Tuesday, 1 March 2022

Ukraine confirms the World's largest plane has been destroyed

Following on from yesterdays post, I was really hoping this wasn't true but unfortunately it is.
The country's authorities have now confirmed that the world's only Antonov An-225 Mriya has been destroyed following Russian attacks.

As the aviation industry's heaviest and longest operational aircraft, the An-225 Mriya has attracted significant fanfare from across the globe. It was built by the Antonov Serial Production Plant while Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union and conducted its first flight on the 21st December 1988. Only a single unit had ever been produced as a planned second one wasn’t delivered amid the downfall of the Soviet Union.

Meaning 'Dream' in Ukrainian, Mriya was developed to support the Soviet space program and carry Buran orbiters. After the dissolution of the union, the aircraft was placed into storage in 1994 but was restored by 2001, the same year that it broke a record on September 11 by carrying four main battle tanks, which was a record load of 253.82 tonnes of cargo.

It did suffer minor damage when landing last month, but the long-term future wasn’t a concern, with an operational life that was expected to last until at least 2033, helped by a recent refurbishment.

Sadly, the damage is far more considerable this time around. There were reports that the plane was hit following an air assault operation in Hostomel, Kyiv Oblast. The An-225, holding registration UR-82060, had been sitting at Hostomel Airport since the 5th February.

The country has declared that it will rebuild the aircraft as it looks to a brighter future. With skin as thick as Mriya, the plane will undoubtedly find its way back in the air.

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