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Antonov AN-225 vs. Boeing Dreamlifter





First Flight
84 m275 ft
71 m235 ft
88 m290 ft
64 m211 ft
Wing Area
905 m²9,741 ft²
541 m²5,825 ft²
Fuselage Width
8 m26 ft
8 m27 ft
18 m59 ft
21 m70 ft
Cargo Capacity
253 t560,000 lbs
133 t250,000 lbs
Max Takeoff Weight
640 t1,411,000 lbs
364 t803,000 lbs
Number of Engines
Engine Manufacturer & Model
Progress D-18TPratt & Whitney PW4000
Max Thrust Per Engine
230 kN51,600 lbf
282 kN63,300 lbf
Max Total Thrust
1,377 kN309,600 lbf
1,128 kN253,200 lbf
Fuel Capacity
242,000 l63,937 gal
199,150 l52,616 gal
4,000 km2,160 nm
7,800 km4,212 nm
Cruise Speed
800 km/h497 mph
878 km/h546 mph

What Are the Differences Between the Antonov AN-225 and Boeing Dreamlifter

Antonov AN-225 vs Boeing Dreamlifter Size Comparison

  • With a length of 84 meters, the Antonov AN-225 is 12.30 meters longer than the Boeing Dreamlifter.
  • The Antonov AN-225 and Boeing Dreamlifter have heights of 18.10 meters and 21.50 meters respectively - making the Boeing Dreamlifter 3.40 meters taller.

Antonov AN-225 vs Boeing Dreamlifter Cargo Capacity

  • The Antonov AN-225 can carry about 253 tons of cargo, while the Boeing Dreamlifter can hold about 133 tons . Head to head, the Antonov AN-225 has approximately 120 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 Boeing Dreamlifter

The Boeing 747-400 Large Cargo Freighter (LCF), commonly known as the Dreamlifter, is a specially modified version of the Boeing 747-400. It is a wide-body cargo aircraft renowned for its outsized cargo-carrying capacity, primarily used for transporting Boeing 787 Dreamliner parts.

Production History: The Dreamlifter was developed as a solution to logistical challenges faced by Boeing in transporting large aircraft components. Launched in December 2006, it was designed to facilitate the transportation of parts from global suppliers to Boeing's assembly facilities in the United States. The Dreamlifter is a result of extensive modifications to existing Boeing 747-400 airframes. By June 2008, three of the four planned Dreamlifters were operational, with the fourth becoming operational in February 2010. The aircraft was named Dreamlifter as a nod to the 787's name, Dreamliner.

Design Features: The Dreamlifter is distinguished by its enlarged fuselage, which provides a cargo volume of 65,000 cubic feet, three times that of a 747-400F freighter. The aircraft is powered by four Pratt & Whitney PW 4062 turbofans, ensuring efficient performance. It has a length of 235 ft 2 in, a wingspan of 211 ft 5 in, and a height of 70 ft 8 in. Its maximum takeoff weight is 364,235 kg (803,001 lb), and it has a cruising speed of Mach 0.82. The Dreamlifter's range is approximately 4,200 nautical miles when fully loaded.

Operational History: The Dreamlifter has been instrumental in the production of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, enabling the efficient global transportation of large aircraft parts. This aircraft has also been involved in humanitarian efforts, such as transporting medical supplies during global crises, demonstrating its utility beyond industrial logistics.

Similar Freighter Models: While the Dreamlifter is unique in its specific role for Boeing's production logistics, similar large cargo aircraft include the Airbus Beluga and BelugaXL, which serve a similar function for Airbus. These aircraft are also modified from existing airframes (A300-600 and A330 respectively) and are designed to transport oversized aircraft components. The comparison highlights the niche but critical role these specialized freighters play in modern aircraft manufacturing logistics.

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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