World’s biggest plane, the Antonov AN-225, to touch down in Perth on Sunday

World’s biggest plane, the Antonov AN-225, to touch down in Perth on Sunday

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.

Its design was revamped last in 2009.

The six-engine monster has 42 tyres which last for around 90 landings, and requires a crew of six to pilot.

The Antonov is 11m longer than the Airbus A380, with a wingspan 9m wider, and it is 8m longer than the largest of the new Boeing 747s.

Perth airport has set-up a temporary viewing area on the south- east of the facility.