Sunday, 15 May 2016

Antonov 225 calls into Perth

Today the worlds largest aircraft, the Antonov 225, came into Perth Western Australia for the first time bringing in a generator for a Western Australia mine site. The stats on paper for this aircraft are pretty impressive; seeing the aircraft in real life is mind blowing. This is one of the few aircraft I thought I would never see in my life time; Air Force One was one of them and I saw that in Brisbane back in November 2014 (see blog header photo) and now the Antonov 225.
The Antonov An-225 (with the original registration of CCCP-82060 then later reregistered to UR-82060) is a strategic airlift cargo aircraft that was built in 1988 and was designed by the Soviet Union's Antonov Design Bureau to carry its Space Shuttle. The An-225's name, Mriya means "Dream". It is powered by six, yes six ZMKB Progress D-18 turbofan engines and it is the longest and heaviest aircraft ever built.
Just check out the stats below

Wingspan - 88.4 metres (290 feet) It also has the largest wingspan of any aircraft in operation.
Length - 84 metres (275 feet)
Height 18.2 metres (60 feet)
Wheels - 32
Engines - 6
Maximum speed in cruise - 850kph
Maximum takeoff weight of 600,000 kilo's  (1,322,000 pounds).

There was only one AN 225 built, a second aircraft was partially built; but its completion was halted because of lack of funding and interest.
After successfully fulfilling its Soviet military missions, it was mothballed for eight years. It was then refurbished and re-introduced, and is in commercial operation with Antonov Airlines carrying oversized payloads. The airlifter holds the absolute world records for an airlifted single item payload of 189,980 kilograms (418,834 pounds), and an airlifted total payload of 253,820 kilograms (559,577 pounds). It has also transported a payload of 247,000 kilograms (545,000 pounds) on a commercial flight. The AN 225 can only fly around 4,000 kilometers before it needs refuelling therefore today's flight actually started 6 days ago. It left Ukraine and headed to Prague, then it flew from Prague to Turkmensbashi. It flew from Turkmensbashi to Hyderabad and on to Kulala Lumpur. (The below map states Jakarta but it was actually Kulala Lumper) It stayed over night in K L before departing two hours late at 6am and touched down in Perth on Runway 21 at 11.52 local time. 
The Perth viewing area were I was was closed off when the small area got to 400 people, the airport also opened a paddock area across the otherside of the airport that took about 10,000 people. The viewing deck at the international airport was also another popular advantage point, but was also closed off when it got to capacity. The airport predicted there were around 15,000 people spread out throughout and around the airport.

It rolled right through to the end and taxied left onto Charlie 11.  It then very slowly taxied the full length of Charlie and when it arrived at the international apron it turned right and received a water canon salute.

The sheer size of this aircraft is mind blowing. I am looking forward to seeing back here in Australia one day.

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