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Antonov An-124-100 snapped at RAAF Base Amberley

written by Adam Thorn | July 8, 2022

Click to enlarge: UR-82029 departing Amberley as ADB3319 to Guam (Craig Murray)

Australian Aviation photographer Craig Murray took this incredible photo of an Antonov An-124 100 departing RAAF Base Amberley on 25 June.

The 31-year-old, four-engine bemouth, UR-82029, was on its way to the US territory of Guam in the North Pacific Ocean.

The iconic four-engine plane, one of the world’s heaviest, was created by Antonov Design Bureau in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in the Soviet Union. It is thought to have a maximum take-off weight of 402 tonnes and a gigantic wingspan of 73 metres.

The An-124-100 is the sister aircraft of the larger and heavier Antonov AN-225 that was destroyed earlier this year by a Russian attack.

The six-engine behemoth — dubbed ‘Mriya’, or ‘Dream’ in Ukrainian — was the world’s largest cargo plane and a favourite of enthusiasts worldwide. When it first arrived in Australia in May 2016, Perth erected a dedicated viewing area for spotters to see it.

While there are no detailed reports of exactly what happened to AN-225 as of yet, the Ukrainian defence ministry said at the time “it will be restored” at the expense of Russian authorities. The defence ministry said it would cost over US$3 billion, and the project would take over five years.

“Russia has hit the Mriya as a symbol of Ukraine’s aviation capabilities … which holds records for transportation of biggest commercial cargo and longest and heaviest in the history of aviation monoloading, lifting capacity,” the statement said.

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“Our task is to ensure that these costs are covered by the Russian Federation, which has caused intentional damage to Ukraine’s aviation and the air cargo sector.”

The jumbo aircraft was powered with six Ivchenko Progress D-18T turbofan engines and weighed about 285 tonnes when empty.

At the time of its debut in 1988, the AN-225 was 50 per cent larger than any other jet in the world and then remained the biggest cargo aircraft in operation.

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From 1988 to 1991, it primarily operated as the transporter for Buran-class orbiters for the Soviet space program.

Then, when obtained by Antonov Airlines, it became the workhorse for transporting extremely large cargo and was also an asset in rapidly providing supplies for disaster relief programs.

Production of a second AN-225 commenced in the late 1980s, but it was never completed.

Australian Aviation previously reported how Virgin Australia founder Sir Richard Branson visited the destroyed airfield that was its home.

“I hope that Mriya’s legacy will endure, and that the international community will find ways to help Ukraine rebuild not only this airfield, but bring Ukraine’s aerospace industry back to life,” said Branson.

Comments (5)

  • Tony

    says:

    “Bemouth” is a verb. It means to praise someone bombastically. The word you want is “Behemoth”, which means “something of monstrous size, power or appearance”

  • Dick Wesseling

    says:

    What kind of mouth is this? Bemouth.
    Would be nice if spell check is used on articles.
    Behemoth. For sure

  • David

    says:

    I thin you mean ‘behemoth’ not bemouth…

  • David

    says:

    I think you mean ‘behemoth’ not bemouth…

  • VS

    says:

    For information, 36 An-124 were built in Ulyanovsk (USSR), while only 18 An-124 built in Kiev (USSR). In Soviet times. Ukraine has not built a single An-124, much less An-225.

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