Antonov An-225: World's biggest unfinished airplane lies hidden in warehouse

ponder

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#1
https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/antonov-an-225-kiev-ukraine/index.html

Antonov An-225: World's biggest unfinished airplane lies hidden in warehouse
Kiev, Ukraine (CNN) — On the outskirts of Kiev, somewhere between the city's Nyvky and Sviatoshyn metro stations, sits a drab industrial building that you could drive past a thousand times without guessing it contains an extraordinary secret.

Inside can be found the unfinished chapter of one of the greatest feats of Soviet aviation ever conceived. The only clue is the building's size. It's gargantuan.
It needs to be. Because it contains something equally vast -- the largest airplane that was never completed.

The aircraft is an Antonov An-225, conceived by Soviet engineers in the dying days of the Cold War as a gigantic, gravity-defying workhorse that would help communism's ongoing race into space and assert the East's dominance of the skies.

Read more...
https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/antonov-an-225-kiev-ukraine/index.html
 

ponder

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Edit: The headline is misleading, one was completed and flown, the second one is still in pieces.

The AN225 is pretty much a one-off white-elephant. The fractionally smaller AN124 is an actual usable cargo aircraft.
I suppose the headline can be interpreted in two ways, anyways it's not my headline.

White elephant implies it's useless, in that case they should scrap it and tell their clients no can do.
 

ponder

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#6
My understanding from the article was that they need a client to fund it so that they can complete it.

It is absolutely enormous though!
Antonov has an existing one in service, not sure if there's demand for two of these behemoths.
 

Daruk

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#7
No doubt it’s not going to bring anyone value for money. That thing has to be inefficient by today’s standards on many fronts. It’s main legacy is the history that surrounds it. Like the Nazis, the Soviets were / are all about bigger is better but there’s a tipping point where efficiency takes a nose dive I reckon.
Still a cool piece of history and thought provoking “what if” scenarios.
It always amazes me how countries like Russia insist on going down the same nationalist / anti-free thinking path yet expect good results. That or their political system is properly borked.
 

Daruk

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#9
Spruce Goose was bigger?
Yeah, the Hercules beats it by 10m on wingspan. Not sure what qualifies as the world's largest. The Antonov is longer. What's incredible is that the hercules was made of wood and fired by props.
This is cool



What's even cooler is the image button supports .svg on this forum!

So later this year, that record will tumble it seems

https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/worlds-largest-airplanes/index.html
Stratolaunch: The aircraft project founded by billionaire businessman Paul Allen will become the largest wingspan aircraft in history when it takes flight for the first time in 2019

1549764660705.png

Right now the Antonov is the largest by weight, length and *wingspan (*of aircraft currently in service)
 
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wizardofid

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#10
Apart from the photos and 'insider access' most of that information is on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonov_An-225_Mriya

Edit: The headline is misleading, one was completed and flown, the second one is still in pieces.

The AN225 is pretty much a one-off white-elephant. The fractionally smaller AN124 is an actual usable cargo aircraft.
No it's not, while working at the airport, it came in at least 5 or 6 times a year, ONLY aircraft that could carry eskom diesel generators as well as prasa locomotives, it is still very much in service, and use specifically for urgent wide body/heavy body equipment around the world.
From what I can remember you could stack 55 mini's in a 224, in fact, if you cut off the wings on the 124 you can fit it in the 224.
The 224 is so versatile you can raise both the tail and nose cones, load and unload cargo on the tracks provide.

Additionally the original article was from 2016 and updated in 2018.
 
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Gordon_R

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#11
No it's not, while working at the airport, it came in at least 5 or 6 times a year, ONLY aircraft that could carry eskom diesel generators as well as prasa locomotives, it is still very much in service, and use specifically for urgent wide body/heavy body equipment around the world.

The 224 is so versatile you can raise both the tail and nose cones, load and unload cargo on the tracks provide.
Thanks for the correction, but it does seem overkill to transport locomotives by air!? The fuselage diameter is the same as the An-124, so its only the length and weight of the An-225 that is oversized.

BTW, the rear cargo door does not seem to be a feature on this model:
Unlike the An-124, which has a rear cargo door and ramp, the An-225 design left these off to save weight.
Quite a good article from 2014: https://www.aircraft-info.net/2014/05/antonov-225-mriya/
The Antonov An-225 was just one plane crafted during the Cold War, and designed with one purpose in mind. It seemed promising at the start, and even when it made its maiden voyage. However, it was soon clear that the Soviet Union had lost the Cold War and the space race. The An-225 was no longer needed. It was only because of Antonov’s airlift shipping venture that it was needed again. It could have remained in storage for the rest of its days, being used for spare parts for various aircraft around the world.
 

Daruk

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#12
What I found scary was watching chinooks transporting massive diesel generators hung by cable overhead in Afghanistan. I was picturing playing dodge the generator if a cable snapped.
 

wizardofid

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#13
Thanks for the correction, but it does seem overkill to transport locomotives by air!? The fuselage diameter is the same as the An-124, so its only the length and weight of the An-225 that is oversized.

BTW, the rear cargo door does not seem to be a feature on this model:


Quite a good article from 2014: https://www.aircraft-info.net/2014/05/antonov-225-mriya/

Transporting singular orders of locomotives is a common occurrence, it has a rear cargo door, however it isn't as wide as the nose cone, so the nose cone is used far more often, the rear door also has a significantly shorter ramp, nose ramp can be configured for various needs.got the two confused there for a bit regarding loading :D

The front wheels of the 225 can be lowered to a few centimeters from the ground. I was an apron controller and generally arrived early mornings or late evenings which meant it was quiet in general, so we spend hours watching the offloading on cameras on Delta parking bays from various angles.Those eskom diesel generators are MASSIVE.

Watching it take off was exceptional as well, nearly took the entire runway for take off.
456388.jpg
 
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