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Antonov AN-225 vs. Lockheed C-5 Galaxy





First Flight
84 m275 ft
75 m247 ft
88 m290 ft
67 m222 ft
Wing Area
905 m²9,741 ft²
580 m²6,243 ft²
Fuselage Width
8 m26 ft
5 m18 ft
18 m59 ft
19 m65 ft
Cargo Capacity
253 t560,000 lbs
127 t281,000 lbs
Max Takeoff Weight
640 t1,411,000 lbs
381 t840,000 lbs
Number of Engines
Engine Manufacturer & Model
Progress D-18TGeneral Electric CF36 (F138)
Max Thrust Per Engine
230 kN51,600 lbf
230 kN51,000 lbf
Max Total Thrust
1,377 kN309,600 lbf
920 kN204,000 lbf
Fuel Capacity
242,000 l63,937 gal
193,600 l51,149 gal
4,000 km2,160 nm
4,260 km2,300 nm
Cruise Speed
800 km/h497 mph
830 km/h516 mph

What Are the Differences Between the Antonov AN-225 and Lockheed C-5 Galaxy

Antonov AN-225 vs Lockheed C-5 Galaxy Size Comparison

  • With a length of 84 meters, the Antonov AN-225 is 8.70 meters longer than the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy.
  • The Antonov AN-225 and Lockheed C-5 Galaxy have heights of 18.10 meters and 19.80 meters respectively - making the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy 1.70 meters taller.

Antonov AN-225 vs Lockheed C-5 Galaxy Cargo Capacity

  • The Antonov AN-225 can carry about 253 tons of cargo, while the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy can hold about 127 tons . Head to head, the Antonov AN-225 has approximately 126 tons more of cargo capacity.

About the Antonov AN-225

The Antonov AN-225 Mriya, a strategic airlift cargo aircraft, is a monumental achievement in aviation engineering and design. Developed by the Antonov Design Bureau in the Soviet Union, it was renowned as the largest and heaviest aircraft ever built, with a maximum takeoff weight of 640,000 kg. The AN-225 was primarily designed for transporting the Energia rocket's boosters and the Buran-class orbiters for the Soviet space program.

Production History: The concept of the AN-225 originated in 1984 when the Soviet government sought a large airlifter for their space program. This led to the adaptation of the existing Antonov An-124 Ruslan. The design involved extending the fuselage of the An-124 and incorporating an additional pair of Progress D-18T turbofan engines, increasing the total to six. The aircraft also featured a unique twin-tail design to handle the wake turbulence from bulky external loads. The rapid pace of development saw the AN-225's first flight on December 21, 1988. It made a notable appearance at the 1989 Paris Air Show, presenting an impressive image with a Buran orbiter mounted atop its fuselage. In 2022, the only AN-225 ever built was destroyed when Russia invaded Ukraine's Hostomel Airport. Antonov is planning to resume building the second AN-225 that has been in storage since 1994.

Design Features: The AN-225 is distinguished by its colossal dimensions. It spans 88.4 meters in wingspan, measures 84 meters in length, and stands 18.2 meters high. The aircraft's design includes a high-wing configuration with six turbofan engines mounted under the wings. The twin-tail design is a distinctive feature that contributes to its unique silhouette. The cargo hold, the largest of any aircraft, extends over 43 meters and is designed for transporting oversized and ultra-heavy freight. The aircraft's reinforced landing gear system, comprising 32 wheels, facilitates operation on diverse runway surfaces.

Operational History: The AN-225's operational history is marked by its role in transporting massive and heavy payloads. It has been pivotal in delivering large machinery, military equipment, and humanitarian aid worldwide. The aircraft holds numerous world records for cargo transportation, including carrying the heaviest single-item payload and the longest item ever transported by air. Notably, it carried four main battle tanks at a weight of 253.82 tons in total, showcasing its exceptional cargo-carrying capabilities.

Similar Freighter Models: The AN-225's scale and capacity place it in a class of its own, with no direct counterparts in the world of aviation. While it shares some design elements with its predecessor, the Antonov An-124 Ruslan, the AN-225 surpasses it in terms of size, payload capacity, and overall performance. Other large military transport aircraft, like the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy and Boeing C-17 Globemaster III, are significant in their own right but do not match the payload capacity of the AN-225.

About the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy

The Lockheed C-5 Galaxy is a large military transport aircraft developed by the Lockheed Corporation, now Lockheed Martin. The C-5 distinguishes itself by its sheer size and payload capacity, designed to transport a wide range of military equipment, including oversized vehicles and machinery.

Production History: Development of the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy began in the 1960s to replace the Douglas C-133 Cargomaster and to complement the Lockheed C-141 Starlifters. The United States Army desired a transport aircraft that could carry a wide array of outsized equipment. After a rigorous selection process, Lockheed's design, characterized by a T-tail and a unique cockpit position above the cargo area, was chosen in 1965. The first C-5A Galaxy was rolled out in 1968. The program, however, faced several challenges, including technical problems, weight issues, and cost overruns, leading to congressional investigations. Despite these hurdles, the C-5 Galaxy emerged as a key asset in strategic airlift capabilities​​​​.

Design Features: The C-5 Galaxy stands out with its four General Electric TF39-GE-1C turbofan engines, providing a significant thrust and efficiency. Its design includes a high-set wing with a 25-degree sweep and a distinctive T-tail. The aircraft is equipped with forward and rear cargo loading assemblies and a visor-type upward-hinged nose. The upper deck can accommodate a crew of six, a relief crew, and passengers, with provisions like bunk rooms, galleys, and lavatories. The cargo compartment is vast, capable of carrying a range of military hardware, including tanks, helicopters, and large numbers of troops. The landing gear system is unique, featuring a "kneeling" capability to facilitate cargo loading. The C-5 also has inflight refueling capabilities, extending its operational range significantly​​.

Operational History: Since its introduction, the C-5 Galaxy has been a critical component of U.S. military logistics, capable of transporting heavy and outsized military equipment globally. It played a vital role in operations such as Desert Shield and Desert Storm, where despite being only 12% of the airlift fleet, it carried 44% of the cargo. The Galaxy's capacity for strategic airlift has proven invaluable in numerous military and humanitarian operations, making it a cornerstone of the U.S. Air Force's airlift capability.

Similar Freighter Models: The Lockheed C-5 Galaxy is often mentioned alongside the Russian Antonov An-124. The C-5 was the largest aircraft in the world until the introduction of the An-124 in 1982. Compared to other US military aircraft, the C-5 Galaxy is significantly bigger than the C-17 Globemaster III, C-130 Hercules, and C-141 Starlifter.

Values shown may not be 100% accurate, as some metrics are averages or only represent certain production years and configurations. Engine specs are based on the best options available.

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