Ukraine-made AN-225 ‘Mriya’ meaning ‘Dream’ in Ukrainian qualified as the world’s largest cargo aircraft before it was reportedly burned on an Hostomel Airport outside Kyiv due to Russian shelling.
The aircraft was destroyed by Russian troops in the second air attack on the Hostomel (Gostomel) airport near Kyiv.
The largest aircraft in the world was destroyed today by Russian troops battling on an airfield near Kyiv, Ukraine’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba said, as Moscow continued its assault on its neighbor during the fourth day of its invasion.
AN-225 Mriya was manufactured by Ukrainian aeronautics company Antonov. The aircraft, which first took off in 1988, was used to transport large amounts of humanitarian aid around the world, especially at short notice. It was also used to transfer Soviet spacecraft.
According to Wikipedia, as an oversized aircraft, the Antonov An-225 Mriya held multiple records which included; heaviest aircraft ever built, and the largest wingspan of any aircraft in operational service.
Other records held by the An-225 were cargo-related in terms of weight and length as the Antonov An-225 had the capability to carry up to 640 tonnes (705 short tons). The An-225 attracted a high degree of public interest, so much that it had managed to attain a global following due to its size and its uniqueness.
Records Held by An-225 Mriya (Source Wikipedia)
The airlifter holds the absolute world record for an airlifted single-item payload of 189,980 kg (418,830 lb),and an airlifted total payload of 253,820 kg (559,580 lb). It also transported a payload of 247,000 kg (545,000 lb) on a commercial flight.
On 11 September 2001, carrying four main battle tanks at a record load of 253.82 tonnes (279.79 short tons) of cargo, the An-225 flew at an altitude of up to 10,750 m (35,270 ft) over a closed circuit of 1,000 km (620 mi) at a speed of 763.2 km/h (474.2 mph).
On 11 August 2009, the heaviest single cargo item ever sent by air freight was loaded onto the An-225. At 16.23 m (53 ft 3 in) long and 4.27 m (14 ft 0 in) wide, its consignment, a generator for a gas power plant in Armenia along with its loading frame, weighed in at a record 189 tonnes (417,000 lb).
On 11 June 2010, the An-225 carried the world’s longest piece of air cargo, two 42.1 m (138 ft) test wind turbine blades from Tianjin, China, to Skrydstrup, Denmark.