Prestwick-based handling company Ocean Sky had a unique visitor - Antonov An-225, the world’s largest aircraft.

Only one has ever been built. The Ukrainian-registered heavy-lift aircraft entered service in 1989 and was designed to “piggyback” the Russian Space Shuttle Buran.

After that project was cancelled in 1994, the 225 was mothballed before entering service as a huge cargo aircraft carrying heavy loads worldwide.

It’s still the biggest in the world even though the A380 is now flying.

Named Mriya, which is Ukrainian for “truth” or “inspiration”, the Antonov is capable of transporting oversized objects or cargo up to a weight of two hundred and fifty tons, over double the load of a jumbo jet.

It has a wingspan of 88 meters and a length of 84 meters, and it’s massive: the complete assembled fuselage of a Boeing 737 can be fitted in its hold.

Ocean Sky Director Eddie Allison said: “The 225 is remarkable. Only a few airports can handle this behemoth and Glasgow Prestwick is one. Ocean Sky is extremely proud to have been awarded the handling contract for this unique aircraft as well as its smaller brother, the AN124.

“Regular types of freight on the 225 include power station turbines and, most recently, heavy equipment sent to Alabama where a cement factory had shut down and urgently needed this equipment to re-commence production. It is also used in humanitarian situations where the Antonov’s massive lift capability can make a real difference.”