Antonov An-225 Mriya, the largest aircraft in the world, had a busy week participating in a coronavirus outbreak relief effort. Along the way, the super-sized transporter seemingly broke cargo volume transported by air records twice within one week.
When it landed in Paris on April 19, 2020, with eight million masks destined to fight the coronavirus epidemic, the Antonov An-225 Mriya apparently broke yet another world record. The super-transporter airlifted over 1,000 cubic meters of cargo ‒ the largest volume ever transported by air, according to the company that chartered the flight.
The 150 metric tons of cargo were coming from Tianjin, China, and included various medical materials for medical personnel (masks, gloves, uniforms, etc.). Fight ADB3350 was not part of the French government’s effort to set up an air bridge between Europe and China. It was the initiative of a private cargo company called Dynami Aviation instead.
(Credit: Antonov Airlines)
“It is the most successful and bulky flight, it is a world record,” explains Stéphane Charpentier, general manager of the company Dynami Aviation. AeroTime reached out to Antonov to confirm that information but did not receive an answer at the time of publication. The complete unloading of the aircraft took ten hours.
Sadly, due to the confinement, local plane spotters were unable to see the giant land in Paris-Vatry Airport (XCR) for the first time since 2014. As a consolation, the airport set up a live stream.
The giant took off on the morning of April 20, 2020, for another cargo mission.
Second record in one week
The Antonov An-225 Mriya started participating in the coronavirus crisis effort on April 14, 2020, when it carried a flight chartered by Chapman Freeborn Airchartering – the first for the AN-225 after maintenance and modernization performed by Antonov Company.
The super-transporter brought about 100 tons of medicines, tests for laboratory analysis, medical masks and other protective equipment, from Tianjin, China, to Warsaw, Poland. In total, it carried an approximate load of 1000 m3. “In the history of aviation, this cargo volume has never been transported inside the cargo hold of the aircraft,” Vitaliy Shost, Antonov Airlines First Deputy Director announced at the time.
With a MTOW of 600 metric tons and a hold volume of 1,300 cubic meters, the unique plane is the perfect asset for such relief efforts.
It is no stranger to impressive feats. When it took off on March 22, 1989, the An-225 broke 106 world records, including maximum take-off weight, heaviest payload, and the largest wingspan for an operating. Most of those records remain uncontested.