SEPANG: The world’s largest cargo plane, the Antonov AN-225 Mriya, touched down at Kuala Lumpur International Airport here at 8.30am Saturday, Bernama tweeted.

Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd corporate communications general manager Nik Anis Nik Zakaria had earlier said that the aircraft was at KLIA for refuelling purposes only.

The giant transport plane picked up a generator and fitments with a total weight about 130 tons in Prague, Czech Republic and will deliver it to Perth in Australia.

The plane had previous stopovers in Turkmenistan and landed at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad on Thursday.

 - Bernama

The Antonov AN-225 Mriya wide-body aircraft is powered by six turbofan engines and is the longest and heaviest airplane ever built, with a maximum takeoff weight of 640 tonnes.

The plane was built in the former Soviet Union in 1988 in order to carry out its own attempt at a space shuttle, called ‘Buran’.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Buran program was shut down and the plane was left on the territory of independent Ukraine.

In 2001 the plane was restored and given a second lease of life.

Able to carry up to 250 tons, loaded through the plane’s nose, the commercial plane is designed for carrying super heavy cargo. – Reuters, Bernama