The An-225 was just the beginning. The engineers had big plans for the aircraft, and by big, we mean huge. Meet the An-325 and its bigger brother, the Antonov AKS.They were templates for a new soviet space-faring future. From shuttle transportTo Shuttle launches,To even future designs that were somewhat wacky and out of this world.But with the unconfirmed news of the destruction of the one and only An-225 in Ukraine, it comes the end of an era – perhaps even the end of the last soviet union mega projects.
source/image(PrtSc): Found And Explained
In today’s video, we won’t just be looking back at perhaps one of the most magical aircraft to ever fly, but appreciate the good that it did during its life and what could have been.The An-225 began its life as a heavy lift aircraft – designed to carry the 2400 ton super-heavy lift launch vehicle – the Energia and the soviet shuttle Buran.
In the 1990s, the British approached Antonov to produce an updated version of the AN-225, one called the AN-325 – super creative name, that would have an additional engine on each side to a total of 8, with 4 of them positioned as pairs on the same pylons, similar solution to the one used on B-52. It was called Horizontal Take Off and Landing Spacecraft (HOTOL) single-stage-to-orbit aerospace vehicle, and expect us to cover it on our new channel linked below.
During the 80s and the “one stage spacecraft” race, Tupolev design bureau was working on a completely new project called Tupolev OOS, where OOS stands for, well..one stage orbital craft. This thing was proposed to be a massive double sized An-225 – built out of two fuslages. it would have Eighteen D-18T turbofans with a combined thrust of 421,740 kgf, and be able to carry up to 1650 tons, or 3.6 million pounds. Its wingspan would be 153 meters, or 500 feet long, twice that of the boeing 777x we have today. For the AN-225, the future was bright and the dreams were big… but sometimes, dreams dont happen.//read more: Found And Explained