The largest commercial airliner ever made in the world, the Antonov An-225 Mriya, has just been released for Microsoft Flight Simulator.
The project was possible thanks to the coordinated and intense work carried out with the Microsoft Flight Simulator team, together with the project team from the Antonov company, with the support of the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, and, of course, the support and expertise of the pilots and engineers from the manufacturer and airline, who helped make the aircraft’s behavior more realistic.
AN-225 crew chief pilot Dmytro Antonov, pilots Kyrylo Volegov and Eygen Bashynskyi, and navigator Serhiy Nechaev had the opportunity to test the realism of Mriya’s digital flight.
Restoring this aviation legend was a complicated and time-consuming process involving several skilled teams from around the world. Many hours of model development, sound recording and detailed design went into making sure that everyone could feel the pilot’s role in the world’s biggest plane as realistically as possible, hear the sound of its engines, check out the cockpit and charge.
Using the An-124 Ruslan as the basis for the design, in 1985 Antonov began designing what was called the “Mk. 401”, which was later named the An-225, as it could carry up to 225 tons of cargo. In addition to being much larger than the An-124, the Mriya (which means “dream” in Ukrainian) was equipped with six turbofan engines, the same power sources used by the Ruslan.
Further differentiating itself from the An-124, the An-225’s empennage has a different shape than its smaller brother. Instead of a large vertical stabilizer, the An-225 was made with two, each on the end of the horizontal stabilizer, a design dictated by the aerodynamics of carrying massive loads on top of the fuselage.
The landing gear was also enlarged compared to that of the An-124: the Mriya had a total of 32 wheels, the rearmost of the main landing gear set capable of turning.
Two An-225s were scheduled for production, but Antonov only completed one, which had its maiden flight on December 21, 1988, officially becoming the heaviest aircraft ever to fly. During a subsequent flight on March 22, 1989, the An-225 broke 110 world records at once, which is already a record in itself.
A few months later, the plane arrived at the Baikonur Cosmodrome and technicians installed the Buran orbiter in its upper fuselage. On June 9, 1989, spectators at the Paris Air Show were awed by the sight of the An-225, with the Buran overhead, approaching through the clouds, the first plane to fly over the Eiffel Tower and then land.
Tragically, in February 2022 the Mriya was attacked during the Russian invasion of Ukraine, rendering it unusable. The plan is to take the Mriya to the skies again, joining part of the destroyed An-225 with parts of the fuselage of the one that was never completed.
The An-225 measured 83 meters (longer than the Wright’s first flight), 17 meters tall and had a wingspan of 88 meters. It was powered by six Progress D-18T high-bypass turbofan engines that deliver 23 tonnes of thrust each, can carry up to 253 tonnes and has a maximum takeoff weight of 640 tonnes. With a range of 15,000 kilometers and a service ceiling of 10,000 meters, it cruises at 804 kilometers per hour and reaches a top speed of 852 km/h.
In Flight Simulator, the An-225 Mriya features six colors:
- Antonov Airlines ‘2010’
- Antonov Airlines ‘2008’
- Antonov Airlines ‘2006’
- Xbox Aviators Club
- Aviators Club
You can fly the An-225, available on the Microsoft Flight Simulator marketplace , for R$105 on PC today. All proceeds from the sale go to the Antonov Company to rebuild the An-225 . The plane will become available on Xbox Series X|S and Xbox Cloud Gaming at the end of March.