‘Mriya,’ AN-225, World’s Largest Cargo Plane, Reportedly Destroyed in Ukraine by Russian Shelling

The world’s largest cargo plane, the Antonov An-225 Mriya, was destroyed in a Russian attack on an airport near Kyiv, Ukrainian officials said on Sunday.

“We will rebuild the plane,” said a statement from the official Ukrainian government Twitter account. “We will fulfill our dream of a strong, free and democratic Ukraine.”

The statement noted that Mriya was “destroyed by the Russian occupiers.” It seems to corroborate previous reports that the plane was burned, including that of the Foreign Minister of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba and state arms manufacturer Ukroboronprom.

A satellite image shared by Radio Svoboda, an affiliate of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, also purportedly to display hangar in which the An-225 is kept in flames.

Ukroboronprom is confirmed in statement that Mriya will be rebuilt, a process that is estimated to cost more than $3 billion and take more than five years.

It is our duty to ensure that these costs are covered by the Russian Federation, which has caused intentional damage to the aviation and air transport sector of Ukraine, the manufacturer said. .

The plane began to be repaired at Gostomel airport on February 24, Ukroboronprom said. Because one of its six giant engines was temporarily decommissioned, it was unable to move after the Russian invasion.

The Antonov company, which is managed by Ukroboronprom, did not confirm the destruction of Mriya. “Currently, until the AN-225 is checked by experts, we cannot report on the technical condition of the aircraft,” the company said. speakadded that it will share more information as it becomes available.

“Mriya,” which means “dream” or “inspiration,” is a monster jet that is more than 30 years old and loved by aviation enthusiasts around the world. Boasting a wingspan longer than the Wright brothers’ first flight and a nose-to-tail length of more than 270 feet, the plane has a maximum takeoff weight of more than 640,000 kilograms, according to the report. Antonov Airlines. It dates back to the Soviet era, conceived and built in the 1970s and 80s for transport around the regime’s shuttle Buran.

The plane first took off on December 21, 1988, becoming something of a celebrity in the aviation world. When the plane flew to Perth, Australia, in May 2016, more than 35,000 aircraft enthusiasts gathered to watch its arrival, causing traffic around the airport to riot.

It went into commercial operation in 2001, with every hour of its operation reported run a cost 30,000 dollars. During the coronavirus pandemic, aircraft are used in state humanitarian operations to transport personal protective equipment around the world.

Antonov Airlines has extended the service life of the plane, which announced a few years ago that the plane is expected to operate until at least 2033.

“It has 242 world records to its name,” the company nape“And was the inspiration for Antonov Airlines’ slogan: ‘No other name carries more weight’.

Mriya’s chief engineer, Nikolay Kalashnikov, told BBC in 2017, it was almost impossible to imagine that “such a large machine” could fly when they first designed it.

“Mriya is inseparable from Ukraine,” said Kalashnikov, “it is like our children, and that is something that our children and our grandchildren can always be proud of.” ‘Mriya,’ AN-225, World’s Largest Cargo Plane, Reportedly Destroyed in Ukraine by Russian Shelling

Russell Falcon

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