The world’s heaviest plane, the AN-225, safely transported the medical cargo at short notice as part of the fight against Covid-19. Antonov Airlines has safely transported medical supplies at short notice from Germany to Namibia on the world’s heaviest aircraft, the AN-225 “Mriya”. The mission was executed under the Strategic Airlift International Solution (SALIS) programme. The AN-225, which has recently returned to commercial operation took off from its home base at Hostomel, Ukraine and flew to Liepzig-Halle airport, Germany to load the cargo destined for Windhoek, Namibia with one refuelling and rest stop in Accra, Ghana.
The AN-225 Mriya, which can transport up to 250 tonnes compliments Antonov Airlines’ fleet of seven AN-124-100s, two with a capacity of up to 150 tonnes. The medical and humanitarian cargo, provided by German Military Medical Command, was a mixture of masks, anti-viral gowns, sick meds, and other personal protective equipment (PPE), transported on behalf of Germany’s Federal Ministry of Defence at the request of the Namibian Government. Antonov Airlines frequently transports humanitarian aid on its AN-225 and fleet of seven AN-124-100s to rapidly support emergency services and governments by carrying volumes of cargo that cannot be matched by other aircraft.
The Antonov An-225 Mriya (NATO reporting name: Cossack) is a strategic airlift cargo aircraft that was designed by the Antonov Design Bureau in the Ukrainian SSR within the Soviet Union during the 1980s. It is powered by six turbofan engines and is the heaviest aircraft ever built, with a maximum takeoff weight of 640 tonnes (705 short tons; 1,410Ã—103 lb). It also has the largest wingspan of any aircraft in operational service. The single example built has the Ukrainian civil registration UR-82060. A second airframe with a slightly different configuration was partially built.
The Antonov An-225 was initially developed as an enlargement of the Antonov An-124 to transport Buran-class orbiters. The only An-225 airplane was completed in 1988. After successfully fulfilling its Soviet military missions, it was mothballed for eight years. It was then refurbished and reintroduced, and is in commercial operation with Antonov Airlines, carrying oversized payloads. 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 has also transported a payload of 247,000 kg (545,000 lb) on a commercial flight.