The world's biggest aircraft landed at Perth Airport yesterday in front of thousands of excited spectators on its first trip to Australia.

The Antonov An-225 Mriya, meaning "dream" in Ukrainian, landed at around 11.30am local time after a long journey from central Europe.

The one-of-a-kind plane lived up to its name of Mriya - Ukrainian for "dream".

Contracted by Worsley Alumina to transport a 117-tonne power generator from Prague, the Antonov attracted more than 15,000 aviation buffs from throughout Perth and beyond.


Not even a two-hour flight delay - due to a schedule change by Air Traffic Control in Kuala Lumpur - could deter the crowds.

Traffic around the airport was gridlocked and people booked on flights out of the city complained that carparks were full as a result of the much-anticipated landing.

It is the first time the Antonov has ever come to Australia, despite flying since December 1988.

With a maximum takeoff weight of 640-tonnes, the Antonov was the only aircraft capable of transporting the power generator required by Worsley's Bunbury plant.

A Worsley Alumina spokesman said they had looked into shipping the generator but it would have taken too long.

He declined to say what hiring the Antonov cost the company.

Perth Airport Executive General Manager External Affairs, Fiona Lander said the level of interest in the Antonov was unprecedented.

"The sheer size of the An-225 was breathtaking with the click of camera shutters audible over the roar of the six engines as it taxied past," said Ms Lander.

"Never before has the An-225 made its way to Australia and the people of Perth made the most of its visit today."

Measuring 84-metres in length, and with a wingspan of 84.4-metres, the Antonov has never been replicated - although it is believed a second An-225 is currently being built in Russia.

The Mriya was crewed by 21 people including seven cockpit crew, one flight manager, six engineers and additional support.

It will remain in Perth for about 48-hours before heading to Germany.

The unloading of the generator is expected to take around 12-hours, using a sophisticated system of ramps and cranes.

Mr Chenery hired a helicopter to capture a different angle of the An-225, describing it as a "once in a lifetime experience".

"It's what I would consider to be one of the monuments of aviation alongside the Concorde, the Airbus A380 and the Boeing 747," said Mr Chenery.

"It's very unique purely because of the sheer size and the fact it has six engines."

The 600-tonne aircraft took off from Kiev Airport in Ukraine on Tuesday, first flying to Prague to pick up its cargo - a 120-tonne power generator.

Refuelling stops in Turkmenistan, Hyderabad and Kuala Lumpur followed before the final and longest leg of its journey, the 4067km trip from KL to Perth.

Weather was the main concern for spectators hoping to get a shot of the enormous plane touching down in the West Australian capital.

Built in the 1980s by the Soviet Union's Antonov Design Bureau, the An-225 is a one-of-a-kind aircraft measuring 84-metres long and with a wingspan of 88-metres.

It has six turbofan engines to power its bulk through the sky, and 32 wheels on which to land.

In contrast the world's biggest passenger jet - an A380, has four engines, 22 wheels and an 80-metre wingspan.