The 640 ton, six engine An-225 is the world's largest aircraft. Measuring at 84 meters in length and a wingspan of over 88 meters, it carries a world record payload of 250 tons (to put this into comparison, it can carry around 300,000 lbs more than the US military's Boeing made C-17). The sole operational An-225 began flying in 1988, initially carrying the Soviet Buran, a 105 ton reusable spaceplane, on its back. It was put into storage after the Soviet collapse, but restored and put into commercial service in 2002. Since then it has been rented out, flying super heavy cargos like gas and wind turbines, as well as military supplies for NATO forces in the Middle East.