A hundred years ago, no one would have thought that a huge colossus weighing tens of tons would be able to rise into the air and carry gigantic loads. Now it is a reality, but all the same, when we see these giants, every time we are surprised how the design thought made their flight possible.
In 1985, the Soviet Union was looking for solutions to create a transport system for its reusable spacecraft Burana. An urgent need arose for an aircraft capable of transporting multi-ton parts of a spacecraft to the place of its assembly and launch. As a result, a project of a cargo aircraft was proposed, which received the name An-225.
The creation of this giant became possible thanks to the hard work and cooperation of design bureaus throughout the USSR. In Voronezh, Kyiv, Moscow, Tashkent, and dozens of other cities, thousands of scientists and engineers have implemented the most daring project in the history of aeronautics. It took a huge country three years to turn the idea of An-225 into reality: the first flight of the An-225 Dream aircraft, assembled at the Kyiv Mechanical Plant, took place on December 21, 1988.
The parameters of the An-225 amaze the imagination: its wingspan is 88.4 meters, its length is 84 meters, and it can take a load of 250 tons on board!
An-225 вЂњDreamвЂќ was built in a single copy and is currently in working order, regularly performing flights.
Stratolaunch Model 351
On May 31, 2017, the Stratolaunch Model 351 aircraft with a record wingspan of 117.3 meters was presented to the general public, which is only slightly inferior in terms of the maximum take-off weight of the An-225: 590 tons versus 640 tons. The machine has a double-fuselage design and is equipped with six jet engines.
The creation of the giant aircraft Stratolaunch Model 351 is also associated with space launches. It is assumed that from this air vehicle in the course of the flight, rockets will be launched, intended for launching into low-earth orbit.