New footage shows the world’s largest plane Antonov An-225 is completely destroyed

Did we just catch a last glimpse?
Ameya Paleja
The An-225 at StockholmLarske/Wikimedia Commons

A short video clip shared by a U.K.-based news outlet shows the world's largest cargo plane, the Antonov An-225, on fire and unattended. ELINT News shared the clip of military equipment destroyed in the battle at Gostomel airport in Kyiv, Ukraine. 

Barely a few days after Russia launched attacks on Ukrainian territory, it was reported that the Antonov An-225, also known as Mriya (Dream) was destroyed during the attacks. The video clip provides imagery of what the attacks resulted in. 

Monster in the skies

Antonov Design Bureau in Ukraine based the An-225 design on its predecessor, the An-124. While the An-124 cargo jet had four engines, Mriya was destined for bigger tasks such as carrying the Soviet Space Shuttle named Buran, and was equipped with six Ivchenko Progress D-18T turbofan engines. 

Measuring 275 feet long, the An-225 became the biggest cargo plane thanks to its 290-feet wingspan. Each of the engines under the wings was capable of producing 51,600 pounds of thrust during takeoff. 

Built in the Soviet era, the An-225 was the only aircraft of its kind to be completed; and after the Soviet Union collapsed, it was purchased by Antonov and used as a cargo carrier capable of ferrying monstrous-sized equipment like steam generators and power transformers. In 2010, it recorded a historic achievement after transporting two 138-feet wind turbines, the longest pieces of air cargo ever, from China to Denmark. 

The aircraft had returned to Antonov's facility at Gostomel for maintenance and was not capable of flight when Russians struck. 

To be built again?

As Russian troops relentlessly attacked the airport with missiles, Ukrainian forces shelled the airport and between the exchanges of fire, Mriya went up in flames. The aircraft's owner, Antonov, is not yet ready to give up on the dream and has asked others from doing so too. 

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The Ukrainian government, however, vowed to rebuild the aircraft soon after the news first broke of it being destroyed, last week.  

But to that, the war must first stop. 

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