Roll up, roll up!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Big Bird

The Antonov An-225 Mriya is the heaviest and largest aeroplane ever built. A strategic airlift transport aircraft, the An-225 was originally built to transport the Russian Shuttle equivalent 'Buran' orbiter, from its landing sites back to the launch complex.

First flown in 1988, propulsion on the An-225 is provided by 6 Ivchenko Progress D-18T turbofan engines, with 32 wheels making up its landing gear.

The An-225 is still commercially available for flying any over-sized payload. It can take up to 250,000 kg (550,000 lb) internally, or 200,000 kg (440,000 lb) on the upper fuselage. Cargo on the upper fuselage can be 70 m long.

Since 2002, the An-225 has become the major workhorse of the Antonov Airlines fleet, transporting objects once thought impossible to move by air, such as locomotives and 150-ton generators. It has also become a valuable asset to governments in transporting military supplies, and to international relief organizations for its ability to quickly transport huge quantities of emergency supplies during disaster relief operations.

Currently there is only one An-225 aircraft operating worldwide, but a second mothballed airframe is being reconditioned and is scheduled for completion around 2010.

The Antonov An-225 on Wikipedia.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Gilliam, Je T'Aime

From 'Monty Python's The Meaning of Life'.

'The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus' screens today at Cannes.