The most lifting aircraft An-225 "Dream"

    Recently, the habr began to show interest in grandiose projects created in the USSR.
    An-225 "Mriya" (from Ukrainian - a dream) is one of the most famous brainchild of the Soviet defense industry.

    How it all began.

    The USSR was the largest country in area in the world, as a result of which it needed heavy transport vehicles like no other.
    The country's leadership linked the country's economic development with the massive development of Siberia, the Far East and the Far North, which required the delivery of heavy bulky goods to these areas: nuclear reactors for nuclear power plants under construction, distillation columns for petrochemical plants, giant turbines and other components of power plants. This turned each transportation into a unique transport operation, often requiring reconstruction of roads, alterations of bridges and overpasses.

    As a result, the M-52 project was developed, embodying part of its characteristics in the highly specialized An-225.
    The prerequisite for the creation of the An-225 was another unique giant of the twentieth century “Buran”

    The birth of a giant.

    Since there was no analogue to such an aircraft, its An-124 Ruslan was taken as a basis.
    Develop An-225 was required in a short time. About 3 years should have passed from the beginning of development work to the first flight.
    It was born in the department of advanced design. The first sketches of the new aircraft appeared in the department of advanced design, which was headed by O.K. Bogdanov in the second half of 1983, and by the summer of the next the appearance of the machine had already been formed.

    The main differences between the more massive elder brother and the Ruslan.
    While maintaining the fuselage cross section, its length was increased by 7 m. The fuselage was lengthened by inserting additional sections into the constant cross-section area, and external cargo attachment points were installed on its upper surface.
    Since the loads on the rear of the fuselage increased sharply, it was proposed to remove the cargo hatch from there. The number of engines increased to 6. At the same time, the wingspan was increased. The concept of the future An-225 acquired its final appearance under the leadership of P.V. Balabuev, who since 1984 headed the OKB.
    To ensure the possibility of transporting bulky goods "on the back" on the aircraft installed two-keel vertical tail.
    The electric remote control system created for Ruslan was also used in Dream. Despite the fact that the dynamics of the Dream flight is completely different, all that was needed was to make changes to the software on-board computers. Two dielectric zones in the nose fairing protect the forward-looking weather radar and ground-based shooting / navigation radar.
    The aircraft was equipped with a navigation radar, analog four-channel EDSU, radar, quad ANN, blocks of radio navigation systems “Laurent” and “Omega”.

    Due to the very large dimensions of the aircraft, there were problems with assembly, since in the USSR there was not one hangar capable of accommodating such a giant.
    And its dimensions are truly impressive.


    An-225 was born on November 30, 1988.
    Already on December 3 and 4, the aircraft made its first independent steps at the Svyatoshino factory airfield: taxiing, turning and jogging, up to a speed of 200 km / h with the rise of the front landing gear.

    In the first flight on December 21, 1988, which lasted 1 hour 14 minutes, the stability and controllability characteristics of the new aircraft were traditionally determined, various aerodynamic corrections were specified, and the operation of on-board systems and equipment was checked. The flight revealed a complete correspondence of the real characteristics of the An-225 to the calculated ones and the identity of the real behavior of the aircraft in air modeled previously at the stand. Everything went so well that the honored test pilot of the USSR A.V. Galunenko after the flight told reporters:Well, absolutely no comments. Everything is fine. The designers are suitable, and we tell them: if you continue to make such aircraft, the services of test pilots are simply not required .


    • Year of adoption - 1988
    • Wingspan - 88.4 m
    • Aircraft length - 84.0 m
    • The height of the aircraft - 18.2 m
    • Wing Area - 905 sq.m
    • Weight, kg
      - empty aircraft - 250,000
      - maximum take-off - 640,000
    • Domestic fuel - 300,000 kg
    • Engine type - 6 TVD Progress (Lotarev) D-18T
    • Thrust - 6 x 23405 kgf
    • Cruising speed - 800 km / h
    • Practical range - 15600 km
    • Range of action - 4500 km
    • Practical ceiling - 11000 m
    • Crew - 6-7 people

    Finest hour

    March 22 was one of the most significant days in the history of the An-225. He flew to break world records. After careful weighing of the cargo, the mass of which amounted to 156.3 tons, and sealing the necks of the centralized fueling, the Dream took off into the air. The countdown of the highest achievements began immediately after taking off the ground. Entering into a rivalry with the American Boeing 747-400, which then held the record for maximum take-off weight (404.8 tons), the An-225 blocked this achievement immediately by 104 tons. In that flight, not 106 were set, as was supposed, but 110 world records at once! Including a record of flight speed on a closed route with a length of 2000 km with a cargo of 155 tons - 815.09 km / h, a record of flight altitude with this cargo - 12,430 m. After 3 hours 45 minutes, "Dream" landed.

    During a short parking in Kiev, thousands of people came to see a stunning bunch of two huge aircraft. The photographs taken during the flight were probably placed by all the newspapers and magazines of the USSR.


    In August 1989, the plane leaves for an air show in Vancouver (Canada). Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, having seen the flight of An-225, said that "Soviet airmen who flew to Canada on their planes gave us a holiday." In September, “Dream” visits Prague and is shown at the CMEA Exhibition.
    The following year, the aircraft participates in the aerospace show in Farnborough (UK) and in two American air shows: in Oklahoma City and in Seattle. The world's largest aircraft attracted the attention of a huge number of Americans. As participants in those flights recall, it was likely that in those States there wasn’t such a huge line in those days that stretched to the An-225 fuselage; so many were willing to go on board. “We make the largest passenger aircraft in the world,” said Bicker spokesman Rick Haukinson. “But we bow to the Antonov-225.”
    In May 1990, the An-225, piloted by S. A. Gorbik and I. I. Bachurin, delivered a T-800 tractor from Chelyabinsk to Yakutia, the mass of which exceeded 110 tons. In the same year he made the first commercial flights.
    In 1991, the plane visited Shanon (Ireland), in 1992 - Montreal (Canada), Columbos (USA) and Las Vegas (USA)


    In 1994, the An-225 was joked at the aerodrome OKB them. O.K. Antonova in Gostomel. Time passed and it destroyed the plane. The giant’s further fate seemed rather uncertain, and gradually they began to remove engines, individual blocks of on-board equipment and install them on the Ruslans, which turned into the most important source of livelihood for the Antonov aviation complex. Fortunately, all of these expensive units were well suited for both types of aircraft - another positive consequence of the decision to develop the An-225 based on the An-124.

    Second Life

    To bury such a miracle of aircraft construction would be a crime, so they began to think about alternative use. There was, in particular, the project of converting the An-225 into a super liner for transporting 328 passengers with an ultrahigh degree of comfort on airlines with a length of up to 9,700 km, for example, on the London-Abu Dhabi-Singapore-Sydney route. In the three-deck fuselage, it was planned to place sleeping compartments, ordinary passenger salons, a shop, a restaurant and a casino. In this case, the aircraft was planned to be equipped with engines and on-board equipment manufactured by Western companies.
    For better or worse, none of these plans have been implemented.
    In the summer of 2000, almost immediately after the completion of the An-140 certification test program, restoration work began on the An-225. ANTK them. O.K. Antonova deployed them with his own money.
    By mid-November, diagnostics of the state of the airframe and aircraft systems was completed, most of the necessary parts and components of equipment were manufactured, repaired, or purchased, and the installation of engines began. Along the way, there was a modification of the An-225 into a full-fledged commercial aircraft capable of flying around the world without restrictions.
    The day of May 7, 2001 went down in the history of both aircraft, and the whole of Ukraine, and air cargo transportation in general. On this day, the "second first" take-off, if you like, the rebirth of the giant took place.
    Within a month, the An-225 completed about 20 test flights without any serious incidents, demonstrating a sufficiently high reliability and successfully completing the certification program.

    Aircraft modifications
    • An-225 is a prototype. Made 2 aircraft. First flight December 21, 1988.
    • An-225-100 is a civilian transport aircraft. It differs in the composition of the equipment, reinforced floor of the cargo compartment, converted from the first prototype.


    It is noteworthy that one of the main roles in the episodes about the destruction of Las Vegas in the film "2012" was played by the An-225 "Mriya"

    A documentary film about the plane's load in the world.

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