Antonov An-225

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Antonov An-225 Mrija
An-225 Mriya.jpg
An-225 "Mrija" in September 2008
Type: Strategic transporter
Design country:

Soviet UnionSoviet Union Soviet Union


OK Antonov

First flight:

December 21, 1988



Production time:

not mass-produced

Number of pieces:


The Antonov An-225 "Mrija" ( Ukrainian Антонов Ан-225 Мрія , German "Dream", NATO code name Cossack ) is a six-engined cargo aircraft developed by OK Antonov in the Soviet Union . It is the largest and heaviest aircraft in the world, and by the time the Stratolaunch Roc 2019 takes off, it will also be the one with the largest wingspan. Only a single copy was completed and put into operation, which also has the largest approved take-off mass of all aircraft built to date.


An-225 loading and unloading at Manchester Airport , 2006
Main landing gear

The An-225 is an enlarged further development of the four-engine An-124 Ruslan , in particular in order to be able to piggyback the Soviet space shuttle Buran . For this purpose, the hull and wingspan of the An-124 were each lengthened by around 15 meters.

  • The central wing and the parts of the wings near the fuselage were redesigned and an additional jet engine was installed on each side .
  • For the transport of the external load on the upper side of the fuselage, the conventional vertical stabilizer could not be retained, as it was now in an area of ​​turbulent air. Therefore, two corresponding vertical stabilizers were mounted on the outside of the enlarged horizontal stabilizer.
  • The upper cabin behind the cockpit, which is smaller than the An-124, has room for 70 people.
  • There was no stern ramp as on the An-124.
  • In contrast to the An-124, the main landing gear has seven twin wheel sets on both sides instead of five, of which the rear four are controllable.
  • The nose landing gear has two landing gear legs with two wheels each.
  • The tow bar for movement on the ground is the heaviest in aviation at 1.2 tons and is always carried along.



Originally, three machines were ordered under the project name 402. They were developed and built by the Soviet aircraft manufacturer Antonov under the leadership of chief engineer Petro Balabujew . In 1987, six wing parts were manufactured in the Tashkent aircraft factory and individually flown to Kiev on an An-22 using a piggyback method . The first of the machines now called An-225 was completed in 1988, while production of the second copy was discontinued.

In use 1988–1994

The An-225 with the Buran space shuttle at the Paris Air Show in June 1989

The rollout of the An-225 took place on November 30, 1988, the maiden flight on December 21, 1988. In March 1989 she set 106 weight, distance and altitude records during flight tests, including the highest flight weight with 506.8 tons. In May 1989 flight tests began with the space shuttle Buran (105 tons maximum weight). In June 1989 the machine with the Buran was shown for the first time in the west at the Paris Aérosalon . ( Aircraft registration number : SSSR-480182 , from June 1989 SSSR-82060 , from 1992 UR-82060 ).

The An-225 was a regular guest at the Moscow Aerosalon and also at the Aerosalon in Singapore until 1994 . After the Buran program was discontinued , the An-225 Mrija was initially decommissioned in April 1994.

In use since 2001

View when landing, stern with blue stripes
In new livery in August 2009 in Frankfurt-Hahn
Landing of the An-225 in Warsaw Chopin, April 14, 2020

When many factories were privatized in Ukraine and the other states of the former Soviet Union , the An-225 was reactivated.

The second first flight took place in Kiev on May 7, 2001, and in June 2001 she returned to the Paris Aérosalon. Since December 2001 - after receiving all the necessary permits and taking out appropriate insurance for the international air freight service - the aircraft has been operated worldwide as a means of transport for special tasks by the Ukrainian Antonov Airlines in charter traffic .

From autumn 2008, the An-225 got a different exterior color scheme. The red decorative stripe was replaced by a blue one, whereby the appearance of the machine was adapted to that of the An-124 operated by Antonov Airlines. In August 2009 there was another change. Since then, based on the Ukrainian national colors, a curved blue line has been running below a curved yellow line along the hull.

From the first flight in 1988 to 2012, the aircraft had over 1,000 take-offs and landings. With only around 5,000 flight hours by then, it is still a long way from reaching the planned operating time of 24,000 hours.

When not in use, the An-225 is parked at Hostomel Airport in Kiev.

In 2019 and 2020 the machine was overhauled over 18 months and received a new control program for the six D-18T engines. At the end of March 2020, she successfully completed a two-hour and a shorter test flight.

The first commercial flight after a break of over a year took off on April 11, 2020 from Kiev to Tianjin in the People's Republic of China . With a refueling stop in Almaty in Kazakhstan , she flew on April 12th via Mongolia and the Gobi Desert to the Tianjin Binhai International Airport in the port city southeast of Beijing. There the machine with flight number ADB354F was expected shortly after 11 p.m. local time and loaded with "medical equipment" to fight the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe. The An-225 then flew from Tianjin to Poland . On Tuesday, April 14th, she landed at Warsaw Chopin Airport in the Polish capital, Warsaw, with an estimated seven million masks, several hundred thousand overalls and several hundred thousand helmets.

The second An-225

The construction of the second machine continued slowly and has not yet been completed. It is now completely stored in the Kiev plant. In 1998 there were efforts to complete the unfinished machine for the cargo charter company Air Foyle ; the cost of this was estimated by Air Foyle at 160 million US dollars. They even thought about building a third machine. The plan was to use it as a transporter for parts of Delta and Atlas launchers or aircraft sections , because the entire fuselage of a Boeing 737 can fit into the fuselage of the An-225.

A second initiative to revive the project took place at the end of September 2006. According to the Ukrainian media, Nikolai Rudkowski , the country's transport minister , announced the completion of the second machine after a visit to the manufacturer. As a result, up to US $ 120 million from Ukrainian government funds should be made available to complete the aircraft by mid-2008. However, there have been no further announcements or explanations since 2006. The last available photos from 2004 show the machine in a well-preserved, but still very rudimentary condition. On August 20, 2008, the machine was pushed outside for a day.

In 2012, the general manager of Antonov Airlines said that due to the sharp decline in bookings as a result of the global financial crisis, the assembly of the second aircraft would probably never take place. In 2011 and 2012, the An-225 was used at most once or twice a month and, for example, was not used for a single flight from May to October 2012.

At the end of August 2016, Antonov announced that it had signed a cooperation agreement with the Chinese aviation company Aerospace Industry Corporation of China (AICC). Antonov now wants to complete, modernize and deliver the second An-225 to AICC. After that, a license version is to be mass-produced in China. The sale of this license to AICC, "an import and export company with an office in Hong Kong", is seen as a "negative [s] signal for the Ukrainian aircraft industry" and a sell-out of the Ukrainian aviation industry. On the other hand, it is seen as a way to enable financing for additional aircraft.

Flyover of the An-225 at Chopin Airport in Warsaw, April 14, 2020

Further development

An enlarged and improved version with eight engines and the name An-325 was planned, but was not realized.


Front view of the An-225 at Lajes Field

The An-225 holds the following records for the heaviest air cargo transported in an aircraft:

  • Oil pipeline equipment weighing 247 tons on a flight from Prague to Tashkent on June 16, 2004.
  • Heaviest single package. It is about a 190-ton generator for a gas-fired power plant that was transported to Armenia on August 11, 2009 with the An-225 from Frankfurt-Hahn Airport . This flight also received an entry in the Guinness Book of Records .

Technical specifications

Three-sided tear
Parameters Data
crew 7 people, 6 of them in the cockpit
length 84 m
Wingspan 88.4 m
Wingspan tail tail 32.65 m
Wing area 905 m²
Wing extension 8.63
Wing loading minimum (empty weight): 193 kg / m²
maximum (max. starting weight): 663 kg / m²
height 18.1 m
Cargo space dimensions Length: 43.3 m,
width: 6.4 m,
height: 4.4 m
Cargo hold volume 1220 m³
Empty mass approx. 175 t
Max. Takeoff mass approx. 640 t
Max. Payload internal: 345 t
external: 110 t
Top speed 850 km / h
Service ceiling 11,000 m
Range without payload: 15,400 km
with 200 t payload: 4,500 km
with maximum payload: 2,500 km
Start way with maximum payload: 3500 m
Engines 6 turbofan engines ZMKB
Lotarjow D-18 T with 229.85 kN thrust each
Aircraft registration UR-82060

See also

Comparison of the Antonov An-225 with other large aircraft:
Airbus A380 , Antonow An-225 , Boeing 747-8I , Hughes H-4 , Scaled Composites Stratolaunch


  • A. Golz, T. Pfeiffer: Giant of the skies in continuous Corona use. In: FliegerRevue , No. 7/2020, pp. 14-16

Web links

Commons : Antonov An-225  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Aircraft Lexicon : Antonov An-225 ( German ) In: . Archived from the original on May 4, 2010. Retrieved November 10, 2010.
  4. After months of modernization: the world's largest aircraft is taking off again. March 31, 2020, accessed April 2, 2020 .
  5. Patrick Zwerger: After a maintenance break: The Antonow An-225 is back. March 25, 2020, accessed April 2, 2020 .
  6. Antonov An-225: The largest airplane in the world flies seven million masks to Europe. April 12, 2020, accessed April 13, 2020 .
  7. Photo of the second An-225 in the workshop; September 2004 ,
  8. Photo of the second An-225 outdoors
  9. Laster der Lüfte , Süddeutsche Zeitung, October 22, 2012, available online as PDF at: Andreas Spaeth: Laster der Lüfte (PDF; 125 kB)
  10. China and Ukraine agree to restart An-225 production. In: Retrieved December 2, 2016 .
  11. China is building the largest transport aircraft, the An-225, in cooperation with a Ukrainian company . In: RT German . ( [accessed December 18, 2017]).
  12. ^ André Ballin: Antonow An 225: A giant bird on a rolling course. In: September 2, 2016, accessed December 2, 2016 .
  13. Antonov AN-225 - new hope for the largest aircraft in the world. June 28, 2018, accessed August 27, 2019 .
  14. ^ An-225 sets new record for payload., June 29, 2004.
  15. series of pictures, u. a. largest freight item loaded in Antonov., accessed on April 7, 2010.
  16. SWR report 200 tons take off - How an aviation record is set on Youtube, accessed on July 24, 2018.
  17. a b projection . Antonov Company. Retrieved December 28, 2015.
  18. GuinessWorldRecords: Largest aircraft by weight (ever) . In: GuinessWorldRecords (Ed.): Guinness World Records . ( [accessed March 28, 2018]).
  19. ^ Greg Goebel: The Antonov Giants: An-22, An-124, & An-225 . October 1, 2011. Archived from the original on June 29, 2011. Retrieved October 22, 2011.
  20. Karsten Palt: Antonov / Antonov An-225 Mrija - technical data / description. In: Retrieved June 29, 2016 .