The World’s Largest Plane To Be Rebuilt Soon

The destruction of the world’s largest commercial plane was one of the key images at the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In February 2022, the Antonov AN-225 was attacked at its base in Hostomel, near Kyiv.

According to the manufacturers of the plane, their dream will never die nor be destroyed.
The company has now announced plans to rebuild it, and are already underway.

Nicknamed “Mriya” — Ukrainian for “dream” — the massive plane was built in the 1980s to carry the Soviet space shuttle.
Its later life, while slightly less glamorous, was equally iconic — it was the world’s largest cargo transporter, with around twice the hold capacity as a Boeing 747, winning cult status among self-styled avgeeks. It stretched to 84 meters, or 275 feet, with the longest wingspan of any fully operational airplane. To date, it is the heaviest aircraft ever built.

Its destruction was announced on February 27 2022, with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeting that:

“Russia may have destroyed our ‘Mriya’… but they will never be able to destroy our dream of a strong, free and democratic European state.”

During its destruction by Russia, the nose had apparently taken “a direct artillery hit” and was “completely destroyed” when people saw it on an April visit. There was extensive damage to the wings and some of the engines. The tail end section was spared from any large impacts and has a few holes caused by either shrapnel or bullets,” he said at the time, predicting that a repair would be unlikely.

On Monday November 14, however, the Antonov Company announced in a tweet that the rebuild project had already begun, with “design work” already in the offing. While it had estimated repair costs, the company predicted a bill of over €500 million ($502 million) to get it back in the air, promising more information “after the victory.”

Already the company has around 30% of the components needed to build a new one, it announced.

The Destruction Of The World’s Largest Plane By Russia

Originally, Ukrainian state defense company Ukroboronprom, which manages Antonov, had issued a statement estimating the restoration at over $3 billion — which it vowed to make Russia pay. The rebuild would take at least five years, it said at the time. It will cost more than $502 million to rebuild, said the company.

As per officials, the process of rebuilding ‘Mriya’ is considered as an international project, with the participation of aviation enterprises of different countries of the world. The possibility of attracting funding from various sources is being considered and proposals from many organizations that are ready to join the project are being reviewed.

The company said it would coordinate the research, design and assembly, and confirmed that there are still main airframe units for a new plane that have not been destroyed.
The program is developing in the direction of carrying out an expert assessment of these units, for subsequent calculations and design works. According to officials, the build would take place “immediately after the victory of Ukraine.

The announcement coincides with the launch of an exhibition dedicated to the plane at Leipzig/Halle Airport in Germany, which is home to five other Antonov aircraft. “Light and shadow. At the opening, Oleksiy Makeiev, Ukraine’s ambassador to Germany, announced that although he’d flown on “almost all AN aircraft, the Mriya remained a dream for me,” in a statement released by the company.

Credit: CNN

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *