1989: The largest plane on Earth

paris air show

In 1989, the biggest plane in the world came to Paris.

The one-of-a-kind Antonov An-225 -- seen here in a file photo -- showed off its six jet engines and unmistakeable split tail at the air show less than a year after its first flight.

Nicknamed "Mriya," it was originally intended to carry the Soviet space shuttle, but was later re-tasked to carry oversized cargo. Mriya's cargo hold is actually longer than the distance of the Wright Brothers' first flight. Its maximum total weight at takeoff: 640 tons.

This behemoth is still very much in service. In 2016, it flew over three continents to deliver a huge electric generator to Australia.

First published June 16, 2017: 5:33 PM ET

Partner Offers

Most Popular