June 27, 2014 12:40 pm
Updated: June 29, 2014 2:45 pm

World’s largest aircraft returns to Edmonton


Watch above: The world’s biggest aircraft is at the Edmonton International Airport tonight. Vinesh Pratap gives us a closer look.

EDMONTON – It can carry 45 African elephants. Or seven humpback whales. Or more than the equivalent of three fully-loaded 737s.

The Antonov An-225 is the longest, heaviest airplane in the world – and is the only one of its kind.

Built in Ukraine in the 1980s, the An-225 was originally designed to carry the Soviet Union’s space shuttle, but now charters oversized cargo across the globe.

On Friday morning the plane landed at the Edmonton International Airport, to deliver a new waste heat boiler for Agrium’s nitrogen fertilizer operation near Redwater, AB.

WATCH: The An-225 lands at the Edmonton International Airport, live on the Morning News. 

The boiler was made in Berlin, Germany. It was then transported by barge, truck and then flown by the An-225 across the Atlantic to Edmonton. Logistics company DB Schenker of Canada organized the international move.

This is not the first time the  An-225 has touched down in Edmonton. In March of 2010, the plane was chartered by the U.S. military to bring supplies from Edmonton-based Canadian Helicopters to Afghanistan. It picked up 50 tonnes of supplies, including three helicopters. In November of 2007, the plane delivered three armoured vehicles for military training.

BELOW: Photos of the plane’s arrival

WATCH: On Saturday, it could be seen taking off from the Edmonton International Airport.

Some interesting facts:

  • Powered by six turbofan engines
  • Max speed: 850 km/h
  • Length: 84 m (275 ft.)
  • Wingspan: 88 m (290 ft.)
  • Empty weight: 285 tonnes
  • Max. takeoff weight: 640 tonnes
  • Crew: six people
  • Cost to build another An-225 (est. in 2011): Over $300 million, and would take three years

More to come…


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