Antonov Mriya: World's largest cargo plane lands in Kuala Lumpur

The Antonov AN-225 Mriya is the longest and heaviest airplane ever built.

The world's largest cargo plane, Antonov An-225 Mriya, touched down at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) on Saturday.

The 600-tonne plane with six turbofan engines is carrying a 117-tonne Czech manufactured turbo-generator and will deliver it to Perth in Australia. Mriya's next stop is in Jakarta before it reaches Perth.

Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd corporate communications general manager Nik Anis Nik Zakaria earlier said the aircraft was at KLIA for refuelling purposes.

Mriya, the Ukrainian for 'The Dream', had previous stopovers in Turkmenistan and landed at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad on Thursday.

The Antonov AN-225 Mriya is the longest and heaviest airplane ever built, with a maximum takeoff weight of 640 tonnes. The plane, which was built in 1988 in the former Soviet Union, has a wingspan of 88 metres, nearly 20 metres more than Boeing 747 and can fly 4,000 kilometres at a time before needing to refuel.

It was built as part of the Soviet space shuttle called 'Buran'. When the Soviet Union collapsed, the Buran programme was shut down and the plane was left on the territory of independent Ukraine.

In 2001, the plane was restored and given a second lease of life.