoff weight of about 1.32 million pounds, it is 50 percent heavier than a fully loaded C-5A. To fly this massive aircraft into the sky, Ukrainian engineers equipped the An-225 with six ZMKB Progress Lotarev D-18T turbofan jets of which each is capable of pumping out 51,590 pounds of thrust.
As a revolutionary invention as it appears, the An-225 is derived rather than a original aircraft. It is an enlarged version of the Antonov An-124 military transport. Engineers stretched this smaller plane nearly 40 ft. and added two more engines. To distribute the weight of the fully loaded, 6-engine aircraft, the An-225 was equipped with an unusually configured with 32-wheel landing gear. Normally, only the nose gear of an aircraft is steerable but on the An-225 there are 20 steerable wheels: four in the nose gear and 16 at the rear of the 28-wheel main gear. The result an aircraft that is extremely maneuverable. Yingling Aviation was filling the six-engine plane with 65,000 gallons of fuel, said operations manager Steve LaLonde. It can hold 92,000 gallons. Making the An-225 equally agile in the air is the reason behind the plane’s signature wide split-tail. While most of the An-225 follows the lines of the smaller An-124, the modified split-tail was added to maintain the plane’s maneuverability when it carries large exterior loads. For its huge size it has, big wing with the span of 88.4 m (290 ft 2 in).The height of the wing is 18.1 m (59.3 ft) and Wing area: 905 m2.
With the breakup of the Soviet Union, the Antonov Group acquired the An-225 and began searching for a way to make the plane profitable. The An-225 boasts a payload of 551,150 pounds. If nothing can put inside then can be put on its back as large objective as 33 ft. in diameter and 230 ft. long, which can be suitably accommodated there. Moreover, it offers exceptional speed and range: The big jet cruises at nearly 500 mph and, fully loaded, it could fly nonstop from New York to Los Angeles. Armed with these impressive credentials, the Antonov Group found a business partner, Motor-Sich, the Ukrainian manufacturer that built the plane’s engines. Together they invested the equivalent of $20 million to repair the An-225 and install modern avionics.
The first hint that the investment might pay off came on Jan. 2, 2002. The plane took off from Stuttgart, Germany, on its first commercial flight, hauling 216,000 prepared meals for American military personnel in the Persian Gulf. “Bookings range from general cargo to items of over 200 tons and pieces that would only fit on the roof,” says a representative for Air Foyle Heavy Lift, the company that hopes to put the An-225 into regular service.
There is an outside chance that an An-225 will play a role in the Russian space program, as a flying first stage of the proposed MAKS Space Plane, which could fly as early as 2006.
Meanwhile, the new Airbus A-380 is challenging the status of the An-225. Scheduled to fly in 2006, it boasts a takeoff with the weight of 1,235,000 pounds, a shade lighter than the An-225.