Birth of a Dream
The transport aircraft An-225 "Mriya" appeared at sunset in the USSR. Its production began in 1984 and was completed in 1988. It was created at the Kiev Mechanical Plant for a specific task that none of the aircraft in the country could handle. It was intended for the reusable space shuttle Buran. The aircraft served not only to transport the spacecraft, but also served as the first stage at its launch.
An-225 was created on the basis of the An-124 Ruslan and has a lot in common with this model. The difference lies in the longer fuselage, additional engines and a number of other modifications.
A significant difference is the two-keel shape of the tail of the Mriya. This form was used to transport the Buran. The spacecraft was mounted on the outside of the fuselage with the help of special mounts for bulky mono-cargoes. With this arrangement, the load would close the traditional single-tail tail structure. Therefore, the An-225 became two-keel.
In general, the aircraft is able to solve unique problems. Its maximum carrying capacity is 250 tons. Inside the fuselage, it is capable of transporting a 200-ton mono-cargo or, for example, 50 cars.
According to various indicators, this aircraft set about 250 world records, most of which have not been broken so far. He holds the absolute world record for carrying capacity. The plane earned it, lifting more than 253 tons of cargo to a height of 10,7 kilometers.
The “Mriya” was created not only by Kiev engineers and workers, but also by specialists from Moscow, Ulyanovsk, Tashkent, Zaporizhia, Voronezh, Gorky, that is, from all over the Soviet Union.
The fate of the "Mriya"
In total, two An-225 aircraft were created. One of them has not yet been completed. The second managed to fly a little. The Buran, for which it was created, he had to transport only once. In 1989, he took him to an air show in Paris. In 1994, engines were removed from it and put into an eternal parking lot.
In 2000, it was restored and started to operate. The last year and a half the car was waiting for its customers, passed technical maintenance and replacement of components. In 2018, he participated in the ILA-2018 Berlin Air Show. Then on May 7 he will be transporting industrial equipment from German Leipzig to Saudi Arabia. After this, a series of flights is planned for the delivery of mono-cargoes weighing up to 100 tons. After the exhibition, which will be held in Shanghai in May, the management of Antonov plans to use the aircraft in China and the USA, where there is a need for the delivery of large-sized industrial equipment.
The second, unfinished An-225 is still waiting for its buyer to finish building the car specifically for him. Now "Antonov" is almost not involved in aircraft manufacturing. The most that he manages to do after the Maidan is to repair and reconstruct old Soviet and Ukrainian aircraft.
In 2016, they were interested in an unfinished specimen in China and even signed an agreement of intent. They planned to complete the legendary Mriya and use it for commercial transportation. But soon the potential buyer abandoned his venture. After all, the An-225 is a unique, large-sized aircraft, and not every airport is able to receive it.
And this handsome man stands there, waiting for a real, caring owner to be found for him.