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12 Awesome Fact About The An-225: The World's Largest Aircraft

This is a big airplane.

1) The An-225 was designed in the 1980s by the Soviet Union to carry the Buran spacecraft.


2) At 290 feet, it has the largest wingspan of any aircraft in operational service. That's 10 feet short of the length of a football field.


3) It's also the longest operational aircraft in the world, at 275 feet, 7 inches.


4) After the Buran space program was cancelled, the An-225 was mothballed for 8 years. It was later refurbished and operated under Antonov Airlines.


5) There is only 1 operational An-225 in the world. A second was partially completed, but later cancelled.

Wee in YYC

6) The landing gear system has 32 wheels.


7) In 2001, the An-225 was modified, with a reinforced floor, to increase its maximum gross weight from 600 tons to 640 tons.


8) In 2009, the An-225 carried the heaviest single cargo item ever sent through the air: a 417,000 pound generator for a gas power plant in Armenia.

Chapman Freeborm

9) Its six jet engines produce over 300,000 pounds of total thrust.


10) The An-225 has a fuel capacity of over 660,000 pounds. That's 14 times more fuel than a 737-800 can carry.


11) The An-225 holds the world record for airlifted total payload of 559,577 pounds. That's the equivalent weight of 243 Cessna 172s at max gross weight.


12) And if you're lucky, you can see it at a major airport in the US picking up or dropping off cargo. One thing is for sure - there's no mistaking it when you see it.


Colin Cutler

Colin is a Boldmethod co-founder, pilot and graphic artist. He's been a flight instructor at the University of North Dakota, an airline pilot on the CRJ-200, and has directed development of numerous commercial and military training systems. You can reach him at

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