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Photos of the An-225 Mriya – the world’s largest aircraft (gelio.livejournal.com)
333 points by whalesalad on Feb 9, 2015 | hide | past | web | favorite | 102 comments



Wow, absolutely beautiful photos and a stunning piece of engineering! That one statistic that a 737 fuselage can fit inside of this thing is wild to me, especially since the only other planes[1][2] I know of that can do that look much more.... bulgy.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_Dreamlifter [2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airbus_Beluga


Given that, an airplane fuselage is pretty much the ideal shape to fit into a larger airplane's fuselage.


The An-225 is damn sexy compared to these 2.



I like the dauphin shaped Airbus :)


One of my customers in Iraq chartered this; sadly I missed riding on that trip, but I got hundreds of hours on An-12, Il-76, and a couple legs of An-124. Given the maintenance the aircraft got (especially the An-12s), was pretty terrifying. I should dig up the photos and video I took and post it somewhere. https://www.flickr.com/photos/octal/sets/72157594167351328 was some, but I didn't feel like going through the clearance procedures for most of my good photos back when the US bases were active.


Could you please elaborate on "pretty terrifying".


A guy would just do a walk around with a baseball bat and hit parts to see if they fell off. If they did, it was time to replace them. If they didn't, the aircraft was good for another 1000 hours until the next maintenance window.


Also, fairly major maintenance taking place (replacing tires, etc.) on active runways at major US airbases, with USAF Security Forces with M4s at low ready pointed at us. I was the only person on the plane with the authority to actually be there more than in-contact-with-plane.


>M4s at low ready pointed at us.

I'm not following. If you're a soldier that's how you hold your weapon when its out:

http://thumbs.dreamstime.com/z/us-soldier-17920177.jpg

The low level guys guarding planes probably didn't have the autonomy to put their weapons away while guarding. This is SOP for a lot of military activities. Your weapon is out and held at the ready. Any other position invites liability as you can't get up to aim quickly enough in a firefight.


Why they would need to put their M4s out?


Russians?


You mean Ukrainian.


Reminds me so much of Neal Stephenson's "The Cobweb".


Personally, I looked at the picture in the engineering compartment and physically shuddered. Look at those connectors! (Search article for " Technical compartment is situated in the rear part of cabin crew. ")


The An-225 is maintained vastly better than the An-12 or Il-76 fleet.


"3740 flying hours" ... Since built in 1988!

"The lifespan of the airplane is 8000 flying hours, 2000 takeoff-landings or 25 calendar years."

A 1980s 747 could expect 100,000 hours or more. I'd be interested in learning what exactly is so different about this plane to create such a vast disparity in reliability. Was it built, like with the Tu-144, using massive single billets?


I'm not sure about the technical reasons why the An-225's reliability would be so much shorter. It would make sense that a one-of-a-kind special purpose aircraft has a shorter intended lifespan than a high-production commercial airliner.

This bird is so special purpose that, from what I understand, it's primary purpose was to transport the Soviet Union's Buran spacecraft (an attempted Soviet version of U.S. Space Shuttle).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buran_%28spacecraft%29


For sure, but an order-of-magnitude disparity in lifespan remains huge.

And the Buran was no "attempt". It was a working shuttle that flew to space and was in many ways superior to shuttle. It just didn't make economic sense, nor did shuttle imho.

The Tu-144 "Concordski", THAT was a true attempted copy woefully lacking in many many areas.


> It was a working shuttle that flew to space and was in many ways superior to shuttle.

It was designed to be a manned spacecraft that never put a man in space, by any reasonable logic it was a failed attempt.

> It just didn't make economic sense

And exactly what part of the space race made economic sense? The Apollo program alone was something like $150b fixed for inflation.

The Buran looks like more central planning failures from an incompetent regime on its way out. Please stop making excuses for Soviet leadership. They clearly dropped the ball after a few early successes in the space race. By the 70s the Soviet program was in tatters and a joke and by the 80s the Shuttle did incredible things that the capsule based approach simple couldn't do (repairing hubble, etc). Obviously, the cost estimates of the shuttle were lower than real cost, but I can't think of any major project where that wasn't true. Now that we are motivated to do more than LEO, the Shuttle was retired for a capsule based approach that is a private and public partnership between NASA and companies like SpaceX who are showing us how cheap rockets can be.

Its unfair to compare failed test projects, which were also fairly uninspired copies, like the Buran and the N1 to workhorses like the Saturn V and the Shuttle. The Russiophilia around here is pretty high and unfairly so. The Russians deserve credit for their early successes but they were not able to keep them up and oddball projects like mounting 50 cal guns on space stations or launching (and failing thankfully) space based weapons platforms (Polyus) should lead to their criticism, as well as their uninspired 70s and 80s failures and pathetic attempts at cloning western successes like the Concorde or the Shuttle.

I'd rather live in a world where the Shuttle, Apollo missions, robotic missions, and Hubble were real and did amazing things, as opposed to being told by some single-party government stooge that its "too expensive" and cancelled. Thankfully I do live in that world and we have the space science and achievements to prove it. What a wonderful program NASA has been. Its a shame it gets hand wringing and criticism from geeks while the largely dysfunctional later-day Soviet program gets all accolades and excuses.


> It was designed to be a manned spacecraft that never put a man in space, by any reasonable logic it was a failed attempt.

It was 1st and foremost designed to compete with the shuttle politically. It was a "we could do it too" project. And at that time it did some things even better -- it accomplished the first space shuttle fully automated landing.

> by any reasonable logic it was a failed attempt.

What does that say about the Shuttle program then? Even a backward bureaucratic and crusty old Soviet system realized it did not make sense to develop it further. It was too wasteful. Yet NASA continued on for years sinking billions into it finally to scrap it.

> By the 70s the Soviet program was in tatters and a joke and by the 80s the Shuttle did incredible things that the capsule based approach simple couldn't do (repairing hubble, etc).

But it also killed 2 full shuttle crews and eventually got scrapped. Yet guess what is still flying humans into Space? Yap, the crusty old 70's Soviet machines. How's that for irony.

> The Russiophilia around here is pretty high and unfairly so

I see so, you do have an agenda. Who said it was Russiophillia. I didn't hear anyone praising the Soviet government. I read about awesome large cargo planes and space shuttles with automated landing system. You don't agree with some point and all of the sudden it is because the other side has some "-phillia"

> 70s and 80s failures and pathetic attempts at cloning western successes like the Concorde or the Shuttle.

Wait, you do know this is 2015, right? If this was 1999, you could still be calling both of those projects successes. You do know they both got scrapped...

> I'd rather live in a world where the Shuttle, Apollo missions, robotic missions, and Hubble were real and did amazing things,

So you are living in a fantasy world. Because except the Hubble, all those programs have ended and you are living in the world where space technology built by "single party stoogies" is taking humans in into space.

> Its a shame it gets hand wringing and criticism from geeks while the largely dysfunctional later-day Soviet program gets all accolades and excuses.

Because they are living in the real world and you are living in a fantasy world powered by retro futuristic dreams.


Wow, that's a lot of accusations! :)

> They clearly dropped the ball after a few early successes in the space race.

Not true - even in 90's when designing ISS Russian experience with space stations was one of the reasons to invite them to the project.

> By the 70s the Soviet program was in tatters and a joke

Presumably while continuing space stations program with ever increasing capabilities and flight times? Or have you heard about VEGA interplanetary automatic project - admittedly in 80's?

> by the 80s the Shuttle did incredible things that the capsule based approach simple couldn't do (repairing hubble, etc)

Have you heard about reviving Salyut-7 using Soyuz spacecraft? Dzhanibekov-Savinykh flight?

> Obviously, the cost estimates of the shuttle were lower than real cost, but I can't think of any major project where that wasn't true.

But Shuttle was particularly bad miss by costs, wasn't it?

> the Shuttle was retired for a capsule based approach that is a private and public partnership

I'd agree - but note how many years NASA pays to Roscosmos for flying astronauts to ISS and back. Shuttle was retired rather for safety reasons.

> between NASA and companies like SpaceX who are showing us how cheap rockets can be

Which also might be an attempt to reach Russian low cost figures by other means?

> Its unfair to compare failed test projects, which were also fairly uninspired copies, like the Buran and the N1 to workhorses like the Saturn V and the Shuttle.

Here you're clearly missing the mark. N1 wasn't a copy of anything whatsoever. All-kerosene 5-stages stack? Record (bigger than Saturn-5) liftoff thrust? Number of separate engines? Spherical tanks? Not that Buran was particularly uninspired - for one, Energia was capable of flying even without Buran, for another, Buran used kerosine-LOX as main orbital fuel - with advantages both in efficiency and toxicity over Shuttle.

> The Russiophilia around here is pretty high and unfairly so.

You might be right here - it's highly subjective - but you have to admit USSR had plenty of original achievements.

> oddball projects like mounting 50 cal guns on space stations

If you'd analyze carefully, you'll see that those were mostly perfect rational decisions given information which was available at the time. Sense of oddity can be explained by incomplete review.

> pathetic attempts at cloning western successes like the Concorde

That one I don't get at all. How Tu-144, which flew before Concorde, be a copy of Concorde?


Its well known that the Tu-144's design was stolen from the west and the Soviet plane was a rush job.

http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/spy-sold-Concordski-Soviets/sto...

There are better sources, go look them up.

>If you'd analyze carefully you'll see that those were mostly perfect rational decisions

This was Soviet thuggery at best. There is no rational reason to put guns in space. Their attempts to militarize space against treaties they signed shouldn't be applauded by apologists like yourself. It doesn't make sense, it was a provocation and "fuck you" to manned spaceflight because Soviets wanted to take the cold war to space. Thankfully their corruption and incomptence made it a non-issue when they failed with Polyus and were too broke to try again.

Its incredible the revisionism here. The USSR has gone from a proper evil empire to a wonderful utopia thanks to space nerds who think the US is the worst government in history. I just hope this USSR fetishism is a temporary fad for attention, like all fads. I think the bullshit has gotten thicker as HN Russophiles try to pretend Putin is a legitimate leader and his war crimes in Ukraine are, per usual, "the west's fault."

Lets call a spade here a spade. The USSR's space program became a pig with lipstick on it towards the seventies and never recovered. All the excuses about how wonderful the Buran was (which put as many men into space as my own personal space program) is ridiculous. Lets give kudos to real achievements. Lets give real NASA projects which were successful half the credit HN space nerds give failed soviet copies. Thanks.

>Not true - even in 90's when designing ISS Russian experience with space stations was one of the reasons to invite them to the project.

This was, at best, diplomatic welfare to bring the ex-soviets into the modern world. We didn't need them to launch another armed platform, so we invited them to a peacetime collaboration. We've been trying to turn Russia into a civilized country since 1991. Unfortunately, they keep falling into an annexation obsessed dictatorship. At least we tried. Now the ISS is a political football for them to kick around to provide political cover for their various annexations. If you don't think the early Russian retirement of it isn't a political move, then I've got a bridge to sell you.

Meanwhile, NASA continues to lead the world in space exploration and science both in manned and unmanned missions. I wish it got 1/10th the credit HN'ers give failed Soviet projects.


Wow, now that we're bringing supposed war crimes in Ukraine into this, you'd do well to examine the US' conduct in Ukraine from a historically literate point of view.

For starters, recall our reaction when the Soviets put nukes in Cuba. In what world could we expect Russia to stand idly by while a nato naval base was installed on the Crimean peninsula?

The US supported coup of Yanukovych, came with an "impeachment" -- if one were so generous to call it that -- supported by less than 3/4 of the rada, ie not a quorum. This would be like impeaching a sitting US president by vote of 50 senators.

And given the success of the referendum in Crimea -- a reasonably legitimate election -- it's hard to honestly make the case that residents of the peninsula don't support annexation by Russia. The US is reduced to whining about a treaty that, um, we have previously publicly stated we don't consider binding.

If you wish to understand the depth of US meddling in the Ukraine, their finance minister is a longtime US apparatchik with extensive work experience in the US state department named Natalie Jaresko. Natalie -- and this is fucking amazing -- is a US citizen who received her Ukranian citizenship the day of her appointment as Minister of Finance.

And while you're complaining about Russian treaty violations, are you aware the US signed the UN Convention against Torture?


Typical whataboutisms from a Putin apologist, none of which has to do with the space race. Sadly, those on the wrong side of history and who worship tyrants just can't seem to understand the modern world.


Being Russian myself, I wholeheartedly agree with your comment, thank you.

It's amazing how little people think about sustainability when they speak about USSR space program. I mean, yeah, DPRK can do space program, too, but at what cost? What will come out of that space program if there is no market structure to handle spin-offs? What will keep the program going when oppressive govt will collapse, as they always do? There is no market value in such program, and there is no surplus to spend out of curiosity.

It's just plain stupid to ignore a larger picture and look at "achievements" by themselves.


> "the Buran was no "attempt". It was a working shuttle that flew to space"

Once. Does that even count as reusable?


Anything's reusable if you throw as much resources into maintaining it as you would have rebuilding it every time. The Soviets just realized how stupid an idea that was. We didn't.


The Shuttle was a jobs program that has the side effect of going to space.


They did keep it around for the two things only it and shuttle could do: bring things back from orbit and execute single orbit missions (ie the cross-range ability to return to base after a single orbit.)


Well, the Buran flew once in 1988, after that the country of its origin developed cracks and was deemed unsalvageable. It was later scrapped.


So did Buran itself. Its wing needed replacement after that flight. That's why it didn't flew with people in 1989 when it was still politically/economically possible. Then, it was too late.


More than once my friend. And if thing works - why should you care. Buran was a very top tech, superior to US shuttles in so many ways (capable of fully unmanned two-way trip for starters). The whole "Energia" complex is still unmatched by any spacecraft system in the world. The loss of this tech is unrecoverable though.


>capable of fully unmanned two-way trip for starters

Nope. Technology and precision required for fully-automatic landing of such aircraft becomes available only now. That particular landing was remote-controlled by a closely following plane.


The 747 is an exceptional example of engineering for durability in a large airframe. Other U.S. made large-airframe aircraft have not fared so well, in particular the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy whose wing-spar weakness was so profound that the entire fleet was re-winged shortly after going into service but still enjoys a dismal distinction as having the highest operating cost of any US Air Force weapon system.

And then there's the F22 whose MTBF is, on average, less than 60 minutes.


Higher than the B-2? (3million+ per aircraft/month according to some). Maybe the C-5 has highest not-classified operating costs.

For perspective, the Canadian Sea King helos are rumored to take 50+ man-hours for every hour in the air, comparable to the C-5 but on a much much smaller airframe.


I am certain the B2 is horrifyingly expensive. I found a 2014 article in Defense Industry Daily entitled Saving the Galaxy: The C-5 AMP/RERP Program:

http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/saving-the-galaxy-the-c-...

"When it was introduced, back in 1970, the C-5 Galaxy was the largest plane in the world. It also has the highest operating cost of any US Air Force weapon system, owing to extremely high maintenance demands as well as poor fuel economy. Worse, availability rates routinely hover near 50%."

As for the Sea King, I have often read of maintenance ratios of 30 man hours maintenance per hour of flight but 50 is not surprising, either. By comparison, the fantastic (Hughes) MD-500E has a ~.42 man-hours/flight-hours ratio for the airframe, excluding the engine, and that's a very well sorted ship that's far simpler than the Sikorsky.


mean time between failures < 60 minutes? If that's true, how can it be used for anything?


There are lots of things to fail. On most military aircraft it is rare to fly with every tiny system running at 100%. Five or things can break during a flight without any real risk.

Not the engines, but something like a datalink antenna or camera system. If you include little things like tray-tables and seats getting stuck up/down, even the 747 probably has a failure rate measured in hours.


Good point.

The less than 60 minutes figure came from a 2008 GAO report:

http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d08467sp.pdf

The particular passage:

" The Air Force also budgeted $132 million in fiscal years 2007 and 2008 for reliability and maintainability upgrades, $28 million more than the amount budgeted for fiscal years 2006 and 2007. Despite these efforts, the F-22A continues to operate below its expected reliability rates. A key reliability requirement for the F-22A is a 3-hour mean time between maintenance intervals, which is required by the time the program achieves 100,000 operational flying hours, now projected for fiscal year 2010. Mean time between maintenance is defined as the number of operating hours divided by the number of maintenance actions. Currently, the mean time between maintenance is less than 1 hour, or about half of what was expected by the end of system development in December 2005. There has been no significant change reported regarding the current mean time between maintenance since last year’s review"

Wondering about that value and for the sake of being more accurate, always a good thing, I found a "F-22 Assertions and Facts" document used in the US Senate in 2009 to defend the F-22 program. It has substantially different numbers for the F-22.

http://www.hatch.senate.gov/public/_files/F22AssertionsAndFa...

About maintenance ratio:

"The F-22 is required to achieve 12.0 direct maintenance man-hours per flight hour (DMMH/FH) at system maturity, which is defined to be when the F-22 fleet has accumulated 100,000 flight hours. In 2008 the F-22 achieved 18.1 DMMH/FH which then improved to 10.5 DMMH/FH in 2009. It’s important to recognize this metric is to be met at system maturity, which is projected to occur in late 2010. So the F-22 is better than the requirement well before maturity."

About F22 reliability:

"Reliability is measured by Mean Time Between Maintenance(MTBM. One of the F-22 Key Performance Parameters (KPPs) is to have an MTBM of 3.0 hours at system maturity, which is defined to be when the F-22 fleet has accumulated 100,000 flight hours. Through 2008, F-22s averaged 2.0 hours MTBM while the fleet has accumulated 50,000 flight hours. The F-22 is on-track to meet or exceed 3.0 hours of MTBM at system maturity, projected to occur in late 2010, and the latest delivered F-22s, known as Lot 6 jets, are exhibiting an MTBM of 3.2 hours."


Answer: it can't.


It is good that JSF is shaping up nicely then ... /s



Most likely since it is a custom build, it would not have the same amount of testing (a lot of bend-tests are done to wings and I believe whole aircraft on commercial airliners) and probably a lot less simulation and engineering.

Since it was designed as a shuttle transporter, they probably designed for 2000 landings and never cared about really defining safety margins beyond that. After all, 2K seems plenty for even an ambitious shuttle program.

Probably in reality it would be fit for 50.000 flight hours, but no one knows how much, so they implemented huge safety margins - since the USSR was not a market economy, no one really cared about price in such a high-profile project.

And: the Antonow has a max take-off weight of 640 tonnes, the 747-400F of 400t, that would put a lot more strain on materials.


An interesting comparison of giant planes: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Giant_planes_comparison.sv...


Probably because we'd hit peak oil if you flew it any longer than that ;-)


What does the navigator use the large eyepiece-looking thing for? Shown in this photo:

http://img-fotki.yandex.ru/get/9327/30348152.174/0_78a5f_446...

Is he confirming the route with ground features and matching to a map? It looks like a large scope of some sort.


It appears to be an old-fashioned, relatively low power CRT display, presumably for radar. I believe these can't be guaranteed to produce a visible image in all cockpit conditions [1], so they mount a hood to block out peripheral light.

[1] http://www.google.com/patents/US2819459


Seems plausible. Thanks!


I'm guessing for radar and navigation.

"The aircraft features an IFR compatible, all digital flight deck, which can accommodate six crew including a pilot, co-pilot, navigator, radio operator and two flight engineers. The flight deck is incorporated with automated navigation and flight control systems for quick analysing and servicing."

http://www.aerospace-technology.com/projects/an225hta/


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MAKS_%28spacecraft%29 I hope they revive this idea (Flies fine in KSP, for what it's worth).

Horizontal shuttle launch from a Mriya, using the same principle as a Pegasus rocket.


This ridiculously large aircraft landed at RDU a number of years ago. Unfortunately I wasn't able to make it out that day to see it. - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJxSN9x5oZU


About $ 90 million is necessary to complete the construction of the aircraft. Taking into account the aircraft testing costs, this sum increases up to $ 120 million.

That is surprisingly cheap for such a large plane; compare Boeing's freighter prices:

http://www.boeing.com/boeing/commercial/prices/


One of the captions says the An-225 Mriya is designed for 5,000 flights. The thing holds 100,000 gallons of jet fuel. Assuming it used 70% of that on average, that could be over a billion dollars in fuel over it's life assuming $3 per gallon.

747 prices have gone way up over time, way past inflation rates comparing newer models to old, but they have also improved fuel economy tremendously.

(also, is that $120 million inflation adjusted? And is it just the cost of modifying the aircraft it is based on, or the cost including the base aircraft?


That isn't the price from 0 to flying; it's apparently already more than half built. I'm also not sure how accurate that number is; different reports state numbers between $100m and $300m.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonov_An-225_Mriya#Developmen...


Well, that's 180m in today's dollars, not to mention when you buy a modern plane you're paying for ultra-efficiency, modern avionics, modern safety standards, etc which increases cost, the same way you could buy a deathtrap muscle car in 60s that got 15mpg that is cheaper than a modern car. I'd rather take a cross-country trip with a Prius than a 1960's GTO. I'd rather get into a serious wreck in one as well.

Also, the lifespan of this whale is 8k hours. The lifespan of a 747 is like 100k hours. This seems more like a research vehicle than any sort of cost-efficient production vehicle. My understanding is that it was designed to transport the failed Soviet space shuttle clone.


The Boeing price is firm while the Antonov price is much more fuzzy.


"... An-225 transported a payload of 156.3 tons on March 22, 1989 which broke 110 air world records. This has become a world record in its turn. ..."

Awesome quote :)


> When fully loaded, the aircraft can keep on flying without refueling for about 2 hours.

I assume that is a typo.


"Tank capacity constitutes 365 tons. Fuel is held in 13 wing integral tanks. The aircraft can keep on flying for 18 hours and cover the distance of more than 15 000 km."


Fuel burn at MTOW is quite a bit different. I think that's correct.


Wikipedia says the range at maximum load is 2500 miles, so if that's correct, endurance must be significantly longer given that it doesn't go supersonic.


This aircraft certainly doesn't get to supersonic speeds


That's what I said.


So, many large airplanes maximum fuel + maximum payload will be well above maximum takeoff weight. This is actually a good thing, as it means you have lots of flexibility about how you allocate that. Transporting a bulky but not especially heavy payload you can go max fuel and have tremendous range , without compromising the maximum load you can carry - it's just that when maxing the payload weight you may be taking off with tanks 20% full, or even a bit less.


Makes sense! Thanks for the explanation.


There's an interesting image a little more than halfway down the page, where one of the flight crew is wearing a t-shirt showing a helicopter rescuing people from a plane crash. I can't read Russian, so I don't know what the shirt says.

http://img-fotki.yandex.ru/get/9327/30348152.173/0_78a43_401...


It is not Russian, it is either Belarussian or Ukrainian.

It translates to "emergency rescue..."


It is Ukrainian. It says: "emergency rescue..."


Mriya is a Ukrainian word too by the way, means "dream" (as in "I have a dream").


first words are "Rescue..." I think this is just a rescue team shirt made in a funny way, to keep it less serious.


Having watched a C-5 Galaxy fly low overhead before, I can only imagine how ridiculous this thing must look during take off. "When pigs can fly."


I never get tired of watching this video of an Il-76 transport plane taking off in Australia. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLxEHIbHUlY


It's a beautiful hippo flying; pig is not a big enough comparison. Hard to imagine this thing can fly at all.


It's fascinating to look at how these people work, having very recently read an article about how pilots of modern Airbuses and Boeings spend maybe a dozen hours per year actually manually flying those planes. And in here they control this beast using pretty much nothing else but manual steering(and 6 people to do it!).


vs 747 vv A380

http://www.articlesextra.com/main-fotos/antonov-graph.jpg

More stats:

http://planes.findthebest.com/compare/242-247/Airbus-A380-80...

My take-away: A380 significantly more impressive plane. It has a max take-off weight that's 90% of the AN-225, but is a similar size, and much much cheaper to fly, with a significantly better range.


Thst's rather a pointless comparison - the AN-225 is a MUCH more capable aircraft.

http://www.aviationexplorer.com/Antonov_An-225/an-225.jpg

When dealing with air cargo dimensions are more important usually than weight. The -225 routinely carries things like railway cars and wind turbine blades. No way you could even think of loading those on a hypothetical A380 cargo version - you need to engineer from the outset for a pivoting nose and/or full size rear ramp. The -225 has both.


    > Thst's rather a pointless comparison - the AN-225 is a
    > MUCH more capable aircraft.    
    > http://www.aviationexplorer.com/Antonov_An-225/an-225.jpg
They stuck the shuttle on a 747, and there's no particular reason to think it couldn't go on an A380.

    > When dealing with air cargo dimensions are more
    > important usually than weight
Weight and fuel efficiency are by far the most important air-cargo considerations, absolutely dwarfing _every_ _single_ other concern. Awkward loads are a miniscule edge case, which is why there was precisely 1 AN-225 built, 5 Belugas, and 4 Dreamlifters, as compared to the mind-boggling amount of air freighters, and passenger aircraft carrying freight.

    > you need to engineer from the outset for a pivoting nose 
    > and/or full size rear ramp
The Beluga and Dreamlifter both are modified version of existing non-pivoting-nose airframes, and there's even a 747-400 (747-400F) modification where the front lifts up.


I really appreciate the detailed rebuttal over the more characteristic downvote!


I appreciate the metadata comment about something that I assume used to exist. But you should probably delete it now because it no longer makes sense.


I did! In fact, I think I must have done it concurrently to you posting this reply, as I never saw your post when going back to edit my own :-)


I'd be interested to know where those wind turbine blades went that it was cheaper to bring them in this way vs. building a road, and the project still made sense with insane transportation costs. A modern 50m class blade costs no more than $500,000, frequently less than $200,000.


Don't think about the last mile problem....think about getting them from the factory thousands of miles away.


The one example I can find was two 42m blades from China to Denmark in 2010. I would think they normally go by ship, so maybe they were in a rush? And if they were shorter, they would use a smaller plane.


between this beauty and the Soviet ground effect aircraft I have always been more impressed with what the Soviets did build than many of the items we only dreamed about.

Outside of the spruce goose its like we handed over the reins of building the behemoths that graced fiction magazinesto them


The An-225 first flew in 1988 while the first A380 in 2005. It's reasonable to assume the A380 benefited signifcantly from material advances the An-225 didn't have.


Sure, and the Hughes H-4 Hercules, which had a wider wingspan, although it was a bit shorter, first (and only ever) flew in 1947, and was MADE OUT OF WOOD. It's reasonable to assume the AN-225 benefited significantly from material advances (like not being made of wood) that the H-4 Hercules didn't have.


I'm not sure what your point is ? Did anyone make a comparison between the H-4 and the An-225 ?

I was only referring to your poorly thought out A380 vs An-225 statment.


But does the A380 carry it's own tow bar? Or have a massive cargo nose? Or have a floor that can handle heavy cargo pallets? Can it kneel? How many spare parts fly with the plane?

Total apples and oranges. The AN-225 is built like a tank whereas the A380 and 747 are more like coke cans. Not joking. I bet they have mass/volume ratios comparable to aluminum cans.


Your first link doesn't work. "Error : You don't have permission to access /main-fotos/antonov-graph.jpg on this server."

If A380 is cheaper, why Airbus don't product a freight version of A380? Perhaps a comparison with Airbus Beluga/Boeing Dreamlifter with An-225 would be more interesting.


The new Boeing 747-8 freighter sold well enough that Airbus was unable to get sufficient orders to launch the A380 freighter variant.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_747-8



That article clearly says:

However, production has been suspended until the A380 production lines have settled with no firm availability date.

So it seems that there is no freight version of the A380 for the time being.


    > That article clearly says
Which is why I linked to it, because the parent post asked:

    >> If A380 is cheaper, why Airbus don't product a freight
    >> version of A380?


The last flight (tracked) was July 2, 2014 http://flightaware.com/live/flight/UR82060


Well, the tracked is important. The plane is on full schedule. It was in Czech Republic last week, loading tanks.

http://i.imgur.com/ZVBKTp2.jpg


Yeah, FlightRadar 24 tends to have better data: http://www.flightradar24.com/reg/ur-82060

And it is on a full schedule, but it is so expensive to rent that I'm not sure it's actually booked 24/7 like the smaller Antonov An-124s. It just sits in Kiev a decent amount of time.


that picture is great -- the tanks look like children's toys next to the plane


/u/Toonshorty over at reddit did a tilt-shift effect on it https://i.imgur.com/ZwNa8L9.jpg


Some minor photoshop on that very misty pic

http://updo.nl/file/dfa2dd59.jpg


Photoeus Eyepoppicus.


Fantastic images.

The world over, and yes, both Mriya and I, aloft and aground, only accept dc headsets, the David Clark Company, USA.




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