The Antonov An-225 is a Russian heavy-lift cargo aircraft designed to transport very large payloads. It is the longest and heaviest aircraft ever built, with a potential maximum takeoff weight of 640 tons. It is powered by six turbofan engines, each of which generates 51,600 pounds of thrust. While it is known by its NATO reporting name "Cossack" in the West, the An-225 is referred to as the "Miriya" or Dream in Russian and Ukranian.
The An-225's 275-foot overall length and 290-foot wingspan make it the longest aircraft as well as the one with the largest wingspan ever built. The large internal cargo area of the plane stretches for 142 feet. Though among the world's largest cargo aircraft in terms of interior space, the Miriya was actually primarily designed as the transport aircraft for the Soviet Buran space shuttle, serving a similar role to the Boeing 747-based Shuttle Transport Aircraft used by NASA. The enormous size of the An-225 and the Buran required some unusual modifications of its design as compared to similar aircraft. Among the most notable of these variations is the use of twin vertical stabilizers at the ends of an elongated tailplane rather than the distinct vertical tail and stabilizers used on most large aircraft.