An-225 Mriya, the world's largest aircraft with a payload capacity
of 250 tonnes, was designed and manufactured at O.K.Antonov
ASTC in 1988.
It is a derivative of the An-124 developed for various space projects.
The aircraft was specifically designed to carry cargoes externally thereby
removing many limitations of size.
It still remains capable of carrying its full payload in the normal cargo
hold. Integral on-board cargo handling equipment is standard as for the
This unique super heavy lifter was designed and constructed between 1984
and 1988 to perform the following missions:
- transportation of cargoes inside the cabin;
- transportation of oversized cargoes mounted outside the fuselage;
- to act as a carrier or first stage for various aerospace systems.
The aircraft has a capacious cargo cabin that allows the carriage of
a variety of cargoes weighing up to 250 tons. Possible loads in the cargo
compartment include sixteen standard aeronautical containers of UAK type
each holding 10 tons, or eighty cars, or any single-piece cargo weighing
up to 200 tons. The pressurised cargo cabin is 43 m long, 6.4 m wide
and 4.4 m high.
The integral cargo handling equipment, together with the design of the
forward cargo door also with integral ramp ensure quick and easy loading
and unloading operations. The external store attachment points on the
upper surface of the fuselage can accommodate cargoes with dimensions
exceeding any other air transport capabilities.
The design specification includes conveyance of assemblies up to 10 m
in diameter and 70 m in length thus providing new possibilities for the
gas, oil, mining, energy, and other industries. One of its early task
was the delivery of the Buran space shuttle orbiter between factory and
launch site. To attach these cargoes above the fuselage, an appropriate
attachment system is available.
Design work is currently under way to use the aircraft as a flying
launch system for future aerospace systems. One of the most interesting
and promising projects is the MAKS joint Russian/Ukrainian multipurpose
When used as a space vehicle air launcher, the aircraft will be fitted
with the equipment required for prelaunch preparation of aerospace systems.
Implementation of these projects will considerably reduce the cost of
injecting payloads into the space.
The An-225 MRIYA and the An-124-100 have a high degree of commonality
and standardisation of their airframe, engines, systems, and equipment.
On May, 26, 2001, the An-225 MRIYA received its Type Certificate from
the Interstate Aviation Committee Aviation Register (IAC AR).
Download a PowerPoint Presentation about the AN-225
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