The tarmac at MSP had a new addition Monday evening, which dwarfed an Airbus A330 passing by. The Antonov 225, the world's largest airplane, has six turbofan engines and a maximum takeoff weight of 700 tons.
The Antonov 225 is in the Twin Cities to pick up Trane air-conditioning equipment and will next be headed to the Middle East via France or Switzerland. It was rumored to be departing Monday night, but airport police told aviation buffs at MSP hoping to watch the takeoff that the airplane may not take off until Tuesday or Wednesday.
On Tuesday, @mspairport tweeted:
Here's some background on the plane from Wikipedia: The Antonov An-225 Mriya is a strategic airlift cargo aircraft that was designed by the Soviet Union’s Antonov Design Bureau in the 1980s. The An-225’s name, Mriya (Мрiя) means “Dream” (Inspiration) in Ukrainian. It is powered by six turbofan engines and is the longest and heaviest airplane ever built with a maximum takeoff weight of 640 tonnes. It also has the largest wingspan of any aircraft in operational service. The single example built has the Ukrainian civil registration UR-82060. A second airframe was partially built; its completion was halted because of lack of funding and interest.
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 remains in commercial operation with Antonov Airlines carrying oversized payloads.
The airlifter holds the absolute world records for an airlifted single item payload of 189,980 kilograms (418,834 pounds), and an airlifted total payload of 559,577 pounds.