The world’s largest cargo jet landed at Oakland International Airport recently. The plane called Antonov An-225 ‘Mriya’ flew from its home base in Ukraine and landed to Oakland on an emergency flight to pick up disaster relief supplies. The jet took a non-stop trip and did not make any stops in between. The flight was made to provide relief goods to the victims of Typhoon Mangkhut, which hit Guam.
The An-225 Mriya is a jet which was designed in the 1980s to support the space program of the Soviet Union. The Soviets needed an extra large aircraft which could take the space shuttle Buran from the landing zones and back to its home base. The American Space Shuttle used a 747 which was modified to carry out this task. Antonov built a much more substantial, powerful and longer ranged aircraft. There was only one Mriya which was built by the company.
The jet is huge. It is 59 feet tall, with a wingspan of 290 feet, and a length of 275 feet. It has 16 pairs of landing wheels, six Progress D-18T turbofan engines which allow the plane to carry up to 326 tons of fuel and cargo at the same time. The cargo hold of the plane is 142 feet long, 21 feet wide and 14 feet high. It has a lot of space to carry the load and carry activities. According to FlightRadar24, the An-225 took off from the Antonov headquarters at Gostomel, Ukraine on 9th September. The jet flew non-stop on a path which covered Belarus, Finland, Norway, Greenland, Canada, and the United States. The complete flight consisted of nearly thirteen hours.
The aircraft flew into Oakland to pick up 140 tons of the US Military Meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), water, and other items of the disaster relief supplies. The weight of the cargo became a reason for cutting the range of the jet, and it had to make a stop in Honolulu for refueling before continuing its journey to Guam. The aircraft arrived before the Typhoon Mangkhut, dropped its cargo and departed again. The flight needed an exemption from the government flight regulations to complete the trip. The exemption application was filed on Antonov’s behalf claims, “No U.S. air carrier can offer a comparable solution, and no other airplane in the fleet of Antonov or any other air carrier can match the capacity and flexibility that a single AN-225 flight can offer.”