The Antonov An-225 Mriya has been tasked with operating COVID-19 support flights; which will see the monstrous cargo aircraft haul medical supplies to various virus hot spots around the world.

Antonov An-225 Tasked With COVID-19 Support Flights. Photo FlyRosta

Following an 18 month break for some modernisation work, the world’s largest and heaviest specialised cargo aircraft is back in the skies to fight COVID-19.

The six-engine monster departed Kiev on the 11th of April and will fly to China to pick up medical supplies, before being flown to Warsaw, Poland in about a weeks time.

Antonov An-225 Tasked With COVID-19 Support Flights. Photo FlyRosta

KGHM, a Polish multinational that operates in metallurgy and mining, chartered the aircraft to help support the country with their relief efforts. In a social media post, KGHM said seven million masks, several hundred thousand coveralls and several hundred thousand helmets would be transported by the Ukrainian aircraft.

With a maximum takeoff weight of 640,000 kilograms, this task is a piece of cake for the aircraft; which also boasts a cargo hold volume of 1,300 metres cubed.

In addition to the Antonov An-225, five An-124s have been operating relief flights; all transporting humanitarian and medical goods to areas in need. Other airlines have also joined the effort, putting empty passenger aircraft into use by converting them into temporary freighters.

Catarina Madureira, an editor on our blog, published an article on a new system for Airbus A320 jets, that allows airlines to carry cargo in passenger cabins. You can read about this here.

Due to the restrictions in place, to curb the spread of COVID-19, going outside to capture the Antonov An-225 land or takeoff is not advised. Because of this, here is a compilation of photos and videos captured by flyRosta

Feature image courtesy of flyRosta