World’s Largest Plane Needed to Transport Massive Generator
When you are talking about transporting the heavyweight of generators, there is only one plane that can do the job. The cargo, a 117-ton power generator, was needed at a Western Australian mining company. The only plane that could do the job was the Antonov An-225 Mriya. This Ukraine-designed aircraft has two times the wing span of the Boeing 747 and will carry the mining generator from the Czech Republic and fly it to Perth in Western Australia where the Worsley Alumina, an aluminum-ore mining company, will potentially use it for large drills and excavations.
What Do We Know about the Antonov An-225 Mriya?
This plane measures 84 meters long and has a colossal wingspan of 88 meters. The Mriya has been used as a commercial transporter for Herculean tasks for more than 20 years. The Antonov An-225 Mriya was built for heavy lifting. This 600-ton aircraft was created to transport ‘The Buran’, a Soviet space shuttle at the end of the 80s. It was originally designed by the Antonov Design Bureau of the Soviet Union. This six-engine craft is able, if necessary, to carry up to ten British battle tanks.
What was the Planned Flight Path?
Without cargo, the Antonov An-225 Mriya can go for 18 hours without refueling. Laden with the 117-ton generator, there is a definite need for refueling at multiple stops as it makes its way across Europe, across Asia, to Perth. Stops to refuel include Prague, Turkmenbashi, Hyderabad, and Jakarta. On final landing, the unloading is not fast. It was estimated that it would take as many as 10 hours to unload the generator. DB Schenker, a global logistics company, welcomed the challenge and was hired to facilitate the transport of the necessary generator.
It’s not every day that people have the opportunity to view the Antonov An-225 Mriya, an astounding feat of engineering in aviation history. Frank Vogel, Director of Oil and Gas Projects at DB Schenker said:
“The excitement and expectations around the imminent arrival of the Mriya are high. We are delighted to lead this impressive and thrilling project.”
Preparations Were Necessary
The aviation event drew crowds in Perth. Perth Airport had to prepare for as many as 50,000 people to come and watch the arrival of the Antonov An-225 Mriya safely from specially designated viewing zones. The plane landed in Perth on May 15th, right before noon. With the immense appeal of the event, traffic gridlock was experienced for the substantial turnout at Perth Airport. Perth Airport spokeswoman Fiona Lander said:
“The sheer size of the An-225 was breathtaking, with the click of camera shuttles audible over the roar of the six engines as it taxied past.”