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Wow, what was the world’s largest plane doing in Malaysia?

Recently our country was fortunate enough to host the Antonov An-225 Mriya. A massive tank of an airplane that a few days ago landed at KLIA to refuel for one last time before heading off to Sydney, AustraliaIt’s mission? To deliver a 130 ton (130,000 KG!) mining generator (and the stuff that comes with it).

Image from gelio.livejournal.com

 

130 tons??? How big of an airplane are we talking about here?

The Antonov An-225 Mriya (Mriya means ‘dream’ in Ukranian) is a beast. It’s 84 meters long, 18 meters high, and has a wingspan of 88 meters. If none of that made any sense to you, how’s about this for some perspective:

  • It can carry up to 80 cars
  • It can fit a whole Boeing 747 in it
  • AND it’s mainly used to transport the things that no one in their right minds would ever even think about transporting by air.

Like this plane could literally keep eating up things like Pac-man going om nom nom nom.

antonov transport submarin

*Nom*

antonov transport trucks

*Nom nom*

antonov transport train

*Om nom nom nom nom*

It can transport all these because this crazy Godzilla of a plane is designed to be able to take off as long as its total weight does not exceed 640 tonnes (640,000 KG)!

 

This huge plan was actually built during a war!

Mriya was designed by the Antonov Design Bureau in Ukraine during the Cold War.

In short, the Cold War was a sort of war between the US and the Soviet Union. Sort of because it wasn’t the kind of war with bombs flying, or guns blazing, or all out bloodshed, but the kind where two huge countries kept trying to expand their influence. Think of it as two very competitive siblings who would stop at nothing to get ahead of each other and quite frankly don’t even want to talk to each other. Hence the word ‘cold’. #chehnotrealwar #ihatecilisos

winter soldier aeroplane

Because Soviet assassin. Original image from bustle.com

Anyway, back then Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union, and as the story goes, the plans to make huge planes came about when the Soviet Union had this crazy idea to send their shuttles to place by first putting them ON a plane! The planes would fly close to the orbit then the shuttles would launch from there. So they ordered 2 of these huge planes to be made.

“In keeping with the Soviet penchant for building the world’s biggest everything, the An-225 was designed to carry twice as much as a Boeing 747 freighter.

The An-225 made its international debut in a style befitting its dimensions: by landing at the 1989 Paris Air Show with the Buran space shuttle on its back.” – Popular Mechanics

mother russia rockets

Mriya transporting a rocket. Original image from popularmechanics.com

Built with 6 engines and 42 tyres, the Mriya is capable of flying at a max speed of 850 kmph, and it has also set numerous world records, among those being:

  1. The transportation of the heaviest cargo – Recorded to be 253 tonnes.
  2. The heaviest single piece of cargo with mass of 186.7 tonnes.
  3. The longest cargo with a length of 42.1 m.

Here are some pictures of the interior of the plane.

plane interior 1

Image from gelio.livejournal.com

plane interior 2

Image from antonov-an.com

plane interior 3

Image from Tim De Groot on airliners.net

All that power isn’t without its costs la. The Mriya actually uses 24 tonnes of fuel an hour! But don’t worry because it’s able to carry about 300 tonnes of fuel (some say up to 355 tonnes even).

Butttt they only managed to make one because the Soviet Union collapsed shortly after. So Mriya is actually the only one of its kind.

 

And Malaysia is the only ASEAN country to ever host this ginormous plane

antonov mriya klia

The Mriya at KLIA. Image from The Malay Mail Online.

Yeap, the ONLY ASEAN country to have hosted Mriya, this isn’t the first time it has come here.

“In 2007, the plane landed here at KLIA and brought five helicopters for the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace exhibition.

The plane was supposed to land at the Langkawi International Airport, but unfortunately the airport apron there could not cater for the plane’s wingspan.” – Malaysia Airports Bhd airsite operations senior executive M. Kathi, as quoted by The Star

We couldn’t exactly find out why it has only landed in Malaysia when it comes to ASEAN countries, but it could be a combination of factors such as it only flies once or twice every year, and that Malaysia was just a strategic stop on it’s way from Ukraine to Australia.

flight path antonov mriya

In fact, some report that the actual flight path had Jakarta in it, instead of Kuala Lumpur. Image from dailymail.co.uk

But regardless of the reason, the plane has already left and delivered the goods to Australia, and is already on its way back to Ukraine.

And it was cool to be able to have hosted the world’s biggest plane not once, but twice now. We do apologise that we couldn’t inform y’all about it earlier, but if it ever do comes around again, we hope to be able to tell y’all about it so you’d be able to see it in…plane sight. Hehe.

nah read more ugaiz

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