World’s Largest aircraft at Shannon Airport

Posted by The Skibbereen Eagle | April 12, 2015 0

Editorial Photographer, Limerick, Ireland , MunsterThe world’s largest aircraft is at Ireland’s Shannon Airport today. The Antonov 225 landed in the early hours of this morning for a 20-hour rest stop.

The An-225 Mriya measures 84 meters (over 275 feet) in length, around four-fifths the length of the football pitch at Dublin’s Aviva Rugby Stadium. It is 18.1m (59 ft, 5 inches) in height, with a wingspan of 88.4m (290ft) – more than 20m more than the width of the Aviva pitch (68m). The Antonov 225 ‘Mriya’, meaning ‘Dream’, was designed and built by the Antonov Design Bureau in the Ukraine and first flew on December 21st 1988.

The 6-engined monster, with its 32 wheels, is now operated by Antonov Airlines, the transport arm of the Antonov Company, and holds over 300 world records for transporting oversized loads. Because of its size, the An-225 requires a runway of between 3,000 and 3,500 metres in length to take off making Shannon’s, at 3199m (10,486ft), the only one in Ireland capable of handling the plane.

Editorial Photographer, Limerick, Ireland , Munster

Shannon is the only airport in Ireland with a runway large enough to cater for what is being described as “a beast of a plane”. Operations manager Niall Moloney said that they expect many visitors today to have a look at the jet. He described the operational difficulties in having the world’s largest aircraft come for a visit. Editorial Photographer, Limerick, Ireland , Munster

“We have a very large runway so the runway isn’t a challenge for us,” he said. “The challenge for us is the taxiing and parking, just to make sure that it parks in a safe manner and doesn’t come into contact with any buildings or other aircraft.” The Antonov flight originated in Houston, Texas and will finish with the delivery of its high-tech cargo to Cairo, Egypt with a further refuelling stopover in Chateauroux, France.

For more on Shannon Airport and its important place in aviation history see:

Shannon Airport – Gateway to the West of Ireland and the Atlantic


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