World’s biggest plane makes rare flight


(CNN) – The undisputed superstar of the skies — the biggest airplane in the world — is taking flight on a rare delivery mission across three continents.

The biggest airplane in the world, the Antonov AN-225 Mriya, arrived from its base in Kiev, Ukraine, at Vaclav Havel Airport in Prague, Czech Republic, on May 10. Click through the gallery to see more images of this one-of-a-kind flying machine.
The biggest airplane in the world, the Antonov AN-225 Mriya, arrived from its base in Kiev, Ukraine, at Vaclav Havel Airport in Prague, Czech Republic, on May 10.

The Ukrainian cargo jet named “Mriya” is one of a kind. There is no other. That’s why the gawkers showed up Tuesday in Prague. They watched in awe as this big boy defied gravity before it touched down at Vaclav Havel Airport in the Czech Republic.

Officially designated as the Antonov An-225, the plane was developed in the 1980s to carry the Soviet version of the space shuttle on its back.

When the shuttle program ended, the plane morphed into the world’s coolest flying moving van. While in Prague, workers will load Mriya with a generator weighing 130 tons for delivery to Australia. Here’s a little perspective on what makes this thing so special.
We live in an age when most airliners are powered by two or four jet engines. This monster has six.
Its wingspan measures 290 feet (88 meters). That’s longer than five 53-foot semi-truck trailers set end-to-end.
Mriya’s cargo hold is actually longer than the Wright Brothers’ historic flight in 1903. Its maximum total weight at takeoff: 640 tons.
That’s more than twice as heavy as the Statue of Liberty.

Rare sight

To carry all that weight Mriya has 32 wheels spread across its oversized landing gear. This beauty has other nice features … like the way its nose opens to allow cargo loading through the front end. Fans also like the design of Mriya’s split tail. (Sweet!)
It’s rare to see it in action. Lately, Mriya has been making deliveries once — maybe twice — a year.
If you need to fly something big — like gargantuan oil industry equipment or a giant electric generator — this is the plane you want.
Cargo is loaded through the plane's nose. On its current mission, Mriya is transporting a giant Czech-made electric generator from Prague across three continents to Perth, Australia. Mriya's massive cargo hold is 141 feet (43 meters) long. That's longer than the Wright Brothers' historic flight in 1903.
The An-225 holds world aviation records for flying heavy payloads. It set one in 2004 when it flew a 247-ton piece of oil pipeline machinery to Uzbekistan.
From its pickup location in Prague, Mriya has scheduled stops in Turkmenistan, India and Malaysia before arriving this weekend at its final destination in Perth — on Australia’s west coast.
Thousands of spectators are expected to greet the plane and its six-member crew when it arrives, according to Antonov Company.
Then it’s back to home base in Kiev, where planners will chalk up another “mission accomplished” for the biggest plane in the world.
The Mirya has been tasked with delivering a generator that weighs more than 100 tons. It was manufactured by the Brush Sem engineering company in Plzen, Czech Republic, for Australian aluminum producer Worstely Alumina.


  1. Good to see you guys carry a balanced coverage of news,quite unlike other media outlets,that are saturated with political stench,Keep doing a great Job..


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.