UR-82060 Antonov An-225 Mriya (MSN 19530503763) of Antonov Airlines (Antonov Design Bureau) landing at Gostomel Airport - 2014. Photo By Vasiliy Koba - http://spotters.net.ua/file/?id=95892&size=large, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=36758947

UR-82060 Antonov An-225 Mriya (MSN 19530503763/01-01) of Antonov Airlines (Antonov Design Bureau) landing at Gostomel Airport, Ukraine – 2014.
Photo By Vasiliy Koba – http://spotters.net.ua/file/?id=95892&size=large, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=36758947

20 February 2016 © David Eyre (UPDATED 23 March 2016, 8 April 2016 and 23 April 2016)

The mighty six-engined Antonov An-225 Mriya (‘Dream’), is to visit Perth on 15 May 2016, arriving staying for three days – dates and times (SUBJECT TO CHANGE):

  • Sun 15 May 2016: Arriving 10.00AM

  • Wed 18 May 2016: Departing 6:00AM

FlightRadar24.com has a preliminary route and schedule of stops (NOTE: Times are UTC – add 8 hours to get Perth time. Schedule and route are subject to change).

The An-225 is the longest and heaviest aircraft ever built, with a maximum takeoff weight of 640 tonnes, and has the largest wingspan of any aircraft in operational service. It was designed and developed in the 1980s as a derivative of the An-124, to carry the Russian ‘Buran’ space shuttle above the fuselage.

The cargo

The flight was arranged by the Australian arm of the international transport and logistics company DB Schenker, which has a extensive experience in handling challenging and difficult shipments for some of the world’s largest resources projects.The company employs 990 people in Australia and 65,000 employees in 130 countries around the world.

“Organising airfreight via an Antonov 225 is a particular highlight because it’s a unique challenge with a very special aircraft”, says Frank Vogel, Director – Projects / Oil and Gas, AU / NZ, DB Schenker.

The aircraft will be delivering an ultra-heavy 117-Tonne power generator for a mining company, flying from Prague in the Czech Republic, with several refuelling stops en-route across Eurasia and South East Asia before it finally reaches Perth.

The Project Management and execution of this challenging shipment will be handled by DB Schenker’s Adelaide and Perth Offices, working in conjunction with the supplier in Europe and the Western Australian site to ensure a safe and smooth delivery of the equipment.

Design and differences to the An-124

Registered UR-82060 and owned by Antonov Airlines (Antonov Design Bureau), the An-225 was designed and built by the Antonov Design Bureau in the 1980s, when Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union. It is the only flying example.

The An-225 is reportedly expensive to operate – it is reportedly cheaper to use two An-124s than make one flight with the An-225, so it is only used to transport extremely large and heavy cargo loads that cannot be carried by the An-124.

The An-225 was developed by enlarging the An-124 – fuselage barrel extensions were added in front of and behind the wings, which were also enlarged to increase span. Two more Progress D-18T turbofan engines were added to the larger wing, bringing the total to six. Stronger landing gear with 32 wheels was added, and some of these wheels can be steered to enable the massive aircraft to turn within a 60-metre wide runway. It is not designed for short runway operations.

It also differs to the smaller An-124 by not having a rear cargo door and ramp – these were deleted to reduce weight. The tail was redesigned from a single vertical fin to have twin tails on a widened tailplane – this was necessary to allow the aircraft to carry outsized loads externally, such as the Russian Buran space shuttle.

Construction of a second An-225 was started in the late 1980s, but after the collapse of the Soviet Union and due to lack of funds, construction ceased in 1994 and it was placed in storage at Kiev.

In September 2006, Antonov announced that it would complete the second An-225 by 2008, but this was then delayed.

By August 2009, the aircraft was about 60-70% complete when work was stopped due to lack of funds. Completion requires at least $300 million and three years.

In April 2013, the Russian government announced plans to revive air launched spacecraft, using a modified An-225 as a mid-air launchpad, but the Ukraine/Russian conflict seems to have ended these plans.

Antonov had plans to build an even larger An-325 with eight engines, but this did not make it off the drawing board.

Antonov An-225 Specifications

Crew: 6 Empty weight: (zero-fuel-weight) 175 tonnes
Length: 84 m Max take-off weight: 600 tonnes
Wingspan: 88.4 m Cargo hold – volume 1,225 cbm (L 43.35m, W 6.4m, H 4.4m)
Height: 18.1 m Power plant: 6 × ZMKB Progress D-18 turbofans, 229.5 kNeach
Wing Area: 905 sq m Flight range with 200 tonne payload: 4,000 km
Size comparison of the world's largest aircraft. Drawing by Clem Tillier (clem AT tillier.net) - Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1098131

Size comparison of the world’s largest aircraft.
Drawing by Clem Tillier (clem AT tillier.net) – Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1098131

History of UR-82060

Completed on 21 December 1988 at Gostomel, Ukraine, registered CCCP-480182.

Displayed at the Paris Air Show in June 1989, now registered CCCP-82060, carrying the 60-tonne Buran space shuttle on top.

CCCP-82060 Antonov An-225 Mriya (MSN 19530503763) of Antonov Design Bureau with Buran space shuttle atop at Paris Air Show - Paris-Le Bourget - June 1989. Photo via Buran-Energia.com

CCCP-82060 Antonov An-225 Mriya (MSN 19530503763) of Antonov Design Bureau with Buran space shuttle atop at Paris Air Show – Paris-Le Bourget – June 1989.
Photo via Buran-Energia.com

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, it was given the Ukrainian registration UR-82060 in 1993.

UR-82060 Antonov An-225 Mriya (MSN 19530503763) of Antonov Airlines (Antonov Design Bureau) at Asian Aerospace 1994, Singapore - 22 February 1994. Taken from the roof hatch of a US Air Force Lockheed C-5A Galaxy. Photo © Keith Anderson

UR-82060 Antonov An-225 Mriya (MSN 19530503763) of Antonov Airlines (Antonov Design Bureau) at Asian Aerospace 1994, Singapore – 22 February 1994.
Taken from the roof hatch of a US Air Force Lockheed C-5A Galaxy.
Photo © Keith Anderson

UR-82060 Antonov An-225 Mriya (MSN 19530503763) of Antonov Airlines (Antonov Design Bureau) at Asian Aerospace 1994, Singapore - 23 February 1994. Parked next to a US Air Force Lockheed C-5A Galaxy, which was once the world's largest operational aircraft. Photo © Keith Anderson

UR-82060 Antonov An-225 Mriya (MSN 19530503763) of Antonov Airlines (Antonov Design Bureau) at Asian Aerospace 1994, Singapore – 23 February 1994.
Parked next to a US Air Force Lockheed C-5A Galaxy, which was once the world’s largest operational aircraft.
Photo © Keith Anderson

As the Russian Buran space shuttle program was cancelled, the An-225 was withdrawn from use in April 1994, with a total flying time of 671 hours and 339 flights. It was stripped of spare parts for use on Antonov Airlines’ An-124 fleet – the six engines were removed for use on An-124s.

Antonov realised that there was a need for an aircraft capable of carrying larger and heavier loads than the An-124. UR-82060 was refurbished in 2000 at a cost of $20 million, with a new cockpit, avionics and safety systems, new passenger cabin on the upper deck, reinforced fuselage to carry heavier payloads and Stage III hush kits on the engines. It made its first flight on 7 May 2001, after 7 years on the ground.

UR-82060 holds the absolute world records for an airlifted single item payload of 189,980 kilograms (418,834 pounds) and an airlifted total payload of 253,820 kilograms (559,577 pounds). It has also transported a payload of 247,000 kilograms (545,000 pounds) on a commercial flight.

Artist impression of the Airbus A330-900neo in Garuda Indonesia livery. © Airbus

Artist impression of the Airbus A330-900neo in Garuda Indonesia livery. © Airbus

19 April 2016 © David Eyre

Garuda Indonesia has confirmed an order for 14 Airbus A330-900neo, the new re-engined version of the A330, for delivery from 2019 onwards.

The order replaces and extends an existing order for seven A330-300 aircraft, which have not yet been delivered. The airline has not mentioned its previously announced plans of ordering up to 30 A350 XWBs.

The deal was signed in London in the presence of the President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo and British Prime Minister, David Cameron.

Garuda Indonesia plans to use the A330neo to develop its medium and long haul network. The airline currently uses its fleet of 24 Airbus A330s on once daily services between Denpasar (Bali) and Perth, and Boeing 737-800s on services between Jakarta and Perth.

The aircraft will have Airbus’ all new Airspace cabin and will be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines. The new engines and aerodynamic enhancements reduce fuel consumption by 14% per seat and increase range by up to 400 nautical miles.

Garuda has been an Airbus customer since 1981, when the airline took delivery of its first Airbus A300.

31 March 2016

Perth Airport is upgrading runway lighting and systems to ICAO Category III rating, to enable aircraft to continue to operate during times of inclement weather and fog.

They are also conducting maintenance, including runway resurfacing and grooving work.

This requires the temporary closure of the main runway 03/21 and cross runway 06/24 at different times from 4 April to 3 September 2016:

20160331_Perth_runway_closures-1

Perth Airport runways and terminals. Image © Perth Airport

Perth Airport runways and terminals.
Image © Perth Airport

Whenever a runway is closed, all flights will need to use the other runway.

During the work, the main runway 03/21 can only be made available for emergencies, as the usual 30 minutes’ notice is insufficient time to make the runway serviceable.

VH-KKD Grumman American Aviation G164 Ag-cat (MSN 286) of Far North Queensland Airwork Pty Ltd on the Swan River at Elizabeth Quay – 25 March 2016.

VH-KKD Grumman American Aviation G164 Ag-cat (MSN 286) of Far North Queensland Airwork Pty Ltd on the Swan River at Elizabeth Quay – 25 March 2016.
This seaplane will be doing joy flights from Barrack Street Jetty during the summer months.
Photo © Nick Stubbs-Ross

25 March 2016 © David Eyre

Providing a unique and memorable experience in Perth, Red Baron Seaplanes will use a 1964 Grumman G-164A ‘Sea-Cat’ seaplane, VH-KKD, on scenic flights over Perth, operating from the Swan River.

FOR MORE INFORMATION AND PHOTOS, SEE OUR SPECIAL FEATURE UNDER AIRCRAFT PHOTOS

VH-VOR Boeing 737-8FE (MSN 33799/1462) of Tigerair Australia, at Perth Airport - Wed 23 March 2016. The first visit to Perth by a 737-800 of Tigerair and the first Tigerair Australia service from Denpasar to Perth. Flight TZ24 arriving at Bay 152 from Denpasar at 5:17pm. It departed as TT19 back to Denpasar at 7:23pm. Photo © Jim Woodrow

VH-VOR Boeing 737-8FE (MSN 33799/1462) of Tigerair Australia, at Perth Airport – Wed 23 March 2016.
The first visit to Perth by a 737-800 of Tigerair and the first Tigerair Australia service from Denpasar to Perth. Flight TZ24 arriving at Bay 152 from Denpasar at 5:17pm. It departed as TT19 back to Denpasar at 7:23pm.
Photo © Jim Woodrow

23 March 2016 – © David Eyre

Tigerair Australia today commenced operating ex-Virgin Australia Boeing 737-800s, with first services between Denpasar (Bali) and Perth, Melbourne and Adelaide.

FOR MORE INFORMATION AND PHOTOS, SEE OUR SPECIAL FEATURE ARTICLE UNDER THE AIRCRAFT PHOTOS SECTION

ZK-NZC Boeing 787-9 DreamLiner (MSN 41988) of Air New Zealand at Perth Airport – 3 Sept 2015.

ZK-NZC Boeing 787-9 DreamLiner (MSN 41988) of Air New Zealand at Perth Airport – 3 Sept 2015.
1st visit to Perth. About to taxi out as a delayed NZ176 to Auckland at 9:13 pm.
Photo © Dylan Thomas.

ZK-NCJ Boeing 767-319ER (winglets) (MSN 26915/574) of Air New Zealand at Perth Airport – 20 Feb 2016.

ZK-NCJ Boeing 767-319ER (winglets) (MSN 26915/574) of Air New Zealand at Perth Airport – 20 Feb 2016.
The NZ161/162 service between Perth and Christchurch is seasonal, operating during Summer. Using B767-300ER’s and is seen here on approach to runway 21 at 4:40 pm.
Photo © Allan Tilley

22 March 2016 © David Eyre

Air New Zealand will use Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners on the seasonal twice weekly NZ161/162 services between Christchurch and Perth next summer, between 9 December 2016 and 29 April 2017.

The services have been operated by the airline’s Boeing 767-300ER aircraft in the past.

The schedule will be as follows:

  • NZ161 dep Christchurch at 1440, arr Perth at 1655
  • NZ162 dep Perth 2325, arr Christchurch at 1025 the following day.
VH-ZRE SAAB 340B (MSN 340B-391) of Regional Express Pty Ltd (REX) at Perth Airport – 28 Feb 2016.

VH-ZRE SAAB 340B (MSN 340B-391) of Regional Express Pty Ltd (REX) at Perth Airport – 28 Feb 2016.
Operating the first REX revenue service to Esperance, departing off runway 21 at 2:27 pm.
Photo © Keith Anderson. (Photographed using Canon Camera and Lens)

28 February 2016 © David Eyre

Regional Express (Rex) commenced operations in Western Australia today, with flights to Esperance and Albany.

The first Rex service was to Esperance, operated by Saab 340B VH-ZRE, which departed Terminal 2 and took off from runway 21 at 2:27pm as flight ZL2375, arriving in Esperance at 3:47pm.

The second Rex service and the first to Albany was operated by VH-ZLF, which took off at 4:13pm as flight ZL2131, arriving in Albany at 4:59pm.

Their third aircraft, VH-ZRZ, did not enter service until 3 March 2016.

FOR MORE INFO AND PHOTOS, SEE OUR SPECIAL FEATURE UNDER THE AIRCRAFT PHOTOS SECTION

 

VH-FNH Fokker 50 (MSN 20113) of Virgin Australia Regional Airlines (still in Skywest livery), named ‘Shire of Carnarvon’, at Perth Airport - Sat 27 February 2016. * Final Virgin Australia Fokker 50 revenue flight * Arriving back at Terminal 2 at 4:30pm to a water cannon salute by airport fire crews, after completing the final Virgin Australia Fokker 50 revenue flight. Flight VA9061, a 'Farewell Fokker 50' charter flight, departed Perth Airport's runway 21 at 3:24pm and headed west. It passed over Rottnest Island three times, then headed south, over Mandurah and Peel Inlet, before heading north for three orbits around Perth's city centre, then back past the city before landing again on runway 21 at 4:27pm. VH-FNH was the first F50 delivered to Skywest, in 1994, and in 2013 was the first aircraft to arrive at Perth Airport's Terminal 2. Photo © Jake Fox

VH-FNH Fokker 50 (MSN 20113) of Virgin Australia Regional Airlines (still in Skywest livery), named ‘City of Carnarvon’, at Perth Airport – Sat 27 February 2016.
* Final Virgin Australia Fokker 50 revenue flight * Arriving back at Terminal 2 at 4:30pm to a water cannon salute by airport fire crews, after completing the final Virgin Australia Fokker 50 revenue flight. Flight VA9061, a ‘Farewell Fokker 50’ charter flight, departed Perth Airport’s runway 21 at 3:24pm and headed west. It passed over Rottnest Island three times, then headed south, over Mandurah and Peel Inlet, before heading north for three orbits around Perth’s city centre, then back past the city before landing again on runway 21 at 4:27pm. VH-FNH was the first F50 delivered to Skywest, in 1994, and in 2013 was the first aircraft to arrive at Perth Airport’s Terminal 2.
Photo © Jake Fox

27 February 2016 © David Eyre

Virgin Australia Regional Airlines’ Fokker 50 VH-FNH landed on runway 21 at 4:27pm today, on a special charter flight to mark the end of Fokker 50 operations by Virgin Australia Regional Airlines, and was greeted by a water cannon salute by the airport fire crews.

The withdrawal of Fokker 50s also marks the end of an era for Fokker turboprop operations in Western Australia; turbo-prop services commenced in Western Australia 57 years ago, when MacRobertson Miller Airlines (MMA) placed the first Fokker F.27 Friendship into service in WA regional services, on 27 December 1959.

The 46-seat Fokker 50s have operated in Western Australia since October 1994, when Skywest obtained them from then-parent company Ansett Airlines.

FOR MORE PHOTOS AND INFORMATION SEE OUR SPECIAL FEATURE UNDER THE AIRCRAFT PHOTOS SECTION

VH-ZRZ Saab 340B (MSN 588) owned by Regional Express (REX), at Perth Airport - Wed 24 February 2016. * FIRST VISIT TO PERTH * The first Rex aircraft to visit Perth, this aircraft will now be based in Western Australia, to operate flights between Perth and the southern towns of Albany and Esperance. These will replace Virgin Australia Regional Airlines' Fokker 50s that operate the service until 27 February 2016 before being retired and sold. VH-ZRZ was flown over from Wagga Wagga via Ceduna to Albany the previous day, and is seen here on approach to runway 21 at Perth at 09:38. VH-ZRZ was originally test flown as SE-C88 in March 1996 before being delivered to American Eagle as N388AE. It was acquired by Rex in April 2008. Photo © Ben Cambridge

VH-ZRZ Saab 340B (MSN 340B-388) owned by Regional Express (REX), at Perth Airport – Wed 24 February 2016.
* FIRST VISIT TO PERTH * The first Rex aircraft to visit Perth, this aircraft will now be based in Western Australia, to operate flights between Perth and the southern towns of Albany and Esperance. These will replace Virgin Australia Regional Airlines’ Fokker 50s that operate the service until 27 February 2016 before being retired and sold. VH-ZRZ was flown over from Wagga Wagga via Ceduna to Albany the previous day, and is seen here on approach to runway 21 at Perth at 09:38. VH-ZRZ was originally test flown as SE-C88 in March 1996 before being delivered to American Eagle as N388AE. It was acquired by Rex in April 2008.
Photo © Ben Cambridge

VH-ZLF SAAB 340B (MSN 340B-374) of Regional Express Pty Ltd (REX) at Perth Airport – 24 Feb 2016.

VH-ZLF SAAB 340B (MSN 340B-374) of Regional Express Pty Ltd (REX) at Perth Airport – 24 Feb 2016.
First visit to Perth, this is the second REX SAAB 340B to arrive today to take up a contract flying services from Perth to Albany and Esperance and return. The aircraft is seen here on finals for runway 24 at 4:43 pm.
Photo © Keith Anderson. (Photographed using Canon Camera and Lens)

24 February 2016 © David Eyre

The first of three Saab 340B aircraft of Regional Express (Rex) to be based in Western Australia arrived in Perth today, ahead of the commencement of services to Esperance and Albany on Sunday 28 February 2016.

As reported in AviationWA, Virgin Australia Regional Airlines the south west services were reduced in December 2014. The State Government’s regulated routes were put up for tender in July 2015, as the current contracts were due to expire on 27 February 2016. In September 2015, Virgin announced that it would not be bidding for the routes, as they are not economically viable for Fokker 50 aircraft. Virgin confirmed in October 2015 that it would cease flights to Albany, Esperance and Ravensthorpe on 27 February 2016, when its contract with the WA government ends, and all Fokker 50s are being withdrawn from service and sold.

In August 2015, locally-based Skippers Aviation and Sydney-based Rex responded to the tender. In November 2015, it was announced that Rex had won the tender for the Perth-Albany and Perth-Esperance routes.

The first Rex Saab 340B aircraft, VH-ZRZ, was flown from Wagga Wagga via Ceduna to Albany on 23 February 2016, and to Perth this morning. It was followed later in the day by VH-ZLF.

The smaller capacity of the Saab 340s means that Rex does not require additional security infrastructure at Albany or Esperance, and this saves at least $20 per ticket. The airline will use more frequent flights to provide a similar number of seats on the routes.

Rex will operate from Perth Airport’s Terminal 2.