The strategic military transport aircraft An-225 Mriya is one of the largest aircraft that was created primarily to meet the needs of the Soviet space program in terms of transporting cargo and, in particular, the Buran reusable spacecraft and components of the Energiya rocket system ... The plane, of course, can also carry oversized cargo for other purposes. Weights can be placed both in the aircraft fuselage and "on the back".
The prototype aircraft made its maiden flight on December 21, 1988. It took a record time to create the aircraft - 3.5 years. This became possible due to the wide unification of the components and assemblies of the new aircraft with the components and assemblies of the AN-124 aircraft.
The fuselage of the An-225 has the same cross-section as that of the AN-124, but its length is significantly increased. The cargo compartment of the aircraft has the following dimensions: length 43 m, width 6, 4 m, height 4, 4 m. Inside the cabin it is possible to place 16 standard containers, up to 80 cars, dump trucks such as BelAZ, Komattsu, Yuclid. In order to reduce weight, it was decided to abandon the rear cargo hatch, but the bow hatch and the front landing gear squat system were retained. The main supports have been significantly changed, albeit with minimal structural alterations. Instead of five two-wheel struts, seven of the same are now installed on each side.
The last four rows of two-wheeled carts are self-orienting when maneuvering on the runway, and they are locked during takeoff and landing. An-225 is deployed on a 60 m wide strip.
The An-225 wing is also a modification of the An-124 wing. It is supplemented by a new central section, its scope has been increased. To ensure the possibility of transporting bulky cargo "on the back", the aircraft is equipped with a two-keel vertical tail. Due to this, the external sling can carry cargo, the dimensions of which exceed the capabilities of other vehicles, for example, rectification columns with a diameter of 7-10 m and a length of up to 70 m.
The power plant of the An-225 uses six turbofan engines D-18 T with a total thrust of 140 400 kgf. The engines are mounted on pylons, three under each wing console.
The aircraft is equipped with on-board radio electronic equipment, which is approximately the same as that of the AN-124. Thus, the fly-by-wire control system created for Ruslan was also used in Mriya. Despite the fact that the dynamics of Mriya's flight is completely different, it was only required to make changes in the software of the on-board computers.
In addition to performing purely transport operations, the An-225 is planned to be used as the first stage of a space complex for commercial launches of payloads into space in versions of the Svityaz comic air missile complex, which allows to launch up to 9 tons of payload into low earth orbits, and a multipurpose aerospace system MAKS, which provides the ability to launch 2 cosmonauts and 10 tons of cargo into low orbits, and in an unmanned one-time version - up to 17 tons of cargo. The project of the Mriya-Orlyonok aviation-maritime search and rescue complex (AMPSK) is also of some interest. This complex, consisting of an An-225 aircraft and an Eaglet ekranoplan, should be based on civil or military airfields.
Upon receiving a signal about an accident at sea, the carrier aircraft with the ekranoplan placed on it flies into the accident area and resets the ekranoplan with the engines turned on near the emergency facility. The developed wing of the ekranoplan allows for a gliding descent and landing on the water. The ekranoplan has special means to provide first aid. The ekranoplan salons can accommodate up to 70 people.
An-225 is a six-engine turbojet high-wing aircraft with a swept wing and two-fin tail. Equipped with six D-18T aircraft engines manufactured by Motor Sich JSC, developed by ZMKB Progress named after Academician A.G. Ivchenko.
The aircraft is based on the An-124 heavy transport aircraft. The main differences from the An-124 are as follows:
New center section.
Increasing the length of the fuselage due to inserts.
Replacing the tail unit with a double fin.
Lack of tail cargo hatch.
Increase in the number of main landing gear struts.
External cargo fastening and pressurization system.
Two additional motors.
Crew, people 7
Wingspan, m 88.4
Length, m 84
Height, m 18.2
Wing area, m2 905
Empty aircraft weight, kg 250, 000
Maximum takeoff weight, kg 640, 000
Non-afterburner thrust, kgf 1377
Normal fuel weight, kg 300, 000
Cruising speed, km / h 850
Practical range, km 15 400
Practical range with maximum load, km 4500
Practical ceiling, m 11 000
Payload up to 250, 000 kg of cargo
An-225 is the heaviest cargo aircraft ever to take off. The only aircraft that surpasses the An-225 in wingspan is the Hughes H-4 Hercules, which belongs to the class of flying boats and flew only once in 1947 .
The Mriya aircraft set a world record for take-off weight and carrying capacity. On March 22, 1989, the An-225 flew with a load of 156.3 tons, in which 110 world aviation records were simultaneously broken. Such an achievement is a record in itself. In total, this aircraft is the owner of about 250 world records  .
In August 2004, a record was set - Mriya transported 250 tons of special equipment ordered by Zeromax GmbH from Prague to Tashkent with an intermediate landing in Samara.
In August 2009, the aircraft of this series was entered in the Guinness Book of Records for the transportation of the largest single cargo ship in the history of aviation with a total weight of 187.6 tons. It was a 174-ton generator that was transported along with a special frame from Frankfurt, Germany to Yerevan for the new Armenian power plant. The aircraft crew was awarded a certificate confirming the entry of the ship's record into the Guinness Book of Records .
"Mriya" is the record holder for the weight of the transported cargo: commercial - 247 tons, commercial single cargo - 187, 6 tons, and an absolute record for carrying capacity - 253, 8 tons .
On June 10, 2010, the longest cargo in the history of air transportation was transported  - two windmill blades 42.1 m long each.