The Mriya dwarfs everything

Antonov An-225 Mriya waits for refuelling at the Hyderabad airport on Friday. Photo: Nagara Gopal  

As the world’s largest cargo aircraft, Antonov An-225 Mriya, hit the tarmac at Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, Reliance Defence found it a perfect opportunity to announce its tie-up with the Ukranian aircraft manufacturer. The aircraft is carrying a cargo of 117-tonne Czech manufactured turbo-generator to Perth in Australia.

‘Make in India’ push

Speaking on the sidelines of the event, M. Matheswaran of Reliance Defence said that the two companies are preparing to tap the potential from the ‘Make in India’ push of the Indian government.

“The market is huge. A rough estimate is that of 200 aircraft in the 50-80 seater segment. We want to tap that. Many of our Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities don’t have reliable air connectivity and we want to be a key player in that segment,” said Mr. Matheswaran, spelling out the push in the aviation segment.

“Antonov and Reliance Group have submitted a joint proposal for creating a regional passenger aircraft. To show our commitment to the Indian market, we have brought the largest cargo aircraft here,” said Sergey Semovonic, Vice-President of Antonov.

Standing on the tarmac near the cargo area, the behemoth aircraft called Mriya (dream in Ukranian) dwarfed everything that flew past it or was parked on the tarmac.

“Hyderabad is a perfect airport for landing this aircraft. Designed by Aleg Antonov, the aircraft is highly manoeuvrable and requires a runway length of minimum of 2,600 metres. Its rear and front wheels can be independently controlled,” said Vitalie Shost, flight manager.

The plane, which was built in 1988, has a wingspan of 88 metres, nearly 20 metres more than Boeing 747.

Mriya’s next stop is in Jakarta before it reaches Perth. Airport officials in Perth have made elaborate arrangements, including creation of a viewing deck for aviation enthusiasts to have a dekko at the aircraft.

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Printable version | Dec 3, 2021 6:45:57 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/The-Mriya-dwarfs-everything/article14317472.ece

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