All proceeds to go toward the rebuilding effort for the Ukrainian aircraft.
As part of Microsoft Flight Simulator’s ongoing digital preservation efforts, it is pleased to introduce the world’s largest aircraft, the Ukrainian-built Antonov An-225 Mriya, today. It is an ultra-heavy lift jet transport aircraft featuring six engines, and holds the record as the world’s longest plane as well as many other size-related aviation records. Only one Mriya was ever completed, and it was rendered catastrophically inoperable in the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. Efforts are underway to attempt to rebuild the aircraft and fly it again.
Using the An-124 Ruslan as a design base, in 1985 Antonov began engineering a project called “Mk. 401.” It was later named the An-225, since it could carry up to 225 tons of cargo. Apart from being much larger than the An-124, the Mriya (“dream” in Ukrainian) was fitted with six turbofan engines, the same power sources used by the Ruslan. Further distinguishing it from the An-124, the An-225’s empennage took a different form from that of its smaller progenitor. Instead of one large vertical stabilizer, the An-225 was designed with two, one on each end of its horizontal stabilizer, a design dictated by the aerodynamics of carrying massive loads atop its fuselage. The landing gear was also enlarged from that of the An-124; the Mriya had a total of 32 wheels, the rearmost of the main landing gear assembly able to turn.
Two An-225s were slated for production, but Antonov only completed one. It took its maiden flight on December 21, 1988, officially becoming the heaviest aircraft ever to fly. During a subsequent flight on March 22nd, 1989, the AN-225 set 110 world records at once, which is itself a record.
A few months later the plane arrived at the Baikonur Cosmodrome and technicians fitted the Buran orbiter to its upper fuselage. And on June 9, 1989, spectators at the Paris Air Show were stunned by the sight of the massive An-225, with the Buran riding atop its form, approaching through the clouds, the first plane to fly above the Eiffel Tower, and then landing.
Tragically, on February 27, 2022, the Mriya was attacked during the Russian invasion of Ukraine and rendered unusable. Tentative plans are to bring the Mriya to the sky again by piecing together parts of the destroyed An-225 with those of the airframe that was never completed.
The An-225 measures 275 feet, 7 inches in length (longer than the first flight of the Wright Flyer), stands 59 feet, 5 inches tall, and has a wingspan of 290 feet. It is powered by six Progress D-18T high-bypass turbofan engines that each deliver 51,600 pounds of thrust, can carry up to 559,580 pounds (253.8 tons) and has a maximum take-off weight of 1,410,958 pounds. With a range of 9,600 miles and a service ceiling of 36,000 feet, it cruises at 500 miles per hour, and reaches a top speed of 530 mph.
The An-225 Mriya features six liveries:
- Antonov Airlines ‘2010’
- Antonov Airlines ‘2008’
- Antonov Airlines ‘2006’
- Xbox Aviators Club
- Aviators Club
Try your hand at flying the An-225, available in the Microsoft Flight Simulator in-game marketplace on PC today for $19.99. All proceeds will go to the Antonov Corporation to re-build the An-225. It will be available for Xbox Series X|S and on Xbox Cloud Gaming starting in late March.
Join the more than 10 million pilots in Microsoft Flight Simulator today! The sky is calling! Microsoft Flight Simulator is available for Xbox Series X|S and PC with Xbox Game Pass, PC Game Pass, Windows, and Steam, and on Xbox One and supported mobile phones, tablets, and lower-spec PCs via Xbox Cloud Gaming.
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Source: MajorNelson Xbox News