Farewell to the Mriya plane: the Antonov-225, the world’s largest cargo plane has been destroyed. Russia’s attacks on Gostomel Antonov Airport on the fourth day of the invasion have put an end to its existence. This has been reported through Twitter by Dmytro Kuleba, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.
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
Unique in the world, the Mriya plane measured 84 m in length (276 feet) and was capable of transporting up to 250 tons of merchandise. In addition, it could reach the speed of 850 km per hour.
Mriya plane, the largest in the world
As already mentioned, the Antonov-225 was nicknamed “Mriya”. Its meaning, “dream”. It was designed in the 1980s to transport the Burán ferry. In addition to other large components of the Soviet space program. Its design is based on the successful Antonov An-124 Ruslan; therefore, it is also known as Super-Ruslan. But its role as an air cargo aircraft began much later.
The first commercial flight of the Mriya took place in January 2002. It departed from the German airport in Stuttgart to Thumrait (Oman). And in it, 187.5 tons of prepared meals.
The AN-225 became the largest cargo beast in the Antonov Airlines fleet. And it is that it has transported as locomotives or electrical generators of 150 t. In addition to becoming a great resource for international aid organizations. And it is that thanks to its ability to transport large amounts of emergency supplies, it was used during humanitarian disaster relief operations.
The Ukrainian Antonov An-225 Mriya delivered 8.6 million masks and 150 tons of medical supplies during the pandemic, at the Paris-Vatry airport in Bussy Lettree, on April 19th, 2020.
Can the “Mriya” be restored?
According to the arms manufacturer Ukroboronprom, it was estimated that restoring the “Mriya” plane would cost more than 3,000 million dollars (2,700 million euros). Not to mention that it could take more than five years.