Skip to main content

Crowds flock to MSP to see world's largest plane take flight

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Hundreds of spectators lined up to watch the largest plane still flying in the world, the Soviet-built Antonov AN-225, take off shortly after 9 p.m. Wednesday from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

People watched from the airport, the Mall of America, local parks and backyards as the enormous plane took off from runway 30L with a deafening roar, and flew through the beautiful evening sky. Many people posted photos and video of the giant aircraft's takeoff on social media.

The huge craft has captivated the attention of aviation enthusiasts who have come to the airport to see it, take photos and videos and compare notes.

The Antonov AN-225 Mriya (Mriya means “dream” in Ukrainian) has been in the Twin Cities since Sunday. It has a wingspan of 225 feet and can carry up to 550,000 pounds, which is the equivalent of three fully-loaded Boeing 737s – or seven humpback whales, officials told CTV News Edmonton.

It’s about the length of a football field, which is two-and-a-half times as long as a Boeing 737 – and longer than the distance of the Wright Brothers’ first flight, the Witchita Business Journal notes.

The aircraft was originally designed in the 1980s to transport the Russian space shuttles and booster rocket, but since 2002 it has been in commercial use to carry extra-large cargo, says.

Airport officials did not disclose the payload, but the Business Journal says it has confirmed that the Mriya arrived in Minnesota to pick up large air conditioners, likely from Twin Cities-based Trane, and then it will make a stop in France before dropping the cargo off in the Middle East.

Here's one more video of the takeoff.

Tyler Hastings of Hudson, Wisconsin, got an up-close look at the plane a few days ago. Check out his video:

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-08-17 at 8.31.42 PM

Flash flooding as torrential rain hammers Cambridge

Flooding and damage from a non-severe storm Wednesday evening.

Screen Shot 2022-08-17 at 4.02.18 PM

Minneapolis nonprofit celebrates anonymous donor's $1.5M gift

Appetite For Change is building sustainable, local food systems in North Minneapolis.

police lights

On the lam since 2007, suspect in MN murder case arrested in Florida

The suspect is one of three men connected to a fatal drive-by shooting on St. Paul's West Side.

Deer on road

Motorcyclist in collision with deer dies from injuries

The 55-year-old from Princeton died at a hospital a day after the crash.


Burnsville approves measure that will make its landfill much taller

The expansion will increase the landfill's allowable height by an additional 268 feet.

michael carbo

Northern MN man found guilty in 1980s cold case murder

Nancy Daugherty was found dead in the afternoon hours of July 16, 1986.

Red Ox Cafe

Breakfast spot in Ham Lake closes after decades in business

The business posted an announcement on its front door.

Screen Shot 2022-08-17 at 1.43.04 PM

St. Paul man killed partner, himself while their 5 kids were home

St. Paul confirmed the double shooting on Tuesday evening was murder-suicide.

Kids competing in USA Mullet Championships

Minnesota, Wisconsin kids competing in USA Mullet Championships

The contest is divided into kids and teens divisions.


One killed after being trapped under UTV near Alexandria

The Douglas County Sheriff's Office says the victim died at the scene.


What's in the Inflation Reduction Act signed by President Biden?

How the nation's biggest climate law will reduce emissions.

Patrick Henry High School

Patrick Henry High School in Minneapolis will get new name

A school board meeting was held this week, discussing what's next going forward.