Tuesday, 14 April 2020

World's Biggest Plane over Jeziorki

What a magnificent sight! Not only is the Antonov An-225 the world's largest aircraft, it is also the world's only six-engined aircraft currently in service. Today it flew into Okęcie to deliver medical equipment for the fight against Covid-19. A PR opportunity for the Polish government, and a rare chance to catch this plane in the skies above our house. I've never seen it in my life before, and now here it is!

Operated by Ukraine's Antonov Design Bureau, this aircraft makes a huge impression. Not particularly noisy (not much more so than wide-bodied twins such as the Boeing 777 or Airbus A330 which often fly over), nor trailing filth out of its engines like so many old Soviet types did.

A development of the Antonov An-124 Ruslan (which I've snapped quite often above Jeziorki), designed specifically to carry the Soviet equivalent of the Space Shuttle to its launch site. Just one was built, a second was never completed.

Below: first sight - from a distance you can see the uniqueness of the design. Twin tail, six engines, shoulder-mounted wings.

Flaps out - but where are the wheels?

The wheels?

The WHEELS! (last time I got a snap like this one below was when Kapitan Wrona was making his legendary wheels-up landing of a Boeing 767...

The plane didn't land - it did a fly-past over the airport, then a tight left-hand circle, turning over Dawidy, a hard bank, straightening out for the final approach - which I caught from an upstairs window. Wheels out this time!

Well, that was immensely satisfying experience. Over Jeziorki I've seen an Airbus A380, many Boeing 747s, Lockheed C5A Galaxies, Boeing C17 Globemasters, Antonov An-124s, Ilyushin Il-76s and an Airbus A400M - but this was a unique occasion.

This time last year:
Managing luck

This time two years ago:
Blossoms and pylons

This three years ago:
Weather bad, mood SAD

This time seven years ago:
Bicycle shake-down day

This time eight years ago:
40 years on - Roxy Music's first two albums

This time ten years ago:
Twenty years, ten months, six days

[The Polish Third Republic has now lasted 10 years longer than the Second Republic. Long may it flourish!]

This time 12 years ago:
Swans still in Jeziorki

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