Tuesday 24 August 2021

Antonov An-225 to fly low over Kyiv to celebrate 30 years of Independence

ANTONOV AN-225 MRIYA UR-82060 (MSN 13102) 

Ukraine will celebrate its Independence Day with celebratory events taking place between August 22nd and 24th. One of the highlights will take place today (the 24th) with a parade of the country’s armed forces, including a low-altitude flyover of military aircraft. While not technically part of Ukraine’s armed forces, the An-225 Mriya will also be flying over Kyiv for the festivities.

According to the Kyiv Post, the An-225 Mriya will be participating in the military parade to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Ukrainian independence. The website representing Ukraine’s defense industry (Ukroboronprom) states the following: Data from RadarBox.com showed the Mriya participating in rehearsal flyovers in advance of the big day. So far, we can see that the aircraft has flown over Kyiv on both August 18th and August 19th at an altitude of around 2,000 feet. Its lowest recorded altitude was 1,750 feet.

The Ukrainian-built Antonov An-225 ‘Mriya’, which first flew on the 21st December 1988, was originally developed to transport the Buran reusable spacecraft and parts of the Energia super-heavy lift launch vehicle. The Antonov Company was founded on May 31st, 1946, and has since flourished to have multiple divisions, including its design bureau, production facilities, maintenance and repair, and of course, its air transport subdivision.

The An-225 was initially planned that the massive aircraft would become a reusable aerospace transport system, comprising the first stage of launching the Soviet space shuttle. With the fall of the Soviet Union and Ukraine’s independence, this plan would be discontinued, with the An-225 remaining a Ukrainian asset.

On the 22nd March 1989, the An-225 carried a cargo load of 156.3 tons off the ground. In doing so, Ukroboronprom states that it set 110 world records for speed, altitude, and load capacity within 110 hours and 45 minutes in flight. The agency goes on to say that on September 11th, 2001, the aircraft set 124 world and 214 national records. 

With the work and accomplishments of Antonov, as well as the records achieved by the An-225, we can clearly see why this massive six-engined aircraft belongs in a parade celebrating the country’s independence.

“‘Mriya’ will fly over Khreshchatyk, the main street of Kyiv, and seal the air column of military helicopters, fighter jets, attack aircraft, bombers, and military transport aircrafts, namely Mi-8, Mi-14, Mi-24, Su-27, MiG-29, IL-76, and the AN family: An-70, An-26, An-72, An-32P.”

Mriya came to Perth Western Australia on the 15th May 2016 and I flew over there to see it.

Mriya's specs are
  • Length: 84 m (275 ft 7 in)
  • Wingspan: 88.4 m (290 ft 0 in)
  • Height: 18.1 m (59 ft 5 in)
  • Wing area: 905 m2 (9,740 sq ft)

UR-82060 is the only AN-225 ever built. A second airframe with a slightly different configuration was partially built. Its construction was halted in 1994 because of lack of funding and interest, but revived briefly in 2009, bringing it to 60–70% completion. On the 30th August 2016, Antonov agreed to complete the second airframe for Airspace Industry Corporation of China as a prelude to commencing series production.

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