First taking flight in December of 1988, a six engine beast of an airplane, the AN-225 “Mriya” made waves in the aviation world. Breaking records for both its size, and capacity, the AN-225 truly has a very special place in aviation history. Unfortunately during the current conflict between Russia and Ukraine, this beautiful aircraft was destroyed in its hangar at Gostomel airfield, Ukraine, on Sunday morning.
According to Ukrainian authorities, “Mriya” or “Dream” as it is sometimes referred to, was attacked by “Russian occupants”. Those same authorities then went to state that if the plane was destroyed, it would eventually be rebuilt. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba wrote on twitter that: “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 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! pic.twitter.com/TdnBFlj3N8
— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) February 27, 2022
Speculation of damage to the aircraft first arose when satellite images by Maxar Technologies showed what appeared to be a fire in the AN-225’s hangar. When these images were first released, there had not been any confirmation on the state of the Mriya or its hangar. However, at 11:13 AM on Sunday, NASA’s Fire Information for Resource Management System detected several fires at Gostomel airfield, one of which was detected at the AN-225’s hangar.
The Antonov Company released a tweet saying: “Currently, until the AN-225 has been inspected by experts, we cannot report on the technical condition of the aircraft.”
Update on the information of #AN225 “Mriya” aircraft: Currently, until the AN-225 has been inspected by experts, we cannot report on the technical condition of the aircraft.
— ANTONOV Company 🇺🇦 (@AntonovCompany) February 27, 2022
Later on, Antonov’s management company, Ukroboronprom released a confirmation that indeed, the AN-225 Mriya had been destroyed by Russian forces but that it would eventually be rebuilt.
Fortunately, there is a second AN-225 that began some time ago, however its construction was never finished. This will most likely be what is used in building another AN-225.
The destruction of this aircraft is deeply saddening to both the aviation community and the world. Being the world’s largest aircraft, Mriya gained a rather large cult following in the aviation community. Contrary to popular belief, the AN-225 was not only a cargo aircraft. Mriya was used for not only cargo but, medical airlifts, spacecraft transportation, and much more. The destruction of this aircraft is not only deeply saddening, but a devastating loss. This aircraft alone, transported more cargo in its lifetime than several more common cargo aircraft ever will.
The situation in Ukraine is more than unfortunate and this is one of many testaments to that. Whether or not the fires in the AN-225’s hangar were directly started by Russian occupants is yet to be confirmed, however that is most likely the cause.
~A wonderful video of Mriya, the beloved AN-225 that was destroyed on Sunday
Check out my last post on Aviation Weather!