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Reporting on Igor Volk. 
25th anniversary of the Buran’s flight. 
Pictures of the VMTAtlante at the MAKS 2013. 
Alexander Ananoff or the first astronaut. 
Interview of Oleg Baklanov about the BuranEnergia program. 
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The reduction of the ground structures on Baikonur and the beginning of making heavy launchers have increased the air load transports. The plane VMT "Atlant" can transport loads of 50 t, but the future projects planned to carry loads of 200 t to Baikonur. Antonov studied the way of building a transport plane of greater capacity by making modifications on the An124 model, it created the An225. The An225 Mriya ("Мрiя" means Dream in Ukrainian) has a load capacity of 250 t (initialy 225 t), is 84 m long, 88.4 m of scale and 18.1 m in height. It made its first flight on December 21, 1988 (breaking 106 world records) and transported Bourane (60 t) to Le Bourget (France) in 1989.
It is until now the largest working plane in the world, there is only one specimen of it and it is used by Antonov Airline for exceptional transport missions (An225 at Gostomel airport). Mriya now has the Ukrainian flag painted on its drift and is recorded under the name UR82060. Moreover, it has undergoes some modifications such as the addition of new safety systems, navigation and communication. According to the manufacturer the fuselage was reinforced to support heavier payloads. Lastly, it was equipped with a new cockpit and a new passengers cabin. Those improvements cost more than 20 million dollars in 2000.
Construction of a second An225 had also begun during the 1980s but was stopped in 1994. Despite the numerous rumors about the continuation of the assembly of the second plane this one has never been finished.
Evolution of the patterns on the fuselage:
Pattern of 1988

Pattern of 2000 (after the renovation)

Pattern of 2007

Pattern of 2009 (August)

Even if it is the biggest fret plane in the world the Mriya is not really profitable, it's used only when the load is too voluminous to be put in a An124. Nobody asked yet to Antonov Airlines to buy this plane. In fact it's more economic to use 2 Russlan (An124) than the Mriya. But the Mriya is a technological showcase for this company and each move of it come with articles in the local press.
The An225 should have been later used as a launcher for the MAKS shuttle and the english HOTOL shuttle.
Interestingly enough, the Soviets flew Buran to the June Paris Air Show aboard AN225 carrier aircraft, apparently before technicians had time conduct a thorough postflight after its only flight November 1988. This would to be another, very example of presentation technology. Soviets' penchant for presentation also extended to timing, they often strove to large technological projects come some sort of completion key anniversaries and the For example, the Politburo pressuring Korolev to launch in time to mark fortieth anniversary of the revolution in October 1957. Soviets also typically tried respond in kind or their adversaries' achievements on world stage.
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