The world’s largest aircraft the Antonov An-225 Mriya transported record-breaking 100 tonnes of medicines, reagents for laboratory tests, medical masks and other protective means with a total volume of about 1000 cubic meters.
In the history of global aviation, cargo of such volume has never been carried in an aircraft compartment.
After loading, the world’s largest transport aircraft made a flight from Tiānjīn, China to Warsaw, Poland with a landing on the route at the Almaty Airport, Kazakhstan for refuelling and crew rest. This flight ordered by the British company Chapman Freeborn Air chartering became the first for the An-225 after the end of a two-year maintenance and modernisation performed by Antonov Company. The first test flight was completed as recently as March 25, 2020.
AN-225 Mriya has received a new engines remote control system of the Ukrainian production, new liquid-crystal devices for control of engines’ work, also produced in Ukraine, new modern LED lighting equipment with better characteristics, more energy-saving and more reliable.
Thus, the AN-225 Mriya has joined Antonov Airlines fleet of AN-124-100 aircraft performing charter humanitarian aid and relief operations delivering medical cargo and supplies required to struggle with worldwide COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
Poland’s order of medical supplies from China weighs a total of 200 tons but is light enough it occupies significant volume, so the shipment is being split into two AN-225 flights of one hundred tons each.
Vitaliy Shost, First Deputy Director at Antonov Airlines said, “We are very proud of the opportunity to contribute and join the fight against the global pandemic. Planning and performing charter flights in the current difficult quarantine conditions imposed by many countries when there are restrictions applied for landing and crew rest permits, requires selfless dedication and commitment on the part of all airline staff – from commercial personnel and ops planners in the office to pilots and technicians onboard.”
The Ukrainian Mriya (the Ukrainian word for Dream) aircraft established more than 250 aviation records, in particular the hauling of single-piece cargo weighing 187.6 tonnes, as well as the absolute record for the payload of 253.8 tonnes.
Since the end of March, Antonov Airlines has carried more than 1400 tons of cargo from China to different countries in Europe, Americas and the Middle East.