The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Glasgow Prestwick Airport welcomes world’s heaviest aircraft - the Antonov 225

Glasgow Prestwick Airport recently hosted the world’s heaviest aircraft when the massive Antonov 225, the only one of its kind, flew in to collect freight made in Scotland and bound for the USA.

The monster aircraft caused heads to turn - and records to tumble!

The 124-tonne cargo was the heaviest ever loaded at Prestwick, it’s the heaviest load ever to be exported by air from Scotland and, at 550 tonnes, it was also the heaviest-ever flight to depart from Prestwick.

The aircraft was chartered by international freight forwarders F H Bertling to move two offshore marine winches along with supporting equipment manufactured in Aberdeenshire to Moses Lake Airport in Washington State, USA.

Glasgow Prestwick Airport freight development manager Allan McQuarrie said: “This is a great example of the importance of Glasgow Prestwick Airport to Scotland in general and its economy in particular. We are geared up to handle an aircraft of this size and have it loaded quickly and efficiently by an experienced team.”

The Antonov An-225 Mriya (or “Dream”) was designed to carry oversized payloads and first flew in December 1988. Its length is 275 ft, its wingspan is 290 ft and its height is 59 ft. It can cruise at 530 miles an hour and has a range of almost 10,000 miles.

In September 2001, it carried four battle tanks at a record load of almost 254 tonnes. It has since become the world’s workhorse, transporting objects once thought impossible to move by air such as locomotives and 150-tonne generators. It has become an asset to international relief organisations for its ability to quickly transport huge quantities of emergency supplies during disaster relief operations.

In July 2010, it carried the world’s longest piece of air cargo when it flew two 42-meter wind turbine blades from Tianjin in China to Denmark.

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