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The World’s Largest Airplane Flies Again

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Posted By: StormCnter, 3/26/2020 3:08:07 PM

The alert from FlightRadar24.com popped up on aviation enthusiasts’ smartphones early this morning: the Antonov AN-225 was finally on the move, after 18 long months of inactivity. Those who know the monster cargo airplane and eagerly track its global delivery movements—myself included—long ago set up alerts with the flight-tracking website for every time the big airplane takes off. However, since it entered a major maintenance and upgrade program in October 2018, it’s been nothing but stony silence.

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Reply 1 - Posted by: Rumblehog 3/26/2020 3:39:35 PM (No. 358937)
Depends on how you classify "large." The aircraft with the longest wingspan is the Paul Allen "Stratolaunch."
1 person likes this.

Reply 2 - Posted by: Videodrone 3/26/2020 3:49:29 PM (No. 358951)
Picky, Picky #1 - it still makes a C5 look small
2 people like this.

Reply 3 - Posted by: Patchy Groundfog 3/26/2020 3:54:51 PM (No. 358955)
Hillary's private jet?
0 people like this.

Reply 4 - Posted by: Mushroom 3/26/2020 4:46:28 PM (No. 358990)
No #3, just the liquor shuttle.
2 people like this.

Reply 5 - Posted by: Omen55 3/26/2020 4:49:57 PM (No. 358994)
It's a beautiful looking Cargo Jet. Certainly what you would want to move a huge load to anywhere on Earth.
0 people like this.

Reply 6 - Posted by: bad-hair 3/26/2020 4:51:43 PM (No. 358997)
Retired Herc pilot. I just love BIG airplanes. This is a big one.
2 people like this.

Reply 7 - Posted by: JHHolliday 3/26/2020 5:17:55 PM (No. 359014)
My late friend was a cargo inspector and got to oversee the Antonov loading of what I recall was a huge boiler of some sort. I don't know if it is still the case but the actual flight crew was English and the other personnel was Russian. He said it was quite an experience to see that huge thing open up for cargo.
1 person likes this.

Reply 8 - Posted by: FL_Absentee_Voter 3/26/2020 5:45:16 PM (No. 359045)
I've often wondered: Did the Soviets steal the plans for the C-5 to assist in development? Or did they just sort of copy what we already had flying?
1 person likes this.

Reply 9 - Posted by: FLCracker 3/26/2020 6:50:43 PM (No. 359107)
That thing tricks your eye. When you see it in the air at a distance, your eye perceives it as a regular-sized aircraft, but because it so far away from you, it looks like it is barely moving. It looks like it is going to fall out of the sky.
1 person likes this.

Reply 10 - Posted by: watashiyo 3/26/2020 8:42:01 PM (No. 359211)
Experienced C5 Galaxy from Japan to Hawaii(largest at the time). Still couldn't believe that monster actually flew with full load of tanks and jeeps. And this Antonov AN-225? Must be an incredible and majestic monster flying machine.
0 people like this.

Reply 11 - Posted by: DVC 3/26/2020 8:57:46 PM (No. 359221)
I've been to the Antonov factory in Kiev, they have a nice little museum there. I've been aboard the An-224, which they started with to make this behemoth when it visited the US. This is a one-off, the Soviet Space Shuttleski hauler. It's a An-224 with a wide central stub wing added, with one engine on each side of this stub wing, then they bolt on the normal An-224 wing with two engines per side, giving a wide wingspan and six engines. And a twin tail so the shuttle can fit where the fin would be. Impressive engineering, and Ukrainian, not Russian. The Ukrainians are very proud of this.
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Reply 12 - Posted by: Rumblehog 3/26/2020 9:49:26 PM (No. 359272)
They use this thing to haul oil field equipment from Houston to Africa. On my many trips to Houston 20 years ago that aircraft sat there for months if not years. One day I asked one of the Engineers why it was there, to which he responded, "They won't let it leave until they pay their fuel bill." The Air Crew is all Brit, but clearly Russians run the business.
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The alert from FlightRadar24.com popped up on aviation enthusiasts’ smartphones early this morning: the Antonov AN-225 was finally on the move, after 18 long months of inactivity. Those who know the monster cargo airplane and eagerly track its global delivery movements—myself included—long ago set up alerts with the flight-tracking website for every time the big airplane takes off. However, since it entered a major maintenance and upgrade program in October 2018, it’s been nothing but stony silence.
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