The Antonov An-225 Mriya (Ukrainian: Антонов Ан-225 Мрія, Russian: Антонов Ан-225 Мрия, Dream, NATO reporting name: 'Cossack') is a strategic airlift cargo aircraft, designed by the Antonov Design Bureau in the 1980s. It is the world's heaviest fixed-wing aircraft. The design, built to transport the Buran orbiter, was an enlargement of the successful An-124 Ruslan. The An-225's name, Mriya (Мрiя) means "Dream" (Inspiration) in Ukrainian.
One An-225 was completed in 1988 and a second An-225 has been partially completed. The one An-225 is in commercial operation carrying oversized payloads.
In the late 1980s, efforts were begun by the Soviet government to generate revenue from its military assets. In 1989, a holding company was set up by the Antonov Design Bureau as a heavy airlift shipping corporation under the name "Antonov Airlines", based in Kiev, Ukraine and operating from London Luton Airport in partnership with Air Foyle HeavyLift.
As the Soviet space program was in its last years, the An-225 was considered and accepted to be the prime way to transport the Buran Shuttle.
The company initiated operations with a fleet of four An-124-100s and three Antonov An-12s, but by the late 1990s a need for aircraft larger than the An-124 became apparent. In response, the original An-225 was re-engined, modified for heavy cargo transport, and placed back in service under the management of Antonov Airlines.