Sad news in the world of aeronautics, the Antonov An-225, the largest cargo plane in the world was destroyed by Russian bombing in Ukraine. The plane called “Mriya”, which means dream, lived a nightmare during the conflict. The Antonov 225 parked at Hostomel airport, near the city of Kiev, while the city was targeted by the Russian armed forces. The airport was hit, the plane then caught fire in the hangar. Back on this major event and the history of this emblematic cargo plane.
The destruction of the Antonov 225 announced in a tweet
It is the Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dmytro Kuleba, who announced on his Twitter account on February 27, 2022, the destruction of the Ukrainian cargo plane.
This was the world’s largest aircraft, AN-225 ‘Mriya’ (‘Dream’ in Ukrainian). Russia may have destroyed our ‘Mriya’. But they will never be able to destroy our dream of a strong, free and democratic European state. We shall prevail!
This announcement sounds like the loss of a national emblem for Ukraine. Indeed, the latter took part every year, in August, in the air parade of the national holiday of Ukraine. The country was in possession of the one and only copy of the largest cargo plane in the world. It had allowed many air cargo flights and played a key role especially during the Covid 19 pandemic. It allowed the transfer of masks and other medical equipment to fight against the health crisis. Big blow in the world of air freight.
However, according to an article on BFM TV, discussions and repair projects have already been mentioned. For the moment, it would take about 5 years and no less than 3 billion dollars of cost to put the An 225 back in the air.
Of course, the destruction of an aircraft is anecdotal in light of the current and worrying situation in Ukraine. AEROAFFAIRES supports the country’s population during this dark period.
The history and characteristics of the Antonov 225
The Antonov 225 made its first flight from Kiev, Ukraine, on December 21, 1988. This very imposing aircraft was created in Kiev in partnership with China and Ukraine. This aircraft was created from the Antonov 124, a smaller model of the cargo plane. Moreover, one of the main missions that the Antonov 224 had to fulfill, were for military purposes. It had to be able to move Buran, a space shuttle built by the USSR during the Cold War.
In 1989, during a flight lasting 3h30, the Antonov 225 exploded the records. This giant of the air has in particular the record on the maximum total weight (aircraft itself, cargo, etc…) held during the takeoff (508 tons).
To date, the An 225 holds, among others, the records of the heaviest and longest aircraft in the world.
In addition, it should be noted that despite numerous projects to build another Antonov 225, these were never completed. The An-225 remained unique on the air cargo market since 1988. However, with the desire to repair and rebuild the An-225, this may be the opportunity, who knows, to create other copies of this legendary cargo plane.
The Antonov 225 in a few figures
- More than 250 tons: that’s how much capacity the An 225 can carry. As an example, this most impressive aircraft is capable of carrying a 240-ton Airbus A340 aircraft in parts.
- 15,000 km: in addition to its incredible capacity, the Antonov 225 has a long-haul range of up to 15,000 km (depending on its cargo). It can therefore easily carry out air cargo missions to the four corners of the globe.
- 84 meters: this is the length of the aircraft.
- 88 meters: this corresponds to its wingspan (at about 12 meters, the aircraft covers the entire length of a soccer stadium!).
To find out more about the Antonov 225, click here.
AEROAFFAIRES wholeheartedly supports the people of Ukraine and is sorry for the losses this conflict is causing.