UPDATE: Monday, April 2, 2012
On Monday, the world's biggest and heaviest plane made a stop at Mid-Continent Airport. The Antonov 225 is one of two ever built and the only one capable of actually flying.
Wichitans have seen the smaller Antonov 124 over the years, delivering airplane fuselages for Bombardier and the former Raytheon Aircraft. Yingling Aviation Assistant Director Steve Lalonde says the 124 is the smaller, four-engine sibling to its bigger brother, the six-engine 225.
"This one is actually a little bit larger, a little bit wider. The cargo capacity is larger than the 124, although this is not the volume of the Dreamlifter," said Lalonde.
The Ukrainian giant came to Wichita to deliver two very heavy pieces of equipment that will be used to make fertilizer for the Coffeyville Refinery.
"They've got some cargo on there that's one piece weighing 266,000 (pounds) and the other piece right at 90,000 (pounds)," said Barney Baker with Belger Cartage Service.
The refinery equipment was manufactured in Italy and then flown to Kansas from Milan. The crew entered the U.S. at Bangor, Maine and then flew straight to Wichita. The logistics required to get the cargo to Coffeyville aren't so direct. Dennis Perkins with Minnesota trucking company Perkins Specialized Transportation says it will take them three days to make the move.
"From here to Coffeyville is approximately 150 miles. By the time we get there it'll be 470 miles," said Perkins.
Monday, April 2, 2012
The Air Capital is playing host to a special guest today.
The Antonov 225, the world's largest plane, landed at Mid-Continent Airport early this morning.
The plane was hauling components for a fertilizer plant in Coffeyville.
The plane is scheduled to leave Wichita at 8:00 p.m.
Aviation reporter Chris Frank is touring the plane. Watch for his reports on later KAKE newscasts.