The Antonov AN -255 Mirya (Cossak) is an strategic cargo aircraft designed by Energia rocket’s boosters and the Buran-Class orbiters for the Soviet Space program in the Ukrainian within the soviet in 1980s.
It’s powered by six turbofans engines and heaviest aircraft ever built with its maximum takeoff weight of 640 Tones In addition it has the largest wingspan in the world and there is only one aircraft built by Antonov.
In the late 1980s, the Soviet government was looking for a way to generate revenue from its military assets. In 1989, the Antonov Design Bureau set up a holding company as a heavy airlift shipping corporation under the name Antonov airlines.
The company began operations with a fleet of four An-124-100s and three An-12s, but a need for aircraft larger than the An-124 became apparent in the late 1990s. In response, the original An-225 was re-engined, modified for heavy cargo transport, and placed back in service under the management of Antonov Airlines.
In August 2016, representatives from Ukraine’s Antonov and AICC, an import-export company operating out of Hong Kong, signed an agreement to recommence production of the An-225, with China now planning to produce and fly the first model by 2019, but the COVID-19 has affected the production.
The An-225 became involved in the COVID-19 relief effort, conducting flights to deliver medical supplies from China to other parts of the world.