World's Biggest Aircraft Lands In Ireland Carrying PPE
The biggest plane in the world has landed safely at Shannon Airport in Ireland, bringing with it a huge load of personal protective equipment (PPE) from China.
It's the single largest consignment to fly into the country, and the six-engine Antonov An-225 Mriya jet is the only one of its kind in the world. It is also used to carry things like military tanks, trains, and even smaller aircraft.
It was originally scheduled to arrive yesterday (Tuesday), but was delayed after having a techinical issues.
Some facts about the @AntonovCompany AN 225 ahead of its arrival to @ShannonAirport :clap:- Shannon Airport (@ShannonAirport) June 10, 2020
:airplane:Max take off weight 640 tonnes
:airplane:Height = 6 story building
:airplane:Wing span 290 feet / 88 metres
:airplane:(The size of @CrokePark)
:airplane:Designed to carry the Buran spaceplane
:airplane:6 engines & 32 tyres! pic.twitter.com/Q3LozgIsfg
Director of Operations at Shannon Airport, Niall Maloney, described the aircraft as a 'beast'.
He told Irish radio station RTE Radio One: "It's a 640-tonne beast of an aircraft. If I managed to put nine 737s together, it's the same weight as nine 737s. It's a fantastic feat of aeronautical engineering.
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"It's done its route from China, to Kazakhstan, it has just taken off from Azerbaijan. and we expect it to be in Shannon at about 10 past two this afternoon. The most important part is it is bringing PPE into Ireland. It's got nearly 900,000 surgical gowns and other medical equipment on board."
Mr Maloney explained that the plane was designed in the 80s as part of the Soviet rule at the time. However, it is owned by Ukraine now, and was part of the space programme.
He said: "It really lost its way. It was a moth ball for about eight years but it came back in the late 1990s as a commercial plane and literally has just been flying the longest pieces ever flown in an aircraft, the heaviest pieces ever flown in an aircraft."
Although it's quite a sight to behold, as you can see from the photos, people were urged not to go to the airport to see the plane.
He added: "We're asking people not to come to the airport, because the last time it came to Shannon there were 3,000 people who came to the fences to look at the plane. You can track the plane on an app like flight radar."
Featured Image Credit: PA