Antonov AN 225 Mriya, the largest aircraft in the world made its first landing on last Friday morning in Hyderabad at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport. The aircraft was traveling from Europe to Australia.
The aircraft stayed here for 26 hours to fix all its technical halts. After that, it departed to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Hyderabad was chosen the only airport in India for a stopover of this aircraft as this airport has all the required infrastructure, runway length, strength, taxi tracks, and communication system to handle this aircraft well.
Narinder Nath, the Chief Operations Officer, Air Shagoon told The Times of Kabul, “Another requirement for this aircraft to land was not to overfly the city having noise pollution implications”. He added, “It took around 25 days for working out the technicalities and take permission from Civil Aviation Directorate General & the airport management for landing.
Aircraft arrived from Turkman Bashi (Central Asia) and then proceeded to Jakarta, and was destined to Perth having technical halts at 3 places. The flying time of this aircraft were 26 hours divided into three days?
It is a six engined aircraft Mriya (meaning dream in Russian) is the heaviest and longest airplane of the world. It took off with a weight of 640 tons. It was carrying a generator of 133 tons, 21 crew members, and few other passengers. It was developed with an aim to transport super heavy cargo.
Only one AN-225 aircraft was built in the year 1988 which served Soviet Air Force. It remained in storage for few years after the break-up of Soviet Union. After refurbishment, it entered commercial services with Ukranian Antonov Airlines. This plane can serve only a few airports in the world considering its wing span & engine wake. The construction of second AN-225 was started in the late 1980s, but hasn’t been finished till date because of funding issues.
AN-225 carried 250 tons cargo if compared with double-decker Airbus A-380 (largest passenger aircraft in service) carrying 157 tons of Cargo and Boeing C-17 (heaviest freighter operated by Indian Air Force) carrying 80 tons of cargo. Mriya has close proximity with IAF’s aircraft. IAF has also operated Western transport aircraft with Caribou, Otter, Packet, Dakota, Avro, Flying Boxcar, and Devox prominent in it.