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An-225 Antonov
An-225 Mriya
ASCC codename: Cossack
Heavy Transport

Currently the world's largest airplane, the An-225 Mriya (dream) is an enlarged version of the An-124. The original purpose of the An-225 was to ferry large components used in the Soviet space program. These duties were formerly performed by a modified M-4 Molot bomber, but this aircraft did not have the payload capabilities required by the rocketry developments of the 1980s. Antonov was called upon to develop a new aircraft capable of carrying the Buran space shuttle, components of the Energiya rocket, or other large cargos required by the construction and mining industries.

To minimize the An-225 development effort, Antonov used the existing An-124 as a starting point. This design was modified by lengthening the fuselage, increasing the wingspan, adding two engines, and redesigning the tail with twin vertical fins. The rear cargo doors were also removed to reduce weight although the An-225 retains a nose door. The greater weight of the An-225 also required four additional pairs of main landing gear tires.

The An-225 took to the air for the first time in 1988 and quickly set 106 world records in just one flight. The massive plane, complete with the Buran orbiter attached, also made quite a stir at the Paris air show in 1989. However, the abandonment of the Buran program after the collapse of the Soviet Union led to the grounding of the sole An-225.

The An-225 remained in storage in Ukraine for several years until 2000. At that time, Antonov spent $20 million to upgrade the aircraft with new avionics and other modern equipment. The updated An-225, referred to as the An-225-100, entered service in 2001 as a commercial transport for heavy and oversized freight. The plane was operated jointly by Antonov and the British firm Air Foyle until 2006 when Antonov instead partnered with Volga-Dnepr.

Construction of a second An-225 had also begun during the 1980s but was stopped in 1994. However, demand for the first plane proved large enough that Antonov has discussed completing the second An-225 to the same refurbished standard as the An-225-100. This new cargo transport was said to be due for completion in mid-2008, but no further work has been performed.

Last modified 26 September 2009

First Flight (An-225) 21 December 1988
(An-225 with Buran) 13 May 1989
Service Entry

originally 1989
returned to service in 2001

CREW: six: pilot, co-pilot, four cabin crew



$300 million [2005$]

Wing Root unknown supercritical
Wing Tip

unknown supercritical

Length 275.58 ft (84.00 m)
Wingspan 290.00 ft (88.40 m)
Height 59.67 ft (18.20 m)
Wing Area 9,742 ft (905.00 m)
Canard Area

not applicable

Empty 628,315 lb (285,000 kg)
Normal Takeoff unknown
Max Takeoff 1,322,750 lb (600,000 kg)
Fuel Capacity 661,375 lb (300,000 kg)
Max Payload

internal: 440,925 lb (200,000 kg)
external: 551,150 lb (250,000 kg)

Powerplant six Lotarev D-18T turbofans
Thrust 309,540 lb (1,377 kN)

Max Level Speed at altitude: 530 mph (850 km/h)
at sea level: unknown
cruise speed: 495 mph (800 km/h)
Initial Climb Rate unknown
Service Ceiling unknown
Range typical: 2,430 nm (4,500 km)
ferry: 8,310 nm (15,400 km)
g-Limits unknown

Gun none
Stations none
Air-to-Air Missile none
Air-to-Surface Missile none
Bomb none
Other none

An-224 Original designation for the An-225 except it retained the rear cargo door of the An-124; not built
An-225 Heavy transport designed to ferry the Buran space shuttle and components of the Energia rocket; 1 built
An-225-100 New designation for the An-225 after being modernized with updated communications gear, navigation equipment, a collision avoidance system, and noise reduction features for use as a heavy commercial transport; 1 converted
An-325 Proposal for an enlarged variant of the An-225 with an additional engine mounted on each inboard pylon and able to carry an increased payload, proposed primarily as a possible launch platform for Russian or foreign space vehicles; not built



Civil Air Foyle
Antonov Airlines
Volga-Dnepr Airlines
Military Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Voyenno Vozdushniye Sili (Soviet Air Force)



  • Donald, David, ed. The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft. NY: Barnes & Noble, 1997, p. 58, Antonov An-225 Mriya.
  • Donald, David and Lake, Jon, ed. The Encyclopedia of World Military Aircraft. NY: Barnes & Noble, 2000, p. 40, Antonov An-225 Mriya 'Cossack'.
  • Gunston, Bill, ed. The Osprey Encyclopedia of Russian Aircraft. Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing, 1995, p. 38, An-225 Mriya.
  • Paul Nann's Military Aviation Photo Gallery
  • Rendall, David. Jane's Aircraft Recognition Guide, 2nd ed. London: Harper Collins Publishers, 1999, p. 124, Antonov An-225 Mriya Cossack.
  • Taylor, Michael. Brassey's World Aircraft & Systems Directory 1996/1997. London: Brassey's, 1996, p. 256-257, Antonov An-225 Mriya (NATO name Cossack).
  • Taylor, Michael J. H. Brassey's World Aircraft & Systems Directory 1999/2000. London: Brassey's, 1999, p. 240-241, Antonov An-225 Mriya (NATO name Cossack), An-224 and An-325.
  • Winchester, Jim. Concept Aircraft: Prototypes, X-Planes and Experimental Aircraft. San Diego, CA: Thunder Bay Press, 2005, p. 16-17, Antonov An-225 Mriya 'Cossack'.

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