The Antonov An-225 Mriya is Effectively the Largest Metal Bird in Existence

By: | May 17th, 2016

The world has changed a lot since 1903 when the Wright Brothers made the first successful flight. Now, we have gigantic planes in the air, thousands of tons of metal flying, carrying hundreds of passengers at a time such as the Airbus A380, Boeing 747, 777, and the like. Some of these are able to accommodate over 400 passengers, complete with exclusive facilities to make the journey more pleasurable. Passengers can even get their own rooms in some planes!

Once, the Airbus A380 was known to be the largest plane. This metal bird made by Airbus was truly humongous. It is still the largest passenger plane in the world. And Emirates Airline was its biggest customer, with 75 A380s in its fleet and another 130 already ordered.

This piece of engineering is a masterpiece of design. The double-deck, wide-body vehicle is powered by four high-powered engines. The Rolls Royce Trent 900 and Engine Alliance GP7000 are among the monster engines found on this plane.

Evolution never stops, though, and the A380 has new competition to contend with, the Antonov An-225 Mriya. This leviathan of a plane isn’t so much competition, however; it far surpasses the A380 in terms of sheer scale. The Antonov An-225 Mriya is effectively the largest airplane in existence.

In the 1980s, the Soviet Union’s Antonov Design Bureau came up with this machine. It’s not just the largest plane; it is a plane that can carry maximum weight, which is equal to 52 fully matured elephants.  It is also the heaviest plane ever built and holds a total of 240 Guinness World Records.

The plane has 6 turbo engines, easily overpowering any other plane in this respect. The massive body allows the plane to gain enough uplift from the air to keep it stable. With a stupendous capacity of 300,000 kilograms, it can make long cargo journeys.

For a plane of this size, it makes sense that it would serve as a cargo plane, a fact that has solved many a logistic nightmare for companies. Before the An-225, the logistics of transporting necessary equipment like a plant generator could take years to resolve, having to break down everything into small components and then deal with the hassle of reassembly. The An-225 has become to go-to choice for such needs.

America also signed a contract with the Soviet government to use the An-225 to transport military assets. The Soviet government’s main purpose to build this massive bird was to make a lot of money out of it, and it is clear that they have succeeded.

This happens every few years; we think that this machine is the largest and nothing more can be done, but after a few years we are proved wrong. The same happened with the Airbus A380; it is still the largest passenger plane, but it isn’t even close to the size, power, and capacity of the An-225.

Let’s see what aeronautical engineers have in store for us in the future!

Paul Cook

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