Antonov An-225 – world’s longest airplane

On December 21, 1981 the world’s longest airplane made it’s maiden flight.

The An-225, which is built by the Russian company Antonov, was manufactured to carry the Buran orbiter, Russia’s version of the Space Shuttle.

The An-225 holds over 200 records, including the world’s longest airplane at 84 meters or 276 feet.

Antonov An-225

It is powered by six turbofan engines and is the largest airplane in the world; it is the heaviest aircraft with a maximum takeoff weight of 640 tonnes and the biggest heavier-than-air aircraft in terms of length and wingspan in operational service. The single example built so far currently bears the civil registration UR-82060 of its Ukrainian operator.

The Antonov An-225, originally developed specifically to transport the Buran spaceplane, was an enlargement of the successful Antonov An-124. The first An-225 was completed in 1988 and a second An-225 has been partially completed. The completed An-225 is in commercial operation with Antonov Airlines carrying oversized payloads. It holds the absolute world records for an airlifted single item payload of 189,980 kilograms (418,834 pounds), and an airlifted total payload of 253,820 kilograms (559,577 pounds). It has also transported a payload of 247,000 kilograms (545,000 pounds) on a commercial flight.

Other stats:

  • Payload: 250,000 kilograms or 551,000 pounds
  • Wingspan: 88.40 meters or 291 feet 2 inches
  • Height: 18.1 meters or 59.3 feet
  • Weight: 175,000 kilograms org 385,800 pounds
  • Maximum speed: 850 km/h or 530 mph
  • Range: 14,000 kilometers or 8,700 miles

There was only one An-225 ever built, a second was started, but not completed.