The largest plane in the world has arrived at the Batajnica military airport, the N1 portal reported, but the keen-eyed commentators immediately clarified. The Antonov An-124 is not the largest plane in the world, but its older brother, the An-225, the Mrswhich means dream in Ukrainian.
The original source of the news, Tango Six, citing Flightradar24 information, correctly reported that the world’s largest mass-produced aircraft had arrived from Cyprus to Serbia.
The flight departed from Paphos International Airport, which is also home to Andreas Papandreou Air Base.
Mi-35P attack helicopters are stationed here, a few used copies of which Serbia planned to purchase.
A short recording of the landing of the An-124 in Batajnica was shared on TikTok.
New gun for used helicopter
Some used helicopters are believed to have arrived on board from Cyprus.
Almost at the same time, an Il-76MF transport plane of the Egyptian Air Force landed at the Batajnica airport, but nothing is known about the cargo of this plane.
Serbia originally planned to buy brand new Russian-made Mi-35M combat helicopters, as announced by President Aleksandar Vucsic last September.
However, the acquisition of the new planes probably became questionable due to the sanctions, so Belgrade was forced to make do with “dismantled” helicopters.
The Serbian Defense Minister traveled to Paphos for a field visit in June.
It is possible that he made a good deal, because in exchange Cyprus bought a battery of Serbian-made Nora B52 self-propelled guns, as well as armored command vehicles from which the batteries can be controlled.
Since the An-124 only flew back to Paphos in the early evening, it is possible that it did not leave without a shipment.
This type of transport aircraft lands relatively often at the military airport near Belgrade, Batajnica. Most recently, in 2021, it delivered MiG-29 fighter jets from Belarus, and before that humanitarian aid during the epidemic.
The destroyed Dream
By the way, an An-124 arrived in Hungary – also during the epidemic – in 2020, which delivered the necessary protective equipment against the coronavirus epidemic from China.
The big brother, the Antonov An–225, a Mrsarrived in Budapest in January 2008 with the task of delivering the equipment needed for Mol’s research in Oman to the Middle Eastern country.
The An-225 was developed in the Ukrainian and then Soviet Antonov design office. Engineers in Kiev were tasked with building a plane larger than the An-124, capable of carrying the Buran spacecraft. The development was based on the existing aircraft type, but it was clear that the An-124’s carrying capacity and size were small, so the fuselage was lengthened, the wing size was increased, and two more engines were added to the existing four engines.
At the beginning of the war against Ukraine, on the last day of February last year, Russia destroyed the Mriatas confirmed by the Ukrainian Foreign Minister on Twitter.
The Russians may have destroyed the Mriatbut they will never destroy our dream of a strong, free and democratic European country – indicated the Mrs named after Dmitro Kuleba.
(Cover photo: The Antonov 124 at the military airport in Batajnica. Photo: Serbian Ministry of Defense)