The world’s largest aircraft Antonov An-225 Mriya, a defence cargo aircraft, designed by the erstwhile Soviet Union’s Antonov Design Bureau in the 1980s, landed on Hyderabad airport on Friday, marking the first-ever visit by such plance here.
The cargo was transcontinental route airlifting load between 180-230 tonnes belonging to Anil Ambani-led Reliance Defence equipment being imported from ANtonic Company of Ukraine for the assembly, manufacture, and maintenance and repair of its platforms in India, both for the commercial and the military market.
Reliance Defence JV with Antonov in Ukrain will be engaged in an overhaul of the HAL project to manufacture 50-80 seat passenger aircraft programme in India, besides its application for transport, maritime patrol and other military roles. India is reportedly in need of 200 medium lift turbofan aircraft.
Powered by six turbofan engines, it is the longest and heaviest airplane ever built, with a maximum takeoff weight of 640 tonnes and has the largest wingspan of any aircraft in operational service.
The Antonov An-225, initially developed for the task of transporting the Buran spaceplane, was an extended version of Antonov An-124 and it was first completed in 1988. But it ran into problems eight years later and was then refurbished and re-introduced for commercial operations to carry oversized payloads.
The airlifter carried world record single item airlifted with a payload of 189,980 kilograms and a total payload of 253,820 kilograms. Other rivals to Antonov An-225 include Hughes H-4 Hercules, Airbus A380-800, and Boeing 747-8.
Mriya means "Dream" in Ukrainian and the aircraft’s specs are:
Length: 84 m
Top speed: 850 km/h
Weight: 285,000 kg
Unit cost: $200 to $250 million (2013)
Engine type: Progress D-18T
First flight: December 21, 1988
Wingspan: 88.4 m (290 ft 0 in)
Height: 18.1 m (59 ft 5 in)
Wing area: 905 m2 (9,740 sq ft)
Aspect ratio: 8.6
Empty weight: 285,000 kg (628,317 lb)
Max takeoff weight: 640,000 kg (1,410,958 lb)
Fuel capacity: 300,000 kg
Cargo hold – volume 1,300 m3 (46,000 cu ft), length 43.35m, width 6.4m, height 4.4m
Powerplant: 6 × ZMKB Progress D-18 turbofans, 229.5 kN (51,600 lbf) thrust each.
Maximum speed: 850 km/h (528 mph; 459 kn)
Cruising speed: 800 km/h (497 mph; 432 kn)
Range: 15,400 km (9,569 mi; 8,315 nmi) with maximum fuel; range with 200 tonnes payload: 4,000 km (2,500 mi)
Service ceiling: 11,000 m (36,089 ft)
Wing loading: 662.9 kg/m2 (135.8 lb/sq ft)