December 21 marks 25 years of one of the most impressive engineering achievements of mankind - transport aircraft An-225 "Mriya". As is well known, "Mriya" was designed for transportation of various components of the carrier rocket "Energy" and reusable space shuttle "Buran" from the place of production and assembly to the start. There was also a problem of delivery of the space shuttle to the launch site in the event of a landing it on alternate airfields. Finally, the intended use of the AN-225 as the first stage of air-launched spacecraft that required by the plane load capacity of 250 tons. By the time the aircraft for the first and only start of the "Buran" all necessary transport have already been made, and later they were no longer necessary, since the project "Energy-Buran" slowly and quietly been abandoned. However, AN-225 still managed to make a series of flights with the "Buran", and in this post are pictures of just those historic flight, which turned over 20 years.
The history of "Mrii": transportation wing from the factory (Tashkent Aviation Production Association. Chkalov) assembly in Kiev on an ad hoc modification trehkilevoy aircraft carrier An-22 "Antaeus»:
final stages of assembly of the AN-225:
Turn An-225 on the night of November 30, 1988, before rolling out of the assembly shop. To. To deploy the aircraft fell on a small patch under its chassis on the floor workshop was poured engine oil.
On 3 and 4 December, the aircraft made first steps on the factory airfield in Svyatoshin: taxiing, turns and runs up to a speed of 200 km / h with the rise of the front landing gear. The behavior of the car turned out exactly as expected, and the first flight was appointed to a fairly close date - December 20. However, that day the weather conditions did not allow to raise the AN-225 in the sky. The next day, the weather is not too pleased: low clouds, back-to-side wind brought charges snow. Yet the plane - on the runway. He ran about 950 meters, "Mriya" is easily detached from the ground and goes into the overcast winter sky. In the first flight, which lasted for 1 hour 14 minutes, usually determined by the characteristics of stability and controllability of the new aircraft, refined various aerodynamic amendments check the operation of on-board systems and equipment. Flying revealed full compliance with the actual characteristics of the AN-225 and calculated the identity of the real behavior of the aircraft in the air previously modeled on the bench.
Test flights in March 1989 .:
March 22, 1989 AN-225 performed the flight with a cargo of 156, 3 tons, which was beaten at the same time 110 world aviation records. Such an achievement - a record in itself. Of course, the plane was not built for a record in May 1989, he flew to the airfield "Jubilee" that at Baikonur for the test flights with the "Buran". After that was supposed to make a joint flight to Paris to participate in the international aerospace show in Le Bourget.
Handling "Burana" to "Mrіyu" with the lifting and installation of the unit PUA 100 on-site overload:
The unit is a close-up:
Orange device on the nose of the aircraft - the gauge of the angle of attack and slip Doiceau, which is set for a period of testing:
Although the project "Energy-Buran" is now being debated on the subject of its appropriateness, however, he also is a testament to the strength and capabilities of domestic engineering.
Loading completed and AN-225 "Mriya" with the "Buran" is transported in the direction of the airfield:
Even what is happening in the photo looks impressive; I imagine how it looked alive.
Inspection "Buran" after its first installation "Mrіyu»:
The giant and the little men:
"Mriya" and "Buran" on the taxiing:
First joint jogging on the runway. When spreads engines "Mrii" raised small sandstorms:
Jogging on the runway with the separation of the front landing gear:
The first joint off:
Photos taken with the aircraft maintenance:
Landing on the "Jubilee" after completion of the test:
The test flight, of course, was not alone. That "Mriya" with the "Buran" are directed to the runway "Jubilee" before another joint test flight:
Little House on the right - combined control tower:
AN-225 and "Buran" in the show guide the country (LII im.M.Gromova) before the flight at Le Bourget:
This picture was listed as a flight over the USSR on the way to Le Bourget, but on the nose of the aircraft somehow seen again Doiceau:
When the flight at Le Bourget, one of the stops was Kiev, and in particular, Gostomel. The chief designer of the AN-225 "Mriya" Anatoly Vovnyanko gives an interview to the Central Television of the USSR:
There, in Gostomel:
On the way to Paris "Mriya" with the "Buran" made a stopover in Prague:
Arriving at Le Bourget in June 1989 .:
Planting of this giant with the "Buran" on the fuselage caused a wild delight of the local audience:
Of course, "Mriya" with the "Buran" immediately became a "star" aviation salon. And now the couple is still one of the most impressive exhibits that once or exhibited at Le Bourget.
Demonstration flights at Le Bourget:
July 4, 1989 AN-225 "Buran" completing the return flight to the "Jubilee". "Buran" at Baikonur returned after Paris. Forever ...
April 12, 1991 in honor of the 30th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's flight "Mriya" last will rise into the air with the "Buran».
After the flight:
The crew of the AN-225 and the frustrated crew of "Buran»: