World’s biggest plane Antonov An-225 Mriya leaves Perth

THE world’s biggest aircraft has lifted off from Perth Airport just before 6am, heading northeast over Bullsbrook before banking towards the coast.

The giant cargo plane took off on a north-facing runway, heading up over Guildford and Bullsbrook, before banking north and heading towards Europe over the Indian Ocean, crossing the coast around Yanchep.

Hundreds of spectators again flocked to the airport to watch the giant Ukrainian plane take off, but it left well before sunrise, making the spectacle far less visible than the Sunday morning landing.

The Antonov An-225 attracted about 20,000 people when it touched down on Sunday, delivering a 117-tonne turbine from the Czech Republic for a WA mining resources client in the South West.

WHAT IS THE ANTONOV AN-225 MRIYA?

Designed and developed in the 1980s and originally earmarked to carry the “Buran”, a Soviet space shuttle, the AN-225 is the only one of its kind in the world.

It has been used as a commercial freighter to assist with worldwide ultra-heavy cargoes and humanitarian relief work for the past three decades.

The aircraft, which has a crew of six and 42 tyres, is 84 metres long, has a wingspan of 88.4 metres and a height of 18.1 metres. Empty it weighs 285 tonnes and has a maximum takeoff weight of 640 tonnes.

To put this into context, the AN-225 has twice the wing area of a Boeing 747 and can hold the equivalent of ten British battle tanks.

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