August 11: Antonov Airlines’ An-225 Mriya transported the heaviest single-piece cargo load in aviation history when it took a 187.6 tonnes generator from Frankfurt in Germany to Yerevan in Armenia.
The crew was presented with a certificate by the producers of the ‘Guinness Book of Records’. Designed for the Soviet space programme and the transportation of rocket sections, the An-225 is the largest fixed-wing aircraft in the world and is powered by no less than six Ivchenko Progress D-18 engines, each producing 51,600lb/ft (229.5kN) of thrust. Only one was ever produced, first flying on December 21, 1988 but it wasn’t until 2001 that the type was cleared for operational use. In September 2001 it set a world record carrying a load of 253.82 tonnes of cargo and holds over 240 individual records in total.