Aviation lovers of Perth are about to be treated to a once in a lifetime opportunity in May when the world’s biggest aircraft, the Antonov AN-225 visits Perth for a special delivery.
Dates have now been confirmed for Sunday May 15 and Wednesday May 18. Scheduled times are not fully known yet but Perth Airport will inform us when they come to hand.
Formerly a part of the Soviet Union until it’s collapse in the early 1990s, the AN-225 has belonged to Antonov Airlines ever since. It’s considered a gun for hire due to its sheer size, enabling it to carry oversized payloads with ease. What sets the AN-225 apart from other aircraft are its 88 metre wingspan – the widest on the planet. Couple that with a length of 84 metres AND a massive max take off weight of 640,000kg and you can begin to imagine how she would dominate the skies.
The purpose of this upcoming visit to Perth is to deliver a rather large generator for a resources company. The plane has also transported such items as train carriages in the past.
Despite being in operation since 1988, the AN-225 should be able to remain in operation until around 2030, due to its strict two flights a month routine which should keep it at the forefront of Aviation world records for a while yet.
It’s believed that this visit could attract around 40,000 aviation enthusiasts to Perth which could mean vantage points could well be swamped. The obvious choice of the Observation deck at the Airport for its adjacent location for a southern approach landing is great but small. I would also look at the Welshpool industrial estate off Tonkin Highway if the Antonov does indeed take the southern approach then you’ll be right under it!
So there you have it, if you have the chance to see the amazing AN-225 in May when she comes to Perth, take it!