As lightweight composite materials and advanced aviation technology enable larger aircraft to take to the skies, it’s interesting to note that the largest airplane in the history of aviation, measured by maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) is Ukraine’s Antonov An-225 Mriya. Designed in the 1980s by the Soviet Union’s Antonov Design Bureau, the airplane took its first flight on December 21, 1988. It was featured at the Paris Air Show in 1989, as well as the Farnborough air show in 1990, where it demonstrated its capabilities by taking-off and landing with the Soviet Buran – an orbital vehicle similar to the renowned US Space Shuttle – on board.
The An-225 was specifically designed to transport the Soviet Buran spacecraft, and when the Soviet space program was abandoned in the 1990s the airplane was put into storage for a time, but later reinstated into service as a cargo jet. With its 46,000 cubic feet (1,300 cubic meters) of cargo space the An-225 is capable of transporting five military tanks, or 50 automobiles, over a distance of 3,000 miles. In September 2001, the An-25 took off carrying 4 battle tanks recorded at 253.82 tons, flying at an altitude of 6,600 feet over a distance of 620 miles at an average speed of 474.2 mph.
With a 640 ton gross weight, the An-225 it is acknowledged to be the heaviest aircraft in the world, and it has a maximum takeoff weight of 1.32 million pounds, or 600,000 kilograms. By comparison the Airbus A380 can take off carrying around 1.24 million pounds, the heaviest of all passenger aircraft.
The An-225’s first commercial flight was in January 2002, flying from Stuttgart, Germany, to Thumrait, Oman, where it delivered 216,000 prepared meals to American military personnel. It has since been employed in transporting emergency supplies to disaster struck areas, and delivering items such as locomotives, massive generators and a range of military supplies. It has transported the heaviest single cargo item ever airfreighted – a generator weighing 420,000 pounds to an Armenian power plant, as well as the longest piece of air cargo ever delivered – two 42-meter wind turbine blades from Tianjin in China to Denmark. In March 2012 it was used to transport equipment from Calgary in Canada to Nigeria that would previously have been sent by sea. The equipment was urgently needed to prevent dangerous gas flaring in Nigeria’s oil industry. The An-225 appeared in the 2004 Guinness Book of Records for 240 record-setting achievements. The An-225 is one-of-a-kind, with a second airplane started but reportedly never completed.
It was a day the entire team had been waiting for. The Antonov An-148 lifted off from a runway in Russia, and successfully performed the tasks required during its forty-one minute flight. On its maiden flight, the Antonov An-148 climbed to five thousand meters and maintained speeds of just less than five hundred and fifty-five kilometers per hour. This magnificent collaboration between Russia and Ukraine has produced a new aircraft that has already begun to make a massive impression on the aviation industry.
The Antonov An-148 aircraft is a jet aircraft that was designed by the Antonov Design Bureau, which is located in Ukraine. Construction took place at the VASO Aircraft Factory in Russia, combining the efforts of both teams, to be able to see the Antonov An-148 take to the skies. Production on the aircraft soon began and in June 2009, the An-148 began flying domestic flights for Aerosvit Airlines in Ukraine.
Its unique design, allows the Antonov An-148 to fly to airports few other aircraft would be able to. The twin jet turbine engines which are located under the wing of the An-148 drive the high wing monoplane into flight, and this unusual configuration offers protection to both the wing and the engines. The design of the wing along with the auxiliary power unit, also assists the aircraft to land at airports that are not as technologically advanced as those found in the bigger cities. Equipped with the latest navigational systems, fly-by-wire equipment and multifunctional displays creates a very reliable aircraft that is able to fly safely through a variety of weather conditions. Depending on the seat pitch installed in the Antonov An-148, the aircraft is able to accommodate between seventy to eighty passengers and two crew members. It has a cruising speeding of between eight hundred and twenty to eight hundred and seventy kilometers per hour and has a maximum take off distance of one thousand seven hundred and fifty meters. Orders for the new Antonov An-148 aircraft have come in from Cuba, Iran, Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan, confirming the success of the aircraft and the success of the designers and construction team.
Ukraine is a country with an ancient and fascinating history, stunning scenery, fascinating culture and warm, welcoming people, making it an increasingly popular tourist destination. Economic developments in the last decade or so have resulted in business opportunities attracting business travelers to the country. All forms of transport, including air travel, are readily available making a visit to Ukraine a pleasant adventure.
Some more details on the airports available to you should help you with your travel plans and the destinations you intend to visit. Boryspil State International Airport is situated near to the city of Boryspil and only 29km from the capital city. Boryspil airport is the main airport into the country and one of the largest, taking on the majority of the international flights provided into the country.
From the airport all forms of transport are available to you. The Autolux Transport Company can provide you with comfortable, easy transport around the whole of the Ukraine and to most of the cities, a scenic way to view the country. Or if Kiev is as far as you want to go then Atass, a bus operator, can provide shuttle-buses to and from the capital.
If a car is what you need then go no further as Boryspil international can provide you with an array of vehicles from their car rental, allowing you to explore at your own pace. Taxis are also accessible to you and can get you to Kiev center in 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the traffic. Kiev or Antonov Airport is near Gostomel just 25 km from Kiev and is more of an international cargo airport as well as a test facility, specifically for Antonov aircraft.
Zhulyany Airport is located south of Kiev, providing most of the domestic passenger flights within the country apart from the other passenger airport in Kiev. Moving away from the capital, you will find Mykolaiv International Airport in the city of Mykolaiv and Odessa International Airport in Odessa, which also provides domestic flights.
Airports in Ukraine:
The Mykolaiv International Airport is about 56 meters or 183 feet above mean sea level and its position is 47 degrees 03′ 28″N, 031 degrees 55′ 11″E. The Airport is a public airport that serves the city of Mykolaiv in the Ukraine. The Mykolaiv International has two runways – one with an asphalt surface while the other has a grass surface. The asphalt surface runway is 8,438 feet or 2,572 meters long and the grass surface runway is 5,905 feet or 1,800 meters long.
In the whole of the South of Ukraine, the Mykolaiv International is considered one of the biggest airports. It is also recognized for the advanced and extensive technology that it is equipped with. This State owned enterprise is listed as a Class B airport, which means that all operations must be conducted by VFR (visual flight rule), IFR and SVFR flight rules. ATC is held responsible for clearing all aircraft and must separate each flight from one another. Like Mykolaiv airport in Ukraine, the whole world’s navigable airspace is basically divided into three categories and are allocated a specific class, either class A, B or C.
The Mykolaiv International Airport has a modern runway that can handle aircraft weighing as much as 220 tons when they land there. The runway can also hold a total of eight “Ilyushin IL-76” aircraft that have an array of lighting, navigation and radio technology. These strategic air lifters have four engines and were designed in the Soviet Union, although now they can be found throughout Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia. At the Air terminal complex there are about 400 passengers that go through every hour on domestic flights and only about 100 passengers coming through on international flights.
The Odessa International Airport can be found in Odessa in Ukraine and was built in 1961, providing both domestic and international flights. Odessa is considered the fourth largest city in Ukraine, being home to more than a million people, and serves as an important port on the Black Sea. As a public airport, the Odessa International Airport’s official ICAO code is UKOO, with its allocated airport code being ODS and its World Area Code is 488.
The airport’s elevation above mean sea level is 172 feet or 53 meters. The airport has two runways – one measuring about 9,186 feet or 2,799 meters long consisting partly of concrete, with the other consisting of grass and measuring 1,815 feet or 553 meters long. These runways are shared by the country’s Air Force. The longitude of Odessa airport is 30 degrees 37’0″E and a latitude of 46 degrees 30’0″N.
The Odessa trade seaport was a very important trade port for the U.S.S.R during the Soviet period but now has very little military interference. Odessa seaport is considered a warm water port and so are its counterparts Yuzhny, an international oil terminal, and Illichivs’k all of which symbolize a very important transportation junction. The beautiful architecture that can be found in Odessa has a taste of the Mediterranean, not as one would expect considering it is a Ukrainian city. Odessa is a lovely city to visit, and those who fly into Ukraine via the Odessa International Airport will find that Odessa is a fascinating melting pot of cultures, languages and backgrounds.