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Buran Orbiter with An-225 Mriya
The latest in my series of micro-scale (roughly 1:200) aircraft -- an Antonov An-225 Mriya carrying the Buran orbiter.
About this creation
If you're going to build in micro-scale, you might as well build something big...

The Buran Space Shuttle Program, which was initiated in the early 1970s, was the Soviet Space Agency's response to NASA's Space Shuttle (STS) Program. Although the Buran orbiter never flew a manned mission into space, it completed two dozen atmospheric trial runs and one unmanned mssion into space (completing two orbits before being recovered).

On the surface, the Buran orbiter appears to be almost identical in size and shape to NASA's space shuttle, but there were several key differences. Unlike the NASA orbiter, the Buran had no rockets of its own, other than several small maneuvering thrusters. It relied solely on the proven and extremely powerful Energia rocket, equipped with 4 external liquid rocket boosters, to put it into orbit. This arrangement was beneficial is several ways: It was safer, since liquid rockets are inherently more reliable than solid rocket boosters (SRBs). Recall that it was a failed O-ring on an SRB that caused the Challenger disaster. Also, the entire Energia rocket, including its boosters, was intended to be recovered and re-used, unlike the external tank on the NASA space shuttle.

As the Cold War came to an end, the Buran program was cancelled, since one of its primary purposes, to install and repair space-based "Star Wars" weapons systems, was no longer a driving factor. Of the 5 Buran orbiters that were completed or in the process of being contructed, 3 were dismantled or accidentally destroyed and the remaining 2 are on display as museum pieces (one in Kazakhstan and one in Moscow).





Perhaps even more impressive than the Buran itself is the aircraft that was used to carry it, the Antonov An-225 "Mriya", which was designed and built specifically for the purpose of transporting the orbiter. The Antonov name has become almost synonymous with heavy-lift aircraft, and the An-225 is the top of their line. With a wingspan of 290 feet (over 88 meters), a length in excess of 275 feet (84 meters), and a maximum take-off weight of over 600 tons, the Antonov An-225 is the largest and heaviest aircraft ever built. Its lift capacity is a staggering 250 tons, making a true marvel of modern-day engineering.

To help put its enormous dimensions into perspective, the second picture below shows the big Antonov being escorted by a pair of Mig-29 "Fulcrum" fighter jets. Every one of the An-225's six engines produces more than 50,000 lbs. of thrust, more than both of the Mig-29's engines combined.

Since the cancellation of the Buran program, the An-225 has been commercialized, serving in the superheavy airlift role. It has also made at least one movie appearance -- it starred as the "An-500" in the movie "2012".

Given the popularity of space-based themes on Cuusoo, I've decided that it is worth it to give it a go there with this model. If you'd like to support it, you can do so by following this link.












Comments

 I made it 
  June 23, 2014
Quoting arwenromel hanna Wonderful work .... but how it will be if it were based on a minifigures scale or 1:44... ^.^
The An-225 is 275 feet in length, with a wingspan of 290 feet. At minifig scale (and I'd use something more like 1:38, but I know there is some range there), it would probably be 2+ meters both in length and wingspan. You'd need a special room in your house for that model :-).
 I like it 
  June 23, 2014
Wonderful work .... but how it will be if it were based on a minifigures scale or 1:44... ^.^
 I like it 
  May 17, 2014
Awsome build would it be possible to do instructions for it?
 I like it 
  April 22, 2014
Very nice..
 I like it 
  March 24, 2014
Amazing work, it looks excellent. I knew very little about the Buran programme; it's fascinating stuff. Thanks for sharing.
 I like it 
  March 22, 2014
:-)
 I made it 
  March 19, 2014
Quoting Justin Davies If I remember correctly, the only orbiter to have actually flown in space was left to rot in a poorly maintained decrepit hangar, which ultimately collapsed on and destroyed it.
I think you are correct. It's unfortunate that the one that would have been most interesting from a historical standpoint was destroyed.
 I made it 
  March 19, 2014
Quoting Marty Fields Nice to see these neglected examples of aerospace engineering. Too bad the Burans never made it into space. I am sure present day Russia could resurrect this programme. Great building.
Thanks. We'll see what the future holds for US and Russian space exploration. Both nations seem to be scaling back at this point.
 I made it 
  March 19, 2014
Quoting Gabor Pauler Your small-scale airframe shaping is masterwork. Too bad that TLG does not produce narrower pylon-like stuff for engine nacelles. But all other details are really cool.
Thanks. And, yes, I really wish there were a better solution for the pylons but I am OK with the solution that I worked out. At this scale, you have to be willing to make a few compromises.
 I made it 
  March 19, 2014
Quoting Alex Rode Wow, that's remarkable. Fantastic shaping and details; nicely done!
Quoting Elk Guard Fantastic work, wonderful history lesson too, very informative!
Quoting Luke V WOW!!! Very accurate!!! I likes it!!!
Quoting Chris Maxter Nice! And those micro-fighter are great :D
Quoting david drake I'd buy that for $50! Very clean sleek lines on this iconic aircraft that you nailed.
Quoting Dr. Monster Fantastic MOC. The pictures look really great.
Thanks, everyone! I appreciate the comments and support.
 I made it 
  March 19, 2014
Quoting Kurt's MOCs Great work! I've always thought the An-225 was an amazing airplane and I'm glad you built it. It looks great at this scale too. Your Buran is nicely modelled as well. I saw the Buran prototype in a Moscow park: It was a wild thing to stumble upon!
Thanks. It's neat that you have actually seen a Buran orbiter. I doubt that very many Westerners will ever get the chance.
 I made it 
  March 19, 2014
Quoting Locutus 666 Great build. I like the orbiter!
Quoting Stephan N this is a super-reacted MOC. free of knots
Quoting James Donovan another excellent model! :D
Quoting World Of Recreation Correction for jd: Quogg actually owns the biggest 225 Myira model here on Mocpages :). 5/5 btw.
Quoting jd davis I like it! As far as I know, you've got the only AN-225 model on mocpages! Now heres a challenge, build it bigger!
Thanks, everyone. As World of Recreation noted, this isn't the first An-225 on MOCpages, but it probably is the smallest. ;-)
  March 19, 2014
If I remember correctly, the only orbiter to have actually flown in space was left to rot in a poorly maintained decrepit hangar, which ultimately collapsed on and destroyed it.
 I like it 
  March 19, 2014
Wow, that's remarkable. Fantastic shaping and details; nicely done!
 I like it 
  March 19, 2014
Nice to see these neglected examples of aerospace engineering. Too bad the Burans never made it into space. I am sure present day Russia could resurrect this programme. Great building.
 I like it 
  March 19, 2014
Fantastic work, wonderful history lesson too, very informative!
 I like it 
  March 18, 2014
WOW!!! Very accurate!!! I likes it!!!
 I like it 
  March 18, 2014
Nice! And those micro-fighter are great :D
 I like it 
  March 18, 2014
Your small-scale airframe shaping is masterwork. Too bad that TLG does not produce narrower pylon-like stuff for engine nacelles. But all other details are really cool.
 I like it 
  March 18, 2014
I'd buy that for $50! Very clean sleek lines on this iconic aircraft that you nailed.
 I like it 
  March 18, 2014
Fantastic MOC. The pictures look really great.
 I like it 
  March 18, 2014
Great work! I've always thought the An-225 was an amazing airplane and I'm glad you built it. It looks great at this scale too. Your Buran is nicely modelled as well. I saw the Buran prototype in a Moscow park: It was a wild thing to stumble upon!
 I like it 
  March 18, 2014
Great build. I like the orbiter!
  March 18, 2014
this is a super-reacted MOC. free of knots
 I like it 
  March 17, 2014
another excellent model! :D
 I like it 
  March 17, 2014
Correction for jd: Quogg actually owns the biggest 225 Myira model here on Mocpages :). 5/5 btw.
 I like it 
  March 17, 2014
I like it! As far as I know, you've got the only AN-225 model on mocpages! Now heres a challenge, build it bigger!
 I made it 
  March 17, 2014
Quoting Cade Connelly Purty! <3
Thanks!
 I made it 
  March 17, 2014
Quoting Marcus Paul Impressive how accurate this is, especially regarding the scale ... The Antonov has a gorgeous shape, but my favourite aspect is perhaps the way you made the black outline of the orbiter. Great job!
Thank you. I'm not sure if I can take all of the credit for the black outline. There have been quite a few NASA Space Shuttle LEGO models and its likely that the idea for doing it was stuck in my subconscious somewhere after viewing one of those models. :-)
 I like it 
  March 17, 2014
Purty! <3
 I made it 
  March 17, 2014
Quoting Greg 998 Sorry, i tipped "Absolutely fantastic" in Cyrilic but it doesn't work. Anyway, excellent work !
I appreciate the attempt. Thanks for your kind words.
 I made it 
  March 17, 2014
Quoting Bill Ding Great plane and shuttle combo! a lot of detail in such a small package! Would you mind if I made its Western counterpart, the 747 carrying the space shuttle? 5/5
Thanks. You are welcome to build the 747/NASA STS combo. I don't really have any plans to build either at this point.
 I made it 
  March 17, 2014
Quoting Henrik Jensen When there is new from you, expectations are automatically turned up high. And of course you do not disappoint. It looks really good, especially the shape of the AN225 fuselage, is spot on. Also the attachment of the shuttle to the AN225 is really nice detail. I have wondered what are the two humps on top of the AN225 ?
Thanks. The humps were originally intended to be the hardpoints to mount the Buran on top of the An-225, but I have never seen a picture of the combo that makes use of them. Perhaps they were also there to serve as protection when the Buran was released during atmospheric tests.
 I like it 
  March 17, 2014
Impressive how accurate this is, especially regarding the scale ... The Antonov has a gorgeous shape, but my favourite aspect is perhaps the way you made the black outline of the orbiter. Great job!
 I made it 
  March 17, 2014
Quoting Alex Sonny I really like the way the shuttle is attached to the plane, I was kinda hoping for extra shots of that :D really awesome!
Thanks. I'll try to put up a picture of how I did the attachment soon, but to describe it in words: Both the front and rear attachments makes use of a "Hinge Tile 1 x 2 1/2 with 2 Fingers on Top" (part #4531) connected to the An-225 with a "Hinge Bar with 3 Fingers and End Stud (Control Lever)" (part #2433) connected to the Buran. The antenna that make up the other connecting bars are just for show. I'll be the first to admit the connection to the Buran is a little weak, but the model is pretty small, so it should be sufficient.
  March 17, 2014
Sorry, i tipped "Absolutely fantastic" in Cyrilic but it doesn't work. Anyway, excellent work !
 I like it 
  March 17, 2014
&#1060;&#1072;&#1085;&#1090;&#1072;&#1089;&#1090;&#1080;&#1095;&#1077;&#1089;&#1082;&#1080; &#1079;&#1076;&#1086;&#1088;&#1086;&#1074;&#1086;! Absolutely Fantastic!
 I made it 
  March 17, 2014
Quoting clayton Marchetti Wow! This is an excellent model of the Russian shuttle. I love the Antonov . I like how you made the engines. The fuselage looks awesome I really like the use of the curved slopes. Brilliant
Quoting Michael K. Awesome, thanks for the back story, I've never heard of the buran, or the 225's original purpose.
Thanks, guys! I always appreciate the comments.
 I like it 
  March 17, 2014
Great plane and shuttle combo! a lot of detail in such a small package! Would you mind if I made its Western counterpart, the 747 carrying the space shuttle? 5/5
 I like it 
  March 17, 2014
When there is new from you, expectations are automatically turned up high. And of course you do not disappoint. It looks really good, especially the shape of the AN225 fuselage, is spot on. Also the attachment of the shuttle to the AN225 is really nice detail. I have wondered what are the two humps on top of the AN225 ?
 I like it 
  March 17, 2014
I really like the way the shuttle is attached to the plane, I was kinda hoping for extra shots of that :D really awesome!
 I like it 
  March 17, 2014
Wow! This is an excellent model of the Russian shuttle. I love the Antonov . I like how you made the engines. The fuselage looks awesome I really like the use of the curved slopes. Brilliant
  March 17, 2014
Awesome, thanks for the back story, I've never heard of the buran, or the 225's original purpose.
 
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