The Antonov 225 Mriya, or AN225, is the largest plane in the world. The six-engined behemoth was originally built for the purpose of carrying the Soviet space shuttle, the Buran. This week, it spent a couple of days in Minneapolis, and it drew a big crowd of avgeeks Wednesday night as it departed.
Video of the AN225 departure from MSP on 7/2/2014
Fox 9 of Minneapolis reported that the plane was in the Twin Cities to haul some massive air conditioners to the Middle East. Originally slated to depart on Monday evening, a paperwork delay supposedly kept the plane grounded until Wednesday night, just after 9:00PM.
People in the area took to Twitter to share their excitement and photos. Let's take a look at what some of them shared.
You can also visit this link for a large photo gallery of the Mriya, both inside and out.
Fun facts about the An-225 Mriya:
- Its maximum takeoff weight is 640 tons. It once carried a 156-ton payload, which broke 110 world aviation records.
- Compared to the largest passenger jet, the Airbus A380, the Mriya is 11 meters longer and its wingspan stretches 9 meters further.
- Each of its 6 engines has a takeoff power of 12,500 horsepower. It takes 10 minutes just to warm up the engines on departure.
- It has 13 fuel tanks, and can take up to a day and a half to fuel. With a full cargo load, it has to land and refuel about every two hours.
- The cargo hold is big enough for about 80 cars, or two 737 hulls side by side.
- It takes 10 minutes just to raise and store its cargo loading ramp.
- It also has seating for up to 18 people, comprised of crew and mechanics.
- It requires 11,483 feet of runway to takeoff when loaded.