Monday, 26 October 2009


Quite an exciting day toda. Following reports of an Antonov AN225 on the tarmac at East Midlands Airport, we decided to take a drive out to see it. For those not in the know, the AN225 is the largest fixed-wing aircraft ever built.
We had heard that the plane was due to leave at 11 o'clock this morning, so we set out in good time to catch it taking off. It promised to be a very exciting spectacle (for those of us who like aircraft).
When we arrived, there were already many people standing with their faces pressed up against the chain-link fence of the airport perimeter. Some of the gathering throng had air-band radios listening for any indication from the control tower that the plane was ready to go. But none came. So we had to be content with distant views of the static aircraft, standing on the tarmac adjacent to the huge DHL cargo centre at East Midlands.
The AN225 is absolutely enormous. It has a wingspan of just over 290ft. It is 275.6ft long. It weighs over 280 tons empty and has a maximum take-off weight of more that 590 tons. It can carry a payload of 46,000 cubic feet.
With a full load, the plane takes a little under 2 miles to get off the ground. What a fantastic thing.
Pity we didn't get to see it take off. But, here is a video of it anyway...
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