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This week the mighty AN-225 Mriya came to Leipzig-Halle Airport. Designed by Antonov Design Bureau in the 1980s, it is the heaviest aircraft ever built, with the largest wingspan of any aircraft operating today. It has a maximum take-off weight of 640 tonnes.
Just one of the type was made, and is operated by Antonov Airlines. A second was partially built, and is expected to be finally developed in partnership with Aerospace Industry Corporation of China. The AN-225 holds the world record for an airlifted single-item payload of 189,980 kilograms (418,830 pounds) and an airlifted total payload of 253,820 kg (559,580 lb). It has also transported a payload of 247,000 kg (545,000 lb) on a commercial flight.