King of the sky - world's biggest plane lands in Perth-Australia

King of the sky - world's biggest plane lands in Perth-Australia

The world's biggest jet touched down in Perth at 11.50am today, giving 20,000 people an opportunity to see the king of the sky. 

The Antonov AN-225 approached Perth Airport from the north and landed on Runway 21, to excited cries from onlookers at the airport's public viewing area.


 

King of the sky - world's biggest plane lands in Perth-Australia

The An-225 will be in Perth until Tuesday at 5.30am, when it lifts off to go to Germany for another assignment.

 

A two-hour delay to the arrival of the Antonov did not deter thousands of plane enthusiasts waiting in public viewing areas for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the world's biggest aircraft.

Excitement grew just before touch down, with plane enthusiasts counting down the minutes before landing.

 

"It's a monster," yelled John Norcic from Armadale as the plane thundered onto the runway.

 

 

King of the sky - world's biggest plane lands in Perth-Australia

The pilot flew the Ukrainian flag from the window as he taxied passed the crowds back towards the airport.

 

 

"It's a political statement about Ukraine's fight for independence from Russia," plane enthusiast Anna Maria Harrison said.

 

King of the sky - world's biggest plane lands in Perth-Australia

 

 

Traffic congestion leading into the airport meant some people missed seeing the landing.

 

 

Many people camped in their cars overnight for the chance to get a prime position in the two public viewing areas.

 

Some punters at the viewing area next to terminal two reported getting turned away from the Dunreath area soon after 6am because it was full.

 

King of the sky - world's biggest plane lands in Perth-Australia

 

But there was ample room at the field close to terminal two, where enthusiasts watched in high spirits.

 

Self-confessed "plane maniac" Ms Harrison, of Bayswater, said she was excited at the opportunity to see the world's biggest plane.

 

 

She said she added to the excitement of her front-row seat at the public viewing area by listening to a live stream of the air traffic control tower.

 

King of the sky - world's biggest plane lands in Perth-Australia

 

"Aviation is in my blood, it gets my heart pumping and my adrenaline going," Ms Harrison said.

 

 

"Some people drink, some smoke, but I just love planes."

 

Another plane enthusiast, Henton Harmadi, said he was amazed at the aerodynamics of the 640-tonne aircraft.

 

"It's the equivalent of a five-storey plane flying through the air," the South Perth man said.

 

 

King of the sky - world's biggest plane lands in Perth-Australia

 

Hundreds of people left the viewing area when news of the two-hour delay filtered through the crowd earlier in the day. Yet hundreds more continued to arrive.

 

Those departing early cited rain and cold weather in their decision to abandon plans to see the plane.

 

But delays and bad weather did not stop thousands of people from filing into the public viewing area near terminal two.

Kardinya woman Robyn Phulger said she was disappointed to miss out after driving an hour to the airport, but planned to take time off work on Tuesday to see the plane leave.

"I'm really disappointed because it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but my husband has the flu and we don't have an umbrella," she said.

 

King of the sky - world's biggest plane lands in Perth-Australia

 

 

However, because the winds were very light, it landed from the north on Runway 21 with a slight tailwind.

The An-225 was lined up with the runway 30km out and then flew a direct route into touch down.

However, visitors who took up vantage points at the southern end of the runway - in the special viewing area, for instance - were able to see the giant jet regardless because it used the full length of the runway.

 

Spectators in the special viewing area off Airport Drive had a front-row look at the giant jet.


 -  on May 15, 2016, 7:05 pm

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