The world's biggest aircraft 'Mriya' will be rebuilt after the Russia-Ukraine War ends
The Russia-Ukraine war damaged many buildings and infrastructures in Ukraine, as well as the world's largest aircraft, the Ukrainian-made Antonov. As you might be familiar, it was destroyed by Russian soldiers in the early days of their invasion of Ukraine.
According to a statement posted on Facebook by state-owned Antonov Co., design work on a second Antonov An-225 cargo jet has begun. Exact information will be revealed once Russia's war in Ukraine is over.
Also known as Mriya, the aircraft projects that the rebuild of the enormous aircraft, which had an 88-meter (290-feet) wingspan, will cost "at least" €500 million ($500 million), while it acknowledges that this figure may increase further because it is "too early" to discuss particular expenses, as Bloomberg reported.
Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba also tweeted about the rebuilding of the aircraft:
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
Although it is not yet clear with what budget the plane will be made, it was previously announced that Virgin Airways, owned by Richard Branson, would provide funding.
State-run Ukroboronprom, the parent company of Antonov, initially estimated that repairing the aircraft would take more than five years and cost more than $3 billion. After professional evaluation, Antonov claimed that around 30 percent of the original plane's parts may be utilized to construct a new aircraft.
Super heavy transport aircraft: Antonov An-225 "Mriya"
On December 21, 1988, the AN-225 conducted its maiden voyage from the Svyatoshyn manufacturing airfield. Oleksandr Galunenko oversaw the flight crew that piloted the aircraft. The Energiya carrier rocket and the Buran shuttle orbiter were intended to be transported via Mriya.
A small space shuttle with a fuel tank would serve as the second stage of the reusable aerospace transport system (MAKS), which was also intended to use the AN-225 as a flying space launch site. Mriya can transport extremely heavy or large freight anywhere in the world by either carrying it inside the fuselage or on external depots.
There were two AN-225 aircraft made. One of the planes has finished construction. The Antonov Kyiv Mechanical Works plant in Kyiv assembled the fuselage and tail unit, while Valerii Chkalov Tashkent Production Association in Tashkent assembled the wing center section and outer wing panels.