Earlier last week it was reported that the world’s largest plane, the Antonov 225 Mriya, was destroyed by Russian forces in Ukraine. The Mriya, the only one of its kind ever built, was the largest aircraft in the world. Since this news broke, new footage has come to light showing thick smoke pouring out of Mriya’s hanger, followed by footage showing severe damage to the aircraft.
Mriya – Destroyed in the Ukraine Invasion
Earlier this morning – Friday 4th March – Russian state TV visited the airport and footage from their report shows the inside of the hangar, with the plane and the hangar itself almost totally destroyed. The AN-225’s nose, wings and engines appear completely destroyed by the damage.
The footage comes following a video circulating online yesterday – Thursday 3rd March – showing extensive fire damage to the aircraft and it’s hanger, at Hostomel Airport.
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.
Can a new ‘Mriya’ Rise?
Whilst only one AN-225 was ever completed by Antonov, a second airframe remains intact and stored by the manufacturer near Kiev, Ukraine. The second An-225 was partially built during the late 1980s for the Soviet space program, however following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the cancellation of the Buran (Russian Space Shuttle) program, the airframe was never completed.
What next for the AN-225?
At the time of writing, Antonov had not replied to a request for comment on the news, however parent company, Ukroboronprom, has issued a statement saying:
“Russians destroy An-225 «Mriya», it will be restored at the expense of the occupant.”