The Antonov AN-225 ‘Mriya’ cargo aircraft has been making deliveries around the world for over thirty years. It has come to the aid of several world wide crisis, the latest being integral in carrying medical supplies during the pandemic, from China to Kyiv.
‘Mriya’ which means ‘Hope’ in Ukrainian, the world’s largest aircraft is believed to have been undergoing repair and routine maintenance at Antonov’s airfield premises in Gostomel near Kyiv, when the Russian invasion of Ukraine began.
The fate of the aircraft had been unknown for several days, with mixed reports circulating online as to the extent of the damage. Ukraine’s state-owned aerospace and defence company, Ukroboronprom, initially said in a press release on February 27 that the aircraft had been destroyed, but in a subsequent press release said, “it is impossible to assess the plane’s condition and the possibility and cost of its restoring due the lack of access to the aircraft”. It has also been reported by other experts that it would cost billions to restore the aircraft.
RIP “Mriya” Antonov AN-225, a sad day for the aircraft industry and the world in general! Thank you for your service over the past three decades. You will be remembered with fondness, by thousands of people, who appreciated your presence in their hour of need.