BANGOR — With a lumbering sort of grace the world’s largest airplane touched down at Bangor International Airport for a refueling Saturday, a BIA official said.

The Antonov An-225 slowly taxied around another large airplane, a U.S. Air Force C-130, before parking at about 2:30 p.m. It didn’t exactly dwarf the other cargo hauler, but there was no question which of the two was larger.

The Russian-made plane, built in the 1980s, spans nearly the area of a football field, from nose to tail and wingtip to wingtip, according to one account published in Popular Mechanic. It has six jet engines and a four stabilizers.

The airplane left Houston earlier Saturday after having touched down in Leipzig and Kiev the two days before, according to the website flightradar24.com, which lists itself as a flight tracking service that provides real-time information about thousands of aircraft around the world.

Angeline Palmer and John Ford took a break from their maintenance jobs at BIA to take a look at the massive cargo plane.

“We’re supposed to be at work, but we had to watch,” said Palmer, a 43-year-old Kenduskeag resident who is studying to be a machinist at Kennebec Valley Community College.

“It’s massive,” Ford said wonderingly. “Massive. Amazing.”

Fifteen-year-old Noah Tiemann, a Civil Air Patrol member, came from Ellsworth to see the jet with his father. Both were in the crowd of about a dozen people standing behind a chain-link fence and locked gate at the northwest end of the main terminal.

It was unclear how long the Antonov would stay in Bangor. An airport official also declined to identify the plane’s next destination.


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