King of the skies

It’s now been five whole days since the “colossus of the clouds” touched down at Perth Airport.  Yep, we’re talking about the Antonov AN-225 – and we still can’t get enough of it.

The inaugural flight of the Antonov drew massive crowds to Perth Airport,along with other vantage points along the plane’s route.  Thousands of people waited hours (I was one of them!) in the rain and then sunshine just for a glimpse of the Antonov on West Australian soil.

The size of the crowd that gathered in the make shift viewing grew to a never before seen size.  There were food trucks as well as several ice cream vans to serve the hungry masses.  So many hungry spectators meant that the wait for hot chips and coffee was taking up to an hour, never the less the patient crowd was well behaved. The arrival and departure of other aircraft kept everyone entertained.

The Antonov’s arrival into Perth delayed almost two hours due to air traffic control in Kuala Lumpar.  This didn’t seem to matter to the aviation enthusiasts, photographers and families – it was my some people’s dream just to see this awesome aircraft with their own two eyes.

When it came time to finally see the Antonov break through the clouds, the sheer size of the plane became apparent.  Seeing it’s silhouette in the sky made the crowd gasp in awe.  Due to the size of the crowd, the actual touchdown was visible only to a rare few.  Following the Antonov’s wheels hitting the tarmac, the crowd was treated to the plane coming past the viewing area for all to see.

Shame about the fence …

The pilot of the Antonov AN225 proudly waved the Ukrainian flag from his window. Spectators shared interesting information that they knew about the aircraft and it’s crew.

So many fantastic photos have hit the internet from this first exciting arrival of the Antonov into Australia. 

Image credit: Marie Nirme

Image credit: Brendan Foster

Image credit: Brendan Foster

The Antonov touched down in Western Australia to deliver a 117 tonne generator to Worsley Alumina which is a small country town approx 4 hours drive from Perth. Just how much did it cost to charter this “King of the skies”?  No exact cost has been released, but it has been confirmed to be a seven figure amount..

The 15th May 2016, the Antonov’s inaugural flight to Australia.