33 YEARS AGO, THE AN-225 “MRIYA” TOOK TO THE SKY FOR THE FIRST TIME AND SINCE THEN HAS SET MORE THAN 200 WORLD RECORDS. WE RECALL THE HISTORY OF THE LARGEST PLANE IN THE WORLD – IN 15 PHOTOS (ARCHIVE MATERIAL)
On December 21, 1988, the first flight of the test model of the world’s largest An-225 Mriya transport aircraft, created by the Kyiv Antonov plant, took place. Initially, it was built for the space industry – it could transport rockets and serve as a “launch pad” for spaceships. But the USSR collapsed, and “Mria” was preserved in a hangar until the end of the 1990s. In the early 2000s, it was reconstructed and modified for the transportation of heavy and oversized cargo, for example, locomotives or multi-ton generators. And “Mria” was often used to quickly deliver humanitarian goods. There was only one copy of An-225. But he has already entered history, setting about 250 world records for speed, height, and carrying capacity. The Russian occupiers destroyed the “Mriya” at Gostomel airport near Kyiv in the first days of the large-scale invasion of Ukraine. But the enterprise “Antonov” alreadylaunched a fundraiser to restore the plane. “Babel” recalls the history of the world’s largest plane in 15 photos.