The world’s largest plane, the Antonov An-225 Mriya operated by Antonov Airlines took off on Wednesday morning from Leipzig, Germany on a flight to Windhoek, Namibia via Accra, Ghana carrying tons of medical supplies from Germany.
The foreign ministry of Namibia announced on Wednesday that the first of three aid flights from Germany will arrive in the capital Windhoek on Thursday afternoon.
Namibia, which groans under a third wave of corona infections had made a call for help to the international community and submitted an official request to the European Union (EU). The aid will be coordinated by the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, according to the Ministry.
It is reported that the aircraft is carrying 530 pallets and up to 70 tonnes of supplies
The Antonov An-225 is the heaviest aircraft in the world. It was built during the 1980s to serve a specific purpose within the USSR space program, but has gone on to serve a niche role carrying the heaviest of payloads. Already over 30 years old, it has just finished a further refurbishment, and we are likely to see it carrying out special missions for more than another decade.
The An-225 boasts 6 engines, 32 wheels and can carry an incredible payload of 250 tonnes. Its empty weight alone is 285 tonnes
Antonov Airlines had also transported fourteen pieces of mining equipment, weighing 216 tonnes in total, on two AN-124-100 flights from Istanbul, Turkey to Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso and Monrovia, Liberia, in April.
By Victor Shalton Odhiambo