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Antonov An-225: World's biggest unfinished airplane lies hidden in warehouse

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Kiev, Ukraine (CNN) — On the outskirts of Kiev, somewhere between the city's Nyvky and Sviatoshyn metro stations, sits a drab industrial building that you could drive past a thousand times without guessing it contains an extraordinary secret. Inside can be found the unfinished chapter of one of the greatest feats of Soviet aviation ever conceived. The only clue is the building's size. It's gargantuan. It needs to be. Because it contains something equally vast -- the largest… (www.cnn.com) 기타...

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rapidwolve
She is truly a remarkable piece of work..I am wondering what the desigation will be once this unit finished, considering this 1 also has rear cargo load capabilities, much like its little brothers, the AN-124-100M..An-230?
And no, I no longer think of Buran as a US shuttle clone..after a lot of research, in the past, on Buran and US shuttle, they may have had similar shape, but that's all..not even close after that.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

rapidwolve
I wonder how it used the US one as a start, when the first US 1 wasnt built until 1976 (Enterprise), and Buran (OK-!) was already drawn up and in small scale mockup before then.
Many aircraft worldwide resemble another, doesn't necessarily mean plans were taken from another country.
bentwing60
I won't dispute your "horse of a different color" claim because it was, but the "conceptualization for the shuttle had begun two decades earlier, before the Apollo program of the 1960s". Wiki. Firm design concepts appeared in 1969, the engineering drawings were coming out in the early 70's and as you say, the first US 1 was built in 1976. Ever hear of industrial espionage? "OK-1K1 completed one unmanned spaceflight in 1988, and was destroyed in 2002 when the hangar it was stored in collapsed." Again, Wiki. The only reason the guts of a Buran didn't match those of a shuttle IMHO is because they couldn't get their hands on one. The externals speak for themselves.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c4/Columbia_STS-1_arrival_at_launch_pad.jpg/220px-Columbia_STS-1_arrival_at_launch_pad.jpg

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/3/32/Buran.jpg/170px-Buran.jpg
rapidwolve
Firm design concepts did not appear until 1972, engineered drawings in early to mid 73 and Enterprise in 76. I know all about the "OK-1K1" designated shuttle as being the only shuttle the USSR got into actual orbit, unmanned at that, however 3 brother ships had already been built and taken into sub orbital tests. Had the new Russian govt. not been so head strong and hell bent on other "stuff", IMHO, Buran would have continued along.
The externals do not speak for themselves as Buran was never fitted with rocket engines (from first design paperwork) but with modified jet engines, Buran was approx. 26% larger than the US shuttle, the internals would look nothing like the US 1 because the US 1 could not achieve unmanned flight nor could it ever "fly" itself to an alternate flight landing area, the way Buran could. Buran's cargo hold doors would not need to be opened during flight either, unlike the US 1's due to heat build-up from the rocket engines during liftoff, unless cargo was being off loaded. I could go on about the actual external differences, but I won't. And no I am not in defense of anyone, but not everything the world over has had their design "stolen" either. A great many aircraft today look similar in design. Were their plans stolen from 1 another? No, take a design concept and run with it. Same can be said for Curtiss aircraft. Did he "steal" Whitehead's Condor design, or just take the concept and ran with it? Did both petrol and diesel engine manufactures "steal" the designs from Otto or Diesel? No, they too a concept and ran with it.
I do not dispute industrial espionage, but I also didn't base all I researched on 1 particular thing or entity.
bentwing60
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/4c/Tu4.jpg/300px-Tu4.jpg

You can look up a B29. Or just read the Wiki. article this came from.
So they are not above it. The thermal tiles were "carbon copy" from the shuttle, no pun intended. No STS, (shuttle program) no Buran. No doubt in my mind. My Cloneski term was pure tongue in cheek sarcasm but I'm not the first to point out a less than vague similarity between the two, but for a similar mission, I agree there will inevitably be some similarity. This conversation ain't about "the chicken and the egg". The concept was pure U.S. and in line with what's next after Apollo in its time. We got to the moon, they didn't, the shuttle flew 135 missions with two notable busts, Buran flew to orbit once. I rest my case.
rapidwolve
First off, Russia did not steal any plans for that bomber, so toss that theory out the door. They did what a lot of companies do and reverse engineered an aircraft based on a few B29's that crashed in Russia during the Japan conflict, Remember that Russia had to remain neutral in that conflict. Now if Boeing had patented the whole plane, and I mean whole plane, then the "steal" would have merit.
Perhaps, as I stated, those who think the USSR shuttle plans were stolen from the US, should do their research first. If anything, the US stole the idea from the USSR BOR program, which was out and about in 1965, a space plane originally called the MiG-105. That AND the heat tile solution for re-entry; silica sand and carbon tiles! Buran only made it to orbit once because the USSR, as a nation, fell and there was no money to continue. Made it to orbit unmanned at that.
Even now, NASA and Sierra Nevada Corp have designed/built another "space plane" based on the original BOR/MiG-105. To me, that USSR craft looks an awful lot like a start to a shuttle, US and Buran.
bentwing60
So, a reverse engineered Gucci bag from china that is sold in the U.S. as genuine is illegal. The ruskies built 847 B29's that even Wiki credits as a Boeing design! If your contention that reverse engineering is not "industrial espionage", I don't hold much faith for your further contentions. The Russians and Chinese never hold patent rights in high regard. You seem to emulate that with facts. I rewarded your down vote with a similar move. Check.
rapidwolve
We are not talking a Gucci bag here, nor an aircraft that is being sold in the US. Boeing hold no patent right on that aircraft, and if they did, then I would back up your espionage sayings to that aircraft. Good for what Wiki credits. If what you contend about reverse engineering to be true, then many companies the world over could be considered an agent. I dont agree with that and your "ruskies" shows you have little regard for Russia. I won't dispute that as I have no knowledge of you or your beliefs, nor do I care to. I myself hold an open mind and don't hold all Russian folk accountable for what their government/agencies do or is.
As for your downvote, I did so as you based all your info on Wiki, not research. That is the problem today, no one wants to do their own research just jump on the first piece of paper that comes up and claim it as factual.
Have a good day.
bentwing60
PM me if you would like to continue this conversation RW because I would like to read your references and would welcome the knowledge. Otherwise, I coined the acronym "RTFB" (read the f@#$%^g book) at the airport and my sailboat dock for those that asked questions but wouldn't do their homework. FAR's, AIM, NTSB-part830, the company manual, Chapman. WIKI. info. is fairly well sourced, though it tends to lean a bit to port these days, I missed yours. Have a good day.
bentwing60
Doing a little homework here, RE the Mig-105 and 1965-first flight contention, 1976 seems a more accurate figure.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikoyan-Gurevich_MiG-105
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buran_programme
WIKI. much?
rapidwolve
I never said first flight, I stated the program was out and about in 1865. The reason the first flight did not occur, it was 1975 btw, was because of design plan updates and bickering..it was halted in late 69 because, in large part, of this (Thou it will never be admitted)..originally suppose to be a smaller unmanned unit, and smaller scale "deployable" models. And those smaller models are a close resemblence to the shuttle design.
Also, as you said, a design they agreed upon took its first flight, before Enterprise was even out the door.
rapidwolve
Have to stop hitting post before done and I wish there was a way to edit/add if stuff happens. First, let me correct, 1965 not 1865.
NASA Langley engineer's were called upon in 82 to "reverse engineer" a craft, the CIA got "shared" pictures, from RAF Austrailia recon flight, of BOR-4 when she splashed back into the ocean after a launch, in 82. Intrigued of that "space plane", as a rescue idea for a space station, NASA took that model/data and the photos of the MiG-105 (USSR had been co-developing both designs) and started "developing" their own space plane. (remember the shuttle program is going full tilt and NASA's intrigue intensified about 86 apparently after the Challenger shuttle accident)
Also to add, BOR's 1-4 looked nothing like the Mig-105 but more like the small scale shuttle. BOR-1 was launched in early 69 to about 61 miles, then allowed to come back, to test their heat shield tile ideas, or stay with a pan.
Again, thou, I'm sure their government's demanding, along with the bickering (something USSR government wouldn't tolerate) helped shutter the project, for a while, in late 69.
As you now see why I don't believe reverse engineering to be industrial espionage..more like "hey that's a good design, lets start with that, take it apart/scrutinize photos and data, and see if we can improve upon it" (or in many cases, fail upon it). Yes I believe USSR/Russia, and a hosts of other countries, are guilt of espionage, the physical stealing of plans/dark lit photos when noone is looking (I'm thinking the "destroyed" Arrow and its close design to a few "newer" Russian jets), but in the case of Buran, I think Russia had an idea for Buran's design before the US shuttle was out the door.
sanukjim
When I was working at DFW for American Airlines as a A&P the AN 225 had landed and taxied over to the west side of the airport.My sister working for American's transportation unit took out some Coke-Colas to the crew as they left the plane as a guested of good will.They in turn invited her to tour the airplane .With their permission she called me to come there to see the plane.The first thing that I noticed is that the crew used a very long aluminum step ladder to inter the flight deck.I spent about an hour all over the aircraft including the flight deck. I found a lot of the aircraft not up to date with our aircraft at that time .
rapidwolve
Did you get a chance to squeeze through the APU bay and climb up into the aft crew quarter's?
I do not think Mriya will ever be fully up to date with modern aircraft as that would be a complete, and I mean complete, teardown of all the electrical systems and then designing, building and installing new. There is talk, however, of pulling her engines and installing Aviadvigatel PD-35's but with the conflict over there, I highly doubt that will happen. Another thought, they are considering, is replacing those DT-18's with modified CF6's.
bentwing60
Below is a pretty good read about an airplane that was conceptualized to ferry around the "Buran", or as I like to call it "the shuttleski cloneski". It also toted around the Energia rocket boosters and almost anything else except Mt. Rushmore. Superlatives don't do it justice and neither do pictures. It's considerably larger than a 74 and noticeably larger than A380!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonov_An-225_Mriya

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buran_(spacecraft)

Both truly one of a kind, Cheers.
rapidwolve
She is at that, bentwing..stick the shuttle on its back and stick the external tank in it's belly.
Although the Myasishchev VM-T was no slouch either, but was way too small.
AZAFVET
The USAF should buy it to make a new Air Force One. Only problem would be that Trump couldn't fit his ego inside of t.
ReverendLee
For some reason the images would not show for me. So, I stripped them out. If you also cannot see the pretty pictures, here they are — linked in order:

1) http://cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/180831153006-antonov-fedykovych-7.jpg
2) http://cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/171031133640-baikonur-launch.jpg
3) http://cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/180831151911-antonov-fedykovych-10.jpg
4) http://cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/180831142545-an-225-in-service.jpg

She is a sight to behold.
gerardogodoy
A once or twice delivery job per year????...great business!!!!!!!
rapidwolve
That isn't their only delivery craft.Antonov also has several An 124's as well as the AN 22 for heavy lift.
Actually, the 225 has been out 8 times so far this past year

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