“Mriya” is a superstar, a one of a kind. An aircraft that carries the reputation of being the largest plane in the world surely attracts attention wherever this beautiful monster flies to. Every time the Antonov AN-225 Mriya goes out for a mission to deliver large and heavy cargoes across continents, it will most likely become news. It is a rare sight and due to this, catching this aircraft in action is a common item in many aviation enthusiasts’ bucket list.
So it is no surprise to see hundreds of Malaysians waking up very early this morning to get a glimpse of the Antonov AN-225 arriving in Kuala Lumpur. This is not Mirya’s first visit to KL International Airport (KLIA) but the curiosity and the fact that Malaysians just love anything longest / biggest /tallest has brought together aviation geeks, families, reporters and random citizens to the road along Runway 32L of KL International Airport (KLIA) on a beautiful Saturday morning.
Meeting Mriya in person is something on my list too. So the moment I found out that the aircraft is making a delivery to Perth via a few stops including Kuala Lumpur, I wrote-in to the airport authority to explore opportunities for AzuanZahdi.com, being one of the aviation blogs in Malaysia to be given access to cover the arrival of the plane. Thanks to the awesome team at the airport, permission was granted for me and a couple other aviation enthusiasts. All in the name of spreading the message of love towards aviation!
So this is a story of the day I came face to face with Mriya.
Anticipating for the arrival at 0800 local time, preparations started hours earlier. This includes gathering as much intel as possible on the arrival (time, runway), discussing angles of coverage and getting all the passes sort out.
Getting to our position. “Stop, give way to aircraft”. Sure, why not. Perfect for photography. Malaysia Airlines A380 arriving from London.
20 minutes before arrival, getting straight to work.
All system go.
The first sight of Antonov AN-225 Mriya. Even from a distance, the iconic 6 engines is something one would not miss.
Photo above showing M Sofian H recording the video of Mriya’s arrival. You could check out his video here:
A unique kind of plane indeed. Seen here taxiing from the exit of Runway 32L to the cargo area.
Friendly pilots, seen acknowledging the welcoming party including our little pick-up truck.
I actually enjoyed seeing this huge plane gracefully maneuvered one taxiway after another despite its size.
Parking brake set.
Crew went straight into action. After all this stop in Kuala Lumpur is a technical stop to allow for refuelling. The aircraft made similar stops along the week in Turkmenistan and Hyderabad. Kuala Lumpur is the final stop before reaching its final destination for the mission – Perth, Australia.
Inside the cargo compartment is generator and fitments weighing about 130 tons.
Even the airside community that sees planes every day are equally excited to see Mriya back in Kuala Lumpur. After all it has been around 10 years since her last visit.
It is not every day that you get to selfie with the biggest plane in the world!
As the crowd starts to disperse, it gives me the chance to get better shots of the plane.
Time flies when you’re having fun. Photographers at work.
One for the album.
Special thanks to the awesome Malaysia Airports staff particularly the KLIA PR team, CARE team and the Airside team for making this coverage possible. This blog post is made possible thanks to all your hard work and together we shall bring lots of positive vibes in making aviation and airport a more joyful experience 🙂
Our team, back to reality. Mission accomplished.
Overall AN-225 is a unique aircraft. It is true that you could either fall in love with her or totally hates her. For me, it is love at first sight. Lets’ hope that Mriya would make more trips to Malaysia in the future.
Over to you, Perth.