THERE’S AN OLD AVIATION question that runs, “Why do they put four engines on a 747? Answer: because they can’t fit six…” Well, that doesn’t apply to the Antonov An-225 as it has six engines as standard and holds the record as the largest aircraft in the world currently flying.
Mat Irvine: The Antonov An-225 was initially developed to transport the Soviet Buran space shuttle, but with the demise of that project, the An-225 – named Mrija (‘Dream’ in Ukrainian) and developed from the four-engined An-124 – was mothballed for almost a decade. But then it was refurbished as a transporter for very large and heavy payloads.
The Revell model is the first conventional kit of this giant aircraft, and is moulded (below) in standard 1:144 scale.
You can build the An-225 in one of four poses. These are: landing gear up for in-flight display, gear down, with the large loading door open, and with the fuselage kneeling nose-first to allow vehicles to drive straight into the capacious hold.
The kit has 227 parts, many of these going into the detailed interior and flight deck. There are also plenty of components for the undercarriage. After all, this beast does have 14 main landing struts, two wheels on each, with two more pairs for the nose, making 32 wheels in total.
The decal sheet (below) is modest for an aircraft of this size, with just one set of markings, not surprising as there is only one flightworthy An-225 in existence. There is a second, part-finished An-225 that still sits in its hanger in the Antonov factory in Kiev. There was talk of turning this into a satellite launcher, but to date nothing appears to have come of the idea.
The An-225 instruction booklet (below) is clear and easy to follow.
Useful detail pix on the box side (below).
The real thing (below) seen on the ground, and in the air.
Revell: Antonov An-255 Mrija
Fuselage length: 587 mm (23 in)
Manufacturer’s ref: 04958