The world’s largest freighter aircraft, the Antonov An-225, has delivered 110 metric tons of earthmoving equipment, tents and other relief supplies to Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic, to help with the Haiti earthquake relief effort. The plane could not land directly in Haiti due to congestion. The relief supplies and equipment were sent by the Japanese government and loaded aboard the An-225 at Tokyo Narita airport.
The An-225 belongs to Antonov Airlines and is based in Kiev. The plane has a nose loading ramp and “kneeling” undercarriage that allow it to easily load outsized and wheeled cargo. The plane was designed for the Soviet space program and first flew in December 1988. Two aircraft were ordered, but only one An-225 was actually built. That sole existing An-225 can carry heavy and oversized freight weighing up to 275 U.S. tons and single pieces up to 231 U.S. tons. The plane has transported project cargo including locomotives and 150-ton generators, and has also been part of many humanitarian relief programs.
Antonov Airlines’ Commercial Director Valery Kulbaka said: “We would like to thank all those who helped with the smooth operation of this flight in such difficult circumstances, and also to pay tribute to the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force, working on behalf of the Japanese Government, for adding to the already enormous assistance being provided by so many organizations. We were delighted to be able to play our own small part in helping Haiti’s recovery.”
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