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13th of May 1989

Updated: May 13, 2021

The Antonov An-225 Mriya carried the Russian spacecraft Buran on its back for the first time on this day in 1989.

The An-225 with Buran 1n 1989

The An-225 was designed in the 1980s. The six engined aircraft is the heaviest aircraft ever built with an MTOW of 640.000 kg (over 1.410.000 lbs) after several modifications. One airframe was completed in 1988 with the construction of a second airframe halted in 1994. It holds several records: - Worldrecord for single item payload of 189980 kg (418830 lb)

- Worldrecord for total payload 253820 kg (559580 lb)

- Payload record on commercial flight of 247000 kg (545000 lb) The aircraft features a fly by wire fligth ocntrol system and 3 independent hydraulic systems. The tail section differs greatly from its ancesster the An-124, it needed a twin tail as the Buran would effectively obstruct airflow on a vertical stabiliser.

The An-225's pressurized cargo hold is 1,300 m3 (46,000 cu ft) in volume; 6.4 m (21 ft 0 in) wide, 4.4 m (14 ft) high, and 43.35 m (142 ft 3 in) long — longer than the first flight of the Wright Flyer.

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