The Ukrainian state aviation firm “Antonov” has sold the only An-225 transport plane in the world to the Chinese company China Airspace, reports Chinese state television CCTV.
The agreement was signed on August 30th. According to the agreement, China gets not only the unique plane, but also the drawings and specifications, and the right to use them.
“After signing the contract with the Ukrainian company, China gained access to unique technologies in the field of aviation,” said the TV channel.
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On the basis of the documentation received, China plans to expand production of aircraft. It is expected that China’s first An-225 will be released in a few years, in the first half of 2019.
The AN-225 was developed in the USSR to transport the space shuttle “Buran.” The heavy transport aircraft was to bring the ship from the place of production to the place of take-off, and could act as a carrier fir its first stage. The AN-225, was from its inception, and still today is the largest and heaviest aircraft in the world.
Initially, two copies of the An-225 were planned, however, they ended up building only one example, which first took to the skies in December, 1988. After the collapse of the USSR the aircraft was abandoned and dismantled, but in 2001 it was restored and finished.
At the Antonov factory, there is also a center-fuselage and wing made in Soviet times, and intended for the construction of another An-225. Earlier it was reported that the second Mria is about 70% complete, but the plant lacks the $120 million that it would take to complete it. Whether these components are included in the sale is unknown.
And here is a video of it departing Manchester, England.
Contributing editor and volunteer translator Tom Winter, retired Classics professor, monitors the news in 6 languages, and sometimes cannot help writing satire, since that’s what today’s news mostly deserves