The Antonov An-225 Mriya, (NATO reporting name: Cossack) is a strategic airlift transport airplane that was built by Antonov (ASTC). }
It was designed for the Soviet space program as a replacement for the Myasishchev M-4 ‘Bison’ for the purpose of carrying the Energia rocket boosters and to also be able to carry the Buran space shuttle in piggy-back mode much the same as the American Shuttle Carrier Aircraft.The An-225 first flew on 21 December, 1988. Only one An-225 is currently in service. It is commercially available for carrying ultra heavy and/or oversize freight. It can carry up to 227 metric tons (250 short tons) of cargo. A second An-225 was partially built in connection with the Soviet space program but was never finished. This unit is finally nearing completion as of 2005. The construction of further units will depend upon demand for oversize cargolifting.At 600 metric tons, the An-225 is the world’s heaviest aircraft, although its wingspan is less than that of the “Spruce Goose”, Howard Hughes’ flying boat, which never flew more a single, short, low-altitude test flight. Both the An-124 and An-225 are larger than the C-5 Galaxy, the largest aircraft in the U.S. inventory. The An-225 is also larger than the Airbus A380. In November of 2004, FAI placed the An-225 in the Guinness Book of Records for its 240 records and overall outstanding aerial performance.The funniest 6 minutes you will ever see! Remember how many of these you have done!