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The 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 An124

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 aerospace system.

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 download part 1 Part 1 (1.4MB) download part 2 Part 2 (1.5 MB)


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