Watch the World’s Most Jumbo-Est Jet Take Off. Barely.
When the largest plane on the planet comes to town, it tends to attract attention. Like, more than 10,000 people turning out to the airport and causing mega traffic jams just to get a look.
That’s what happened in Perth, Australia this week, when the 32 wheels of the Antonov An-225’s landing gear met the tarmac. Also known as the Mriya (that’s Ukranian for “dream”), the most jumbo of jets is 275 feet long and 288 feet wide, and entered service in 1988.
The Soviet Union designed the plane to carry its space shuttle on its back, but went out of business before it could deliver more than one. The Antonov stacks up superlatives—it’s the longest bodied, longest winged, and heaviest plane in the sky. Six engines and a twin tail let the 600-ton aircraft haul 250 tons of cargo, loaded through its nose.
It’s a useful tool, but not one you break out for standard deliveries. In recent years, the plane’s carried huge amounts of supplies to areas hit by natural disasters. It was in Perth to drop off a 117-ton mining generator the size of a bedroom.
So you see why the crowds show up. It’s an engineering marvel and, frankly, if you don’t witness it with your own eyes, it’s hard to believe it can fly.
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