In a giant hangar in remote Kazakhstan, two Russian space shuttles that never made it into orbit are collecting dust. If they look familiar it’s because the KGB successfully stole the U.S. shuttle plans in the 1970s and 80s.
See more photos of the shuttle by Dietmar Eckell here.
The Antonov An-225 was designed specifically to carry the Buran shuttles between landing and launch sites, much like the NASA shuttles and their custom 747 transport. The An-225 remains the longest aircraft in the world
The soviet/Ukrainian Antonov An-225 Мрія (Dream), NATO reporting name Cossack, the biggest, heaviest, most powerful aircraft ever built.
Only one ever got made, originally for use in the soviet Buran space shuttle program, a second unit was left unfinished after the fall of the Soviet Union, with multiple plans to finish her shot down by lack of funds.
The current unit is in service with Antonov Airlines as an unique freighter specializing in moving ultra-heavy cargo no other aircraft could ever hope to carry.