World's largest aircraft flies again after 10 months
Antonov Airlines has witnessed a steady flow of business from operating flights into Afghanistan using the An-225 and the marginally smaller An-124.
The world's longest and heaviest operational aircraft, the Antonov An-225, is back in the skies after 10 months. The aircraft's operations were paused in August 2020, according to RadarBox.com.
Operated by Antonov Airlines, the 84-metre huge aircraft took off from Gostomel Antonov Airport in Ukraine's capital Kyiv on Tuesday evening and flew towards West Asia, as per aviation news website Simple Flying. The site further claimed that Antonov is heading towards Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport (KBL). The plane was scheduled to land in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
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The operator took the aircraft out of service for heavy maintenance after an August 3 flight to Gostomel from Tel Aviv (TLV). As per media reports, AN-225 operated flights in late 2020, filling in for the vacuum created by the grounding of half the world's AN-124s. However, RadarBox.com does not support such claims, according to Simple Flying.
With a wingspan of 88.4 meters, a height of 18.2 meters, and a take-off weight of 1,410,958 pounds, the jet was designed and built in the 1980s in the Soviet Union. Only one was ever fully built, UR82060. That plane was in the air on Tuesday night.
Antonov Airlines has witnessed a steady flow of business from operating flights into Afghanistan using the An-225 and the marginally smaller An-124. The flight operations in the country for US and NATO military forces.
Prior to its post-August hiatus, the An-225 operated several relief flights for transportation of coronavirus pandemic-related humanitarian and medical goods to places in need.
In April 2020, the An-225 flew 100 cubic meters of medical supplies from China to Poland. This is reported to be the largest volume of cargo ever carried by plane, Simple Flying reported. The airline broke its record a week later after transporting even more supplies from China to France. It reportedly took more than 10 hours for the airport workers to unload all the cargo after the flight landed.