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Apr-04-2010 18:22printcomments

The Antonov

A complete disassembled Boeing 737 can be fitted in the hold.

The Antonov-225 at Hostomel Airport (Antonov airport), Ukraine
The Antonov-225 aircraft at Hostomel Airport at Antonov airport in the Ukraine

(CALGARY, Alberta) - The world’s largest aircraft, the Antonov An-225 (Americans, eat your hearts out) flew out of (Alberta) Edmonton International Airport, last Wednesday evening headed for Afghanistan with three helicopters and 40 tonnes of supplies on board.

On this trip it carried one Sikorsky S-61N and two Bell 212 helicopters for “non-military use” to the U.S. military—primarily to transport people and freight.

The Ukraine-built Antonov has a wingspan of nearly 290 feet (about the length of a football field) and is capable of carrying up to 250 tonnes (about 670,000 lbs) depending on fuelling stops.

A complete disassembled Boeing 737 can be fitted in the hold.

The aircraft’s first flight in commercial service left Stuttgart, Germany on 3 January 2002, and flew to Thumrait, Oman with 216,000 prepared meals for American military personnel based in the region. This large number of ready meals was transported on 375 pallets and weighed 187.5 tons. (I can only imagine what that food tasted like.)

Originally built to carry rocket engines for the Russian space program, two An-225s were ordered (the first flew in 1988 and went into service in 1989) but only one is currently in use. The second one is partially built and work on it is apparently abandoned.

Super Structures: Antonov 225 Part 1 with Antonov's Paul Furlonger

On 11 August 2009, the heaviest single cargo item ever sent via air freight was loaded onto an Antonov 225. At 16.23 metres (53.2 ft) long and 4.27 metres (14.0 ft) wide, the consignment–a generator for a gas power plant in Armenia and its loading frame–weighed in at a record 189.09 tonnes (416,900 lb)

In February 2010, the An-225 transported 108 tonnes of construction machinery from Japan to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic for quake-stricken Haiti.

It is the major workhorse of the Antonov Airlines fleet, transporting objects once thought impossible to move by air, such as locomotives and 150-ton generators, and has become a valuable asset to international relief organizations for its ability to quickly transport huge quantities of emergency supplies during disaster relief operations.


  • Crew of 6
  • cargo volume 460,000 cu feet (could transport a disassembled Boeing 737)
  • powered by 6 Progress-D-18T engines (each 50,000 lbs of thrust)
  • landing gear of 32 wheels
  • The antonov 225 - World's largest transport plane

  • length 275.6 feet, height 59.3 feet
  • maximum speed 528 mph
  • maximum height 11,000 m (36,100 ft)
  • range with max payload 2,500 miles
  • range (empty) 9,570 miles
  • maximum take off weight 600,000 kg
  • take off run 3,500 m (11,500 ft) with maximum payload

Further information:

Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonov_An-225

Airliners.net airliners.net/aircraft-data/stats.main?id=389


Daniel Johnson was born near the midpoint of the twentieth century in Calgary, Alberta. In his teens he knew he was going to be a writer, which is why he was one of only a handful of boys in his high school typing class — a skill he knew was going to be necessary. He defines himself as a social reformer, not a left winger, the latter being an ideological label which, he says, is why he is not an ideologue. From 1975 to 1981 he was reporter, photographer, then editor of the weekly Airdrie Echo. For more than ten years after that he worked with Peter C. Newman, Canada’s top business writer (notably on a series of books, The Canadian Establishment). Through this period Daniel also did some national radio and TV broadcasting. He gave up journalism in the early 1980s because he had no interest in being a hack writer for the mainstream media and became a software developer and programmer. He retired from computers last year and is now back to doing what he loves — writing and trying to make the world a better place

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chief pilot June 19, 2012 3:41 am (Pacific time)

maximum take off weight is 640.000 kgs n53n5

Daniel Johnson April 4, 2010 7:31 pm (Pacific time)

Incredible videos. Great job, Tim!

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