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AN-225 Mriya

There is only one An-225 aircraft that is nowadays in service. A second An-225 was partly built, but was stored before it was finished. Early 2002 Antonov was working again on this second aircraft to bring it to flying status. It is possible that more aircraft of the type will be built, depending on market demand.

On 21 December 2013 a quarter of a century had passed from the maiden flight of the AN-225 Mriya (Dream), the worlds biggest transport designed by ANTONOV Company. It is a legendary and absolutely unique aircraft. The day 07 May 2001 can be considered as the Mriyas second birth. That day the second first take-off of the modernized AN-225 intended for work in the market of commercial cargo transportations was performed. To that time ANTONOV had a number of orders on delivery of cargoes, whose weight and dimensions surpassed the Ruslans capabilities. During a month the AN-225 performed 20 test flights having shown quite high reliability and successfully finished the certification program.

The An-225 MRIYA and the certificated An-124-100 are the aircraft of high commonality and standardisation as far as their systems, assemblies, units and parts of airframe, powerplant and equipment are concerned. On May, 26, 2001,the Interstate Aviation Committee Aviation Register (IAC AR) issued Type Certificate to the An-225 MRIYA. On May 26, 2001 when the airplane was shown publicly on the ceremony of opening new RW in Borispol Kiev airport, T.Anodina, the chairman of Aviation Register of Interstate Aviation Committee (AR IAC) handed over the AN-225 Type Certificate to ANTONOV Company.

This way a new chapter in the life of this amazing airplane that works in the Antonov Airlines fleet reliably serving to people has been started. Besides numerous transportations of the unique cargoes the AN-225 repeatedly participated in humanitarian operations on liquidation of consequences of natural disasters in different countries. During last several years it delivered cargoes to Samoa (USA), Japan, Haiti and Philippines.

On the eve of the 2013 jubilee, State Aviation Administration of Ukraine approved the documents to extend the aircraft service and operational time of 20000 flight hours, 4000 flights, 45 years of operation. It means, that AN-225 will be operated till 2033 as minimum. Designers of the AN-225 are sure there are many glorious affairs wait for this airplane. This aircraft meets the Antonov Airlines slogan: No other name carries more weight in the best way.

The Soviet Union collapsed in December 1991, and as 1992 dawned the An-225 was a Ukrainian product. After collapse of the Soviet Union in December 1991, financing of Energiya-Buran program was terminated and the project stopped. In 1994 Mriya stopped its flights also.

In the 1990s the An-225 was considered as the basis for development of several aerospace systems including Russian project of Molnia Research-and-production enterprise, Svityaz system of Ukrainian Yuzhnoye Design Bureau, air-marine rescue system with Orlenok airfoil boat of Research-and-production enterprise named after R.E.Alekseyev. Design activity to use the aircraft as a flying launch system for future aerospace systems wss conducted. One of the most interesting and promising projects the MAKS joint Russian/Ukrainian multipurpose aerospace system. When used as a space vehicle air launcher, the aircraft would be fitted with the equipment required for prelaunch preparation of aerospace systems. Implementation of these projects will allow considerably reducing the cost of injecting payloads into the space.

In August 1993, the AN-225 took part in Moscow Air Show held in Zhukovskiy town, Moscow region; in December that year the aircraft was displayed at Dubai (UAE). In 1994, Singapore and Sharjha greeted the giant. In April 1994 the AN-225s flights were stopped.

In the Summer of 2000 the recovery and upgrading works on the AN-225 began. ANTONOV in cooperation with Motor Sich performed those works by their own funds. On May 7, 2001 the upgraded Mriya rose into the sky (crew captain A.Galunenko).

In June 2001, Mriya was displayed at the 44th Le Bourget Air Show (France). Within one flight on September 11, 2001 Mriyas crew headed by A.Galunenko set 214 national and 124 world records including: airlift of a cargo weighting 253.82 t to the altitude of 2000 m; speed of 763 km/h reached on 1000-km closed route with a cargo of 250 t; airlift of a cargo weighting 250 t to the altitude of 10570 m. Four tanks offered by the Ukraine's Ministry of Defense were used as a commercial cargo on "Mriya" board to fix the record. These records were overshadowed by other events that day.

A silver coin with the Mriya image became the first in Aircraft of Ukraine series of coins produced in 2002 by National Bank of Ukraine. At the 3rd Aviasvit-XXI Air Show, on September 18, 2002 ten strongest athletes of Ukraine pulled the AN-225 over several meters. This record was included into the Guinness Records Book.

When the Corps of Engineers' Task Force Restore Iraqi Electricity was formed in September of 2003, the only power produced out of the Bayji site was from three generators at the Thermal plant producing approximately 210 megawatts (MW). RIE's mission was to provide 184 MW of new power generation and place four existing gas turbines on the electrical power grid. Six General Electric TM 2500s were located in Guadalajara, Mexico, and one more in Guyana, Africa. Finally a Vulcan AMPS unit was located in Florida, USA, to complete the search. In order to meet the timeframes required by the Coalition Provisional Authority, Russian Antonov (An-225 Mriya) air freighter was rented for numerous flights to Turkey to deliver the eight mobile units and the other construction materials required. The major materials were delivered to the Bayji site between October 18 and December 17, 2003.

Ukrainian heavy transport airplane An-225 "Mriya" found its place on the pages of the Guinness book of records as the transport vehicle with the longest list of aviation records. According to the Antonov's plant press-service International Aviation Federation (FAI) has registered 6 world records set up by this airplane on June 16, 18 and 19, 2004. Thus, the total number of records fixed by the plane make 240. The representatives of the Antonov press service informed that 240 world records demonstrated by An-224 (with max cargo weight of 640860 kg on its board) had opened the way for "Mriya" to the Guinness book of records.

On June 16, 2004, while carrying a cargo of 247 t on the AN-225 from Prague (Czechia) to Tashkent (Uzbekistan), the crew headed by A.Moiseyev set six world records. In particular, the experts registered the speed records of two S-1 and S-1t transport turbojet planes (with the take off weight exceeding 300 tons) at three air routes confirmed by FAI. The speed of "Mriya" on the Prague-Moscow route was 684,67 km/h, during the flight from Kyiv to Ulyanovsk - 662 km/h and the air distance from Kyiv to Tashkent was covered with the speed of 693,2 km/h.

From November 10-11, 2004 the Mriya carried six agricultural airplanes from Adan (Turkey) to Tripoli (Libya) for combating locust invasion. On October 5, 2005 AN-225 Mriya delivered a General Electric mobile electric station weighting 145 t from Athens (Greece) to Houston (USA). On December 3, 2005 the Mriya carried 75 thousand boxes with presents for Ukrainian children within a beneficent action "Samaritan's Purse". In 2005 British specialists included the AN-225 Mriya in the list of thirteen the most famous airplanes in the history of aviation. Images of these airplanes were printed on thirteen silver coins produced by British Mint in honour of aviation centenary. Face-value of the coin is 25 Solomon Islands dollars.

At the end of August 2007, the only fully operational AN-225 in the world arrived with a payload of jet engines for Boeing. Designed to carry the Russian space shuttle, the AN-225 has a 290-foot wingspan, a 275-foot-long fuselage, and a maximum gross weight of 1,411,000 pounds. It required special precautions during its arrival, departure, and taxi operations. Before its visit, Airport Operations, Air Traffic Control, and Boeing representatives developed a precise taxi and parking plan.

On August 11, 2009 the AN-225 carried the heaviest in the history of aviation monocargo generator weighting 174 t, which was transported with a special frame, from Frankfurt (Germany) to Yerevan (Armenia). The total weight of the cargo was 187,6 t. This transportation was included into the Guinness Records Book. In October 2009, the Mriya performed several flights to Samoa and delivered generators needed because the tsunami destroyed the Satala Power plant. Only the AN-225 specious cargo cabin could admit ten 12-thousand kilogramme generators with size of a six-meter container each.

In February 2010, the AN-225 transported the oversized building vehicles (bulldozers, lorries, tractors, loaders) with a total weight of 108 t for elimination of the earthquake consequences on Haiti. On June 10, 2010, the Mriya carried a cargo, which became the longest one in the airlift history. Two wind turbine blades of 42.1 m long each were delivered from China to Denmark. On March 25, 2011, the AN-225 delivered humanitarian cargoes, generators and vehicles with total mass of 140 t to Japan suffered from natural disasters.

In October 2012, the AN-225 delivered equipment manufactured in Kharkiv, TURBOATOM Corporation JS, to Dushanbe for Nurek hydropower station. The cargo with total weight of 125 tons consisted of the turbine wheel with mass of 57 tons, a bonnet of the turbine - 36 tons and associated equipment. The AN-225 only could deliver such a cargo to a place of destination for one flight.

Within a period of November 9-12, 2013 the AN-225 Mriya performed transportation of a large Siemens transformer and associated equipment from Zagreb, Croatia, to Cebu, the Philippines. That delivery within the shortest possible time was vital in order to facilitate the resumption of full-power operation of the San Lorenzo Power Station. This air transportation challenge could only be met by the AN-225. The total weight of the cargo reached 180 t.

During December 1-2, 2013, Antonov Airlines performed air transportation of two green-energy tram carriages from Shijiazhuang, China, to Samsun, Turkey. Taking into account the cargo dimensions (each carriage of 20.04 x 2.88 x 3.60 m) the AN-225 Mriya, the worlds largest transport airplane with length of cargo compartment of 43.3 m, was chosen to perform this flight.

December 21, 2013 was the 25-year anniversary of the AN-225 maiden flight. For the whole operation period, the aircraft carried about 20500 t of cargo, more than 2500 of them in 2013.

On December 3, 2013, representatives of Governments and Defense Industry Complexes of Ukraine and Russian Federation paid a working visit to ANTONOV Company. The Ukrainian delegation was headed by Yuriy Boyko, Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine, the Russian one -- by Dmitry Rogozin, Deputy Chairman of the Government of Russian Federation. During the negotiations, the parties discussed in details main directions of the Russian-Ukrainian cooperation and ways of further development of the aviation field. Besides, the delegates were interested in possibility of the second AN-225 Mriya construction.

Maximum cargo capacity, t 250
ruising speed, km/h 750-850
Cruising altitude, km up to 11.6
Flight range with 200 t of cargo, km 4,000
Airfield length, m 3,000-3,500
- type TRDD D18T
- number x thrust 6 x 23,4
Aircraft external dimensions, m:
- length 84.0
- wing span 88.4
- height 18.1
Cargo hold dimension, m:
- length x width x height 43.3 x 6.4 x 4.4
- floor area, sq. m 280
- volume, cu. m 1300
Crew, pers. 6

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