Antonov An-225 - The Largest Aircraft in the World is Destroyed by Russian Air Forces
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On Sunday, the Ukrainian government reported that the Antonov An-225 "Mriya," known as the world's largest aircraft, had been destroyed by the Russian army during the combat at the Antonov Airfield near Kyiv.

"The biggest plane in the world "Mriya" (The Dream) was destroyed by Russian occupants on an airfield near Kyiv. We will rebuild the plane. We will fulfill our dream of a strong, free, and democratic Ukraine," reads a tweet from Ukraine's official Twitter feed.

According to a Facebook post made by Ukroboronprom State Department account, a Ukrainian producer of military weapons and equipment, the restoration of Mriya is likely to cost more than $3 billion and take a long time.

At the time of the invasion, the plane was being repaired at the Antonov airfield. Thus, there was no way to leave Ukraine.

Radio Liberty shared an image of the burning jet on Twitter on Sunday:

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This image from the satellites also shows the significant damage to the hangar at the Hostomel Air Base where the AN-225 is stored:

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Source: Maxar Technologies

Why is the Antonov An-225 Important?

The "Mriya" or Мрiя in Ukrainian (meaning "dream") has been in commercial service since 2001.  The Antonov An-225 was a real sky monster, with a wingspan of 290 feet and a length of 275 feet.

It had six huge Ivchenko Progress D-18T turbofan engines, each capable of pushing out more than 51,600 pounds of thrust on takeoff, and weighed 285 tonnes when empty. The strong takeoff thrust, low specific fuel consumption, and outstanding dependability of these engines led to their selection.

Originally intended to transport the Energia carrier rocket and the Buran spaceplane, the plane was an expansion of the Antonov An-124, which was previously shown to be successful and big. A Ukrainian business, Antonov Airlines (now Antonov), bought it and has used it to deliver big freight.

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Nothing else like the Antonov An-225 existed. During the Soviet period, just one aircraft was ever constructed. In addition, a second aircraft was ordered, but it was never finished.

As of December 21, 1988, the Antonov AN-225 has transported massive and outsize shipments across the world. It was expected to be operational until at least 2033.

When it came to transporting heavy external objects, the "Mriya" was equipped with two tail fins instead of the more usual single vertical tail fin.

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Source: Kārlis Dambrāns / wikicommons

There is no argument that the An-225 was a stunning plane. Possibly the greatest of all time.

According to estimates, the airliner was expected to continue in service until the 2030s, but who knows if it will get to fly once more.

We have a full article describing the An-225 in detail and its specs. Please make sure to read it also.

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