The Ukrainian-built Antonov AN-225 “Mriya” is likely to have been destroyed by Russian forces in Ukraine. The Mriya, the only one of its kind ever built, was the largest aircraft in the world. Satellite images have come out showing a destroyed Hangar at Hostomel Airport, supposedly the last location of the Aircraft. At present, the condition of the aircraft is unknown.
The Story so far
Early Thursday morning last week, Russia invaded Ukraine. The invasion began with missile strikes on Ukrainian infrastructure near major cities, followed by a land invasion from Ukraine’s Northern, Eastern and Southern Borders. One of the first sites of major conflict was the Antonov Airbase in Hostomel, which saw attacks from Russian helicopters and paratroopers on Thursday evening. Videos can be seen online of Russian Ka-52 and Mi8 helicopters flying towards the airport, which is situated in the northern outskirts of Kyiv:
Upon hearing the news about Hostomel, the aviation community voiced concerns about the potential fate of the Mriya. Information from Flightradar24.com showed the AN-225 had flown from Billund to Hostomel on 5 February and had not left since. Despite concerns, AN-225 Pilot Dmytro Antonov was quick to report that the “the Mriya is Whole”:
As the fighting continued at Hostomel, images of the damaged hangars circulated online. A Reddit user noticed that a hangar likely housing the Mriya had been badly damaged and posted the following image suggesting that the aircraft was lost.
Other satellite images released by Maxar Technologies show the damage to the hangar more clearly, though it’s not yet clear what the damage is to the aircraft itself. Antonov has commented, saying they will need to wait until experts have inspected the Mriya before reporting on its condition. Travel Radar has reached out to Antonov for further comment but has not yet received a response.
Rebuilding the Dream
Many sources have reported that the Antonov AN-225 has been destroyed. Most notably, Ukrainian Minister for Foreign Affairs posted a tweet mourning the loss of the giant aircraft and encouraging citizens to take hope.
Ukrainian Arms manufacturer UkrObonronProm has reported the plane officially destroyed and said that it will be rebuilt at the expense of the Russian occupiers. UkrObonronProm has estimated the restoration costs at over $3billion and said the works would take over five years. According to them, the aircraft was unable to fly out of Hostomel at the time of the attack as it was undergoing repairs.
Travel Radar will keep you updated as more news on the plane’s condition is revealed.
What are your thoughts on the loss of the Antonov AN-225 Mriya? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!