The Antonov An-225 Mriya Lands in Warsaw, Poland, Carrying COVID-19 Relief from China

The giant AN-225 has taken part of the Covid-19 relief mission to Poland. (All images: Michał Prokurat)

The world’s heaviest aircraft ever built is flying Covid-19 relief missions these days.

The only built Antonov An-225 Mriya (NATO reporting name: Cossack) strategic airlift cargo aircraft landed in Warsaw today, carrying material help for Poland fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. The giant airlifter landed at the Chopin airport around 9.30 AM.

The aircraft carried personal protective equipment from China. The volume of goods transported was more than 1,050 cubic meters, Michał Chludzinski, President at KGHM (the company that organized the transport operation together with Lotos and the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs) said.

Designed at the end of Cold War, the main purpose of the AN-225 was to carry the Soviet “Buran” space shuttle and parts of the “Energia” rocket. Currently, the sole existing example (UR-82060) is used commercially, as an international cargo transporter.

Notably, this is the first operation carried out by Mriya to fight the Pandemic, and it has also been the third visit of that aircraft in Poland (with the previous ones happening in 2003 and 2005, in Poznan and Pyrzowice, respectively).

The Antonov An-225 Mriya (Ukrainian: Антонов Ан-225 Мрія, lit. ‘dream’ or ‘inspiration’; NATO reporting name: Cossack) on the ground in Warsaw.

About Jacek Siminski
Standing contributor for TheAviationist. Aviation photojournalist. Co-Founder of Expert in linguistics, Cold War discourse, Cold War history and policy and media communications.