PRESTWICK — The Antonov AN225 Mriya has touched down in Glasgow Prestwick Airport (PIK) today. A crowd gathered around the airport to watch the largest aircraft in the world land there.
The supersized cargo aircraft operating Flight ADB3473 from Bangor International Airport (BGR), landed in Prestwick at 14:45 local time (16:45 GMT).
An Airport Fit for The AN225
Due to its runway length, Prestwick is the only airport in Scotland suitable for the AN225. The flight continued to Châteauroux-Centre “Marcel Dassault” Airport (CHR) in France, before continuing to Ben Gurion Airport (TLV) in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Aviation enthusiasts followed the flight using radar tracking mobile apps, as the stop in PIK was merely technical.
The Antonov AN225
Developed as a logistics transport to support the Soviet Buran space shuttle program, the Antonov AN225 has found a new role as a freighter after the cancellation of the program.
Since 2002, the AN225 has transported food and humanitarian aid supplies, military equipment, and gas and oil machinery all over the world. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the aircraft has seen increased use, transporting Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) supplies.
This is not the first time that the AN225 visits Scotland. The last time was in March 2012. Since then, PIK has received countless visits of the Antonov AN124 Ruslan, the predecessor of the AN225.
Featured image: Antonov AN225 over Prestwick Airport (PIK). Photo: Filippo Martini @RomeAviationSpotters