THOUSANDS of plane-spotters are expected to descend on Perth Airport this Sunday to witness the touchdown of the world’s largest aircraft: the Antonov AN-225 Mriya.
The Ukrainian-built goliath is expected to land about 10am on Sunday, and it has re-written the record books.
Empty, the AN-225 can fly non-stop for 18 hours for more than 15,000km. But with a full payload – a whopping 640 tonnes – the plane’s flight time is slashed to just two hours.
The plane was built in the 1970s to transport the Russian space shuttle Buran – and it’s still used for over-sized cargo.
The six-engine monster has 42 tyres which last for about 90 landings, and requires a crew of six to pilot. The Antonov is 11m longer than the Airbus A380, with a wingspan 9m wider.
Perth airport has set up a temporary viewing area on the southeast of the facility.